I think side projects are incredibly important. They help maintain a work/life balance and a healthy perspective on work. It’s also fun to make stuff with talented folks that doesn’t necessarily have to be a commercial success.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I’d like to think of myself as a hybrid creative – idea maker, problem solver, pop culture anthropologist, and writer. But my business card says Creative Director. I’m a New Yorker/Québéçoise working in Copenhagen. I worked closely with a real Dane, Senior Art Director Kasper Møller, on this project. It couldn’t have been realized without his digital design wizardry.
What do you do for inspiration?
Wander: Biking in Copenhagen, weekend escapes to European cities (when possible), exploring the interwebs, or getting lost in books or certain addictive series (just finished "The Knick"). Inspiration comes in many forms and usually unexpectedly.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
It hasn’t happened yet. There’s always something bigger around the corner if you’re in beta.
How many hours do you work each week?
Depends on what’s happening in the agency. When knee-deep in a project, I can clock around 60+ hours a week.
How do you relax or unwind?
There might be better ways to unwind, but I find a glass of wine with friends usually does the trick.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Working as a travel writer or for the United Nations.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
My favorite part of the gig is trying to decode the brief to understand the problem we’re really trying to solve, and then creatively cracking it with a team of talented people. The hardest part of the job is being limited by budgets, mindsets or predetermined ideas.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
24 hours. My mind melts after midnight, so I don’t think it was a particularly useful session.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
After graduating with a MA in Foreign Affairs, I declined a contract role in the Communications Department at the United Nations Development Program, instead deciding to produce an economic documentary in Bahrain. This decision led me to the agency world. I hope one day to come back full circle and use communications as a positive force for change in the world.
What software could you not live without?
Chrome, a text editor and Skype.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
Oculus Rift. We worked with Oculus VR to help launch the all-new Volvo XC90. The new head-tracking technology took the virtual experience to another level.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I have an unfinished pilot, a short story and a novella in my proverbial drawer. I hope to finish at least one on a Trans-Siberian rail trip, which will take me through Russia, Mongolia and China. I’ll take a ferry from China to Japan, where I’ll complete the work in a small studio in Osaka. I hope to bump into Murakami at a jazz club. That’s plan C, anyway.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
I think side projects are incredibly important. They help maintain a work/life balance and a healthy perspective on work. It’s also fun to make stuff with talented folks that doesn’t necessarily have to be a commercial success. I work on photography and writing projects, and sometimes prototype concepts that would make my everyday life easier.
Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?
We were tasked by Volvo to launch a car that doesn’t exist, because it hasn’t been produced yet. The website became our digital showroom, where people could not only explore the all-new XC90 in detail, but also order the car, but this was just one part of the campaign. Working with Oculus RV, we created the world’s first virtual test drive using Oculus Rift technology. People experienced the all-new XC90 virtually at an art venue in Sweden and at the Paris Motor Show, taking the car beyond the website.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
The all-new Volvo XC90 site.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
Either a Mustang ’67 or a spacecraft.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
I’ve been toying with learning how to code.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
The most expensive thing I spent money on last week was renting a white Dodge Challenger while visiting my father in Arizona.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
If you do what you love, it won’t feel like work. If what you love changes, change with it. Bill Murray perhaps coins it best: “No matter how I feel about what’s going on in my life, if I can relax myself and enjoy what I’m doing and have fun with it, then I can do my job really well.”
It has been a privilege, thanks very much