Please meet Belgian creative talent Jolien Elegeert, creative at DDB Brussels.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
Being proud is a difficult expression for me. I often have the feeling that the result could have been better if we just had a little bit more time, a bit more money, or a less stubborn client. But that feels like an excuse if I see other creatives come up with ideas that would have made answering this question more straight forward. For me being proud doesn’t mean having the most awarded idea, but the idea of which I don’t regret some of my own choices. There will always be things we can’t control but if I can say “I did my best, I worked hard and I like my idea,” that is what makes me proud.
That’s why I choose the IKEA DREAM commercial as the one I’m most proud of. Eva Mouton (a Dutch illustrator) even made a cartoon out of it, which gives me an extra reason to be proud: it moved people and that’s the kind of ideas I want to make.
Do you ever feel invisible at work and if so, how do you make yourself more visible?
I don’t necessarily feel invisible myself but sometimes all the things I do feel invisible. When I have a bad review, I sometimes feel guilty because all others see is some shitty ideas, but the fact I worked very hard to come up with those shitty ideas, stays invisible.
But that’s not different for men I guess, maybe women just get more emotionally involved. Or maybe that’s just me. Luckily I don’t feel -literally- invisible at work. But that took time. I believe working in an environment where you can be yourself is important. I have been working at DDB for three years now and that time has given me the confidence to stand up for my own opinions, even to people with a lot more experience. For me, it takes time before I can and dare to by myself. But it’s always important to understand that even people with a lot more experience than you can be wrong and you can teach them something. You have to dare to speak up, you have to dare to take the risk to ask or say stupid things. They might not listen to you or your opinion the first eight times. But one day you’ll say something smart and they will be like ‘wow’ and there you go. Otherwise, you’ll become a doormat and despite the fact, there are nice ones, nobody wants to be a doormat.
It’s a hard sector but I think everything starts with your own mindset. If you believe men are better at being creative, chances are they will be. And honestly? I like being invisible when they’re waving with the next briefing about soccer.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
I admire anyone who can come up with good and relevant ideas at a frequency of pooping, and give me the feeling that they still have a life outside of work. For me it’s still hard to see how I will ever be able to manage to find good ideas, being a good partner, taking care of a kid, cat, and probably a lot of dying plants and not eat McDonald’s every day. I admire people who find a way to keep doing what they love and keeping everyone and everything they love close.
What do you love about your job?
I love the highs. When you come up with a good idea it gives you an unparalleled feeling. It’s the constant search of that feeling that makes it interesting. Because we want it so badly and we are willing to go so deep for it. I love that we have a unique way of thinking and seeing things. You see a broccoli, I might see my next big idea. Inspiration is everywhere, which makes the world prettier.
Jolien’s inVisible Creatives profile: invisiblecreatives.co/jolienelegeert