This week’s guest has always been the youngest person in the room. From early rock star status as a 13yr old blogger, the Imposterous Anouk Jans became Germany’s youngest Creative Director aged just 26 and has an alternative take on the anxiety caused by the agism that is so rife in our industry.
Anouk shot to fame this summer as the star of the ad industry film ‘Kill Your Darlings’ that premiered at Cannes this year. Exploring the themes of burnout and the viability of the ‘network model’, Anouk seeks advice from creative leaders around the world on how to deal with burnout when you’ve still got decades ahead of you. We’ve all heard about how creative departments shrink with fear at the sight of the first grey hair, but what if you’re the youngest, yet most senior person in the room? And a woman? We talk on the pressure of the client and industry obsession with equating age with talent and vice versa.
On the theme of separation, we hit upon a skill we all need to get better at – separating who you are from what you do. Because as long as we are solely defined by our work at work, we’ll forever be chasing validation from our peers, meaning that our personal wellbeing becomes hostage to business success. Becoming as Anouk says ‘so thirsty, that it’s never enough’.
In our conversation we talk about the skill of learning internal validation, of seeking that ‘you’re doing ok’ from within yourself. That often when things aren’t working we look to blame the team, or the agency or the system…when sometimes it actually far better to take a breath and see what you can do about yourself first.
And finally, after just 48 episodes, Knoxy at last lands upon a strapline that actually has a good ring to it. ‘Lost, but not alone’. We think that sums us all up rather well.
Anouk Jans creates creative concepts, brand identities, campaigns, social media strategies and digital content to help define, establish and build international love brands that shape culture. Driven by pioneering spirit Anouk gives brands an opportunity to rethink marketing by creating dynamic campaigns for today’s audience, with stories about purpose, values and human nature.
At The Imposterous Head Office Anouk Jans name has featured at pretty much every staff meeting and we’ve been in a particular hurry to talk to her since the launch of Kill Your Darlings – A documentary about the world of modern advertising and the talent defining it. A story seen through the wide-open eyes of Anouk, a young Creative Director looking for answers, positive change and a brighter future for herself and everyone that loves the business of creativity. It was a great to talk to Anouk Jans, a conversation we’re sure will stay with us for a long time to come.
With a new episode every week, The Imposterous is hosted by Michael Knox (ECD, Think HQ) and Graham Drew (CCO, Grey Malaysia) and as has been created to explore the theory that even the world’s most respected creative professionals suffer pangs of inadequacy that either stifle their potential brilliance or protect them from mediocrity. Tune in to find out how Imposter Syndrome might just be a thing that you don’t have to run from.
If sound waves then Andrew Stevenson is the Mexican, everything moves in wonderful symmetry at We Love Jam Studios as he always stands up first… As ever visuals colourfully pixel conducted by Cohan Banfield. The Imposterous is available now on itunes, Spotify, Google Play or imposterous.com
Listen to previous season two episodes with Jeff Goodby, Valerie Young, Damon Staplton, Mietta McFarlane, Brent Smart, Peter Nankervis, Pum Lefebure, Paul Middleditch, Gus Worland, Natalie Lam and David Smith here.