At Glug we’re always keen to bang the drum of creatives, makers, doers, tinkerers who do things a little differently. We’ve hence put together a series called “Glug Profiles” where we’ll be highlighting people from across the Glug world with different backgrounds and from all sorts of practices! To see more Glug Profiles, check out our news section.
Hi Lauren! How’s it going? You having a good week so far?
Hey! All good here thank you, kind of knackered as recently I feel like I’ve been spending all my evenings at networking events. The kind of events that most of my friends would actively avoid but I seem to appear at regularly!
For those Gluggers who’ve never heard of you, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Lauren, I work at a digital agency called 360i, which is one of the creative agencies within Dentsu Aegis, and in my spare time I’m running a creative network called Power Suit Social, which is all about keeping creative work commercially viable, especially in uncertain times like now. I’m from London, I’ve lived in a few different places including Brazil, France and Germany, and now I’ve admitted defeat and realised that I would rather be in my hometown than anywhere else.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now, then? Have you always dreamt of working in the creative industry, or what’s the back log here?
I definitely always knew I wanted to work in something creative, but when I was younger I don’t feel I got that much insight into real job roles, so I had no idea what I might be able to do. It’s strange that we ask young people what they want to be when they grow up when they have zero understanding of the working world. It’s basically just asking ‘What outfit would you like to wear every day: white coat, firefighter uniform, suit, or none of the above?’. When I was in my late teens and said that I wanted a job where you just got to sit and come up with cool ideas every day, and subsequently I found out about being an advertising creative. Being a copywriter wasn’t for me, as it turns out, but it made me realise sometimes you can just dream up an interesting job and it often turns out to exist.
What do you get up to when you’re not working? Got any exciting side hustles
or passions to tell us about?
Yes to the side hustle! As I mentioned, I run Power Suit Social. It’s 80s branded because I feel there are a lot of parallels at the moment with the uncertainties of the early 80s (plus, I love a power suit and am partial to big hair). In practice that means I’m running an event about every 6 weeks, planning content, contacting my dream list of speakers (who often say yes to speaking at my events, which is a bonus!), arranging venues, bothering drinks providers… it’s fun. A bit like organising a birthday party butwithout the dread! I’m really excited about the next one on 17th October as it’s for creative freelancers and is all about making money from creative work (taboo, but more important than ever).
I need to get better at planning Power Suit Social further in advance so that the content has more of a legacy, but apart from that it’s about making sure I’ve got a good balance of doing my dayjob, getting the events organised, and then making time for people I care about (i.e. not spending every evening at networking events!)
On a gloomy, totally uninspiring and day, where everything just feels like an obstacle — what do you usually resort to in order to get your inspiration back on track again?
Sometimes I read my old notebooks. Apart from the odd stab of nostalgia (does anyone else get that? Like a small punch in the stomach), I find this a great exercise for resurfacing old ideas which can still be built upon. I’ve got a whole row on my bookshelves, plus a couple of boxes full of them. Even just looking at old doodles and pipe dreams can make me happy and inspired. Or if I’m in the office so I don’t have access to my notebooks, then sometimes I end up on Pinterest staring at beautiful things, or Twitter. I follow a lot of young-ish journalists on there, so my feed tends to be heavy on the sarcasm.
And on the opposite end — where do you usually find your inspiration in the work that you do either in your dream job or as a side hustle?
I find inspiration at 360i by speaking to my colleagues. I have to be like the in-house journalist, looking for what makes an interesting story in terms of either our work, or a colleague’s hobbies or sideline, or really I’m looking for anything that’s quite progressive and out of the ordinary. That way when I’m asked by journalists or people who might want to work with us, I’m well informed about our agency, our work and our people. Instagram is of course my main inspo when it comes to design. I follow magazines like Riposte, journalists, photographers, a lot of influencers… actually I seem to mostly follow women. And then I also keep an eye on brands that I admire - not just brands that I buy, but a lot of brands whose social media presence I’m impressed by, like Glossier or WAH Nails. I love dissecting how brands do what they do.
Ok, so let’s get a bit dreamy, shall we? If you were to swap job with someone else in the creative industry, who would this be and why?
Either someone like Pip Jamieson who runs The Dots, because she’s everyone’s best mate, she’s got incredible contacts, and I’d love to run a business like hers. You’d get to meet so many amazing creative people ALL THE TIME. Alternatively, it might be fun to swap with Sir Martin Sorrell for a week so that a) through a baptism of fire I could see the inner workings of a huge network and b) a week’s salary would buy me a nice house.
And… If you were given the opportunity to move anywhere without having to apply for any visa what-so- ever and we’d sort the packing for you — where would you go?
Ooh I’m not sure! I’ve already admitted I’m now firmly attached to London. But a few places I’d love to live are Stockholm, LA, the south of France (countryside) or Italy (anywhere). Hmm. It probably wouldn’t be that hard to set up as a digital nomad somewhere like Italy - I’m ignoring Brexit in my calculations here - hang on I’ve just gotta go and google long term rentals in Tuscany...
Ok, and last but not least! Please give a link shout-out to 5 pieces of inspirational, or just plainly awesome, work that you’ve stumbled upon recently…
1. Lucy Jameson’s new not-an- ad-agency called Uncommon, that she set up with the other senior Grey staffers that left last year. The concept has definitely divided opinion amongst people I know in the industry, but I think it’s really interesting: they only work with brands and products that they deem meaningful, and where a product doesn’t exist but ought to, they bring it to market themselves.
2. Our friend Tom Johnson has done a really beautiful set of photos of twins for Vogue - he did a project with his brother about ‘Twins Days’ in Twinsburg, Ohio. He never fails to create very moving work.
3. Some work that’s not in the public domain yet but is really bloody cool is something my colleague Jamie has been working on. He’s our creative technologist at 360i and he’s been given special access to Facebook’s AR development platform (which only 30 marketers got access to) and has already been building some amazing AR effects. One of them literally only took him 2 days and he even made a promo video for it in that time. He’s half man half machine.
4. A book that I can’t stop touching because I love the design is The Working Woman’s Handbook by Phoebe Lovatt. Also I’m super jealous that she used that 1980s dappled notebook cover style as I’d always wanted to use that on a book cover (and is already on my website! I love retro branding).
5. And then an oldie but a goodie: an excellent advert from a couple of years back is the Geico ‘Unskippable ad’ which you honestly will not want to skip it’s so good. I cried with laughter. No, really.