Jo is a creative director on Apple UK and Apple Music at TBWA\ Media Arts Lab London. With 15 years of experience at agencies including Mother, Droga5 and Saatchi&Saatchi, she has written in code for WWDC, shot with David Lachapelle for Boots and won pitches for Wired, Farfetch and Hobbs. Jo’s travel writing has won awards and been published by Bradt, whilst her features have appeared on Dazed Digital. Last year, she returned from a twelve month round the world trip from Kathmandu to Cuba with her husband, four year old and baby. And if she survived that, she can probably survive anything.
What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
My very first job was working in a local pharmacy for £2.50 an hour, which makes me feel happy that I’m not doing that anymore, however much I liked using the price gun. I got my start in advertising with a placement at Mother, which led onto five years of sleepless nights and creative happiness. The people who were there then are running the industry now, so it was brutal but inspirational beyond belief. And more than that, it was FUN.
Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I’m the creative director for the Apple UK and Apple Music work at TBWA\ Media Arts Lab London. I’m responsible for several creative teams and guiding their work from first ideas to finished product, for the best brand in the world. No pressure then.
3. How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
I think I always knew. I remember getting told off by my friends for applying to art school instead of Oxford, and being totally happy with my choice. Maybe that was the decisive moment, or maybe it was when I stormed off and drew a giant charcoal picture of Where the Wild Things Are, aged three. My parents still have it.
4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
By ignoring advertising. I read, I’m addicted to the news. And seeing exhibitions with my kids helps, as you start to see the world through their eyes. You remember how you play and stop taking everything so seriously. Which is a nice break from the news.
5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?
I’m incredibly proud of Little Wander, a one year round the world adventure that I embarked on with my photographer husband, four year old daughter and six month old son. We ate, shot, wrote and researched our way through 14 countries, while breastfeeding, baby carrying, Buddha-spotting and phonics teaching. We’re currently working on our first book, based on our journey. It hasn’t won any awards, it hasn’t been in Campaign, but it’s ours.