Please meet Linda Knight, Chief Creative Officer of the Observatory Agency in LA.
How did you get the international attention you got?
I moved to Portland, Oregon from Australia, then to Amsterdam and back to the US. Working on three continents, freelancing at lots of agencies and working with many people was a good start to get my name out there.
In what way is Australian creativity unique?
We’re so far from the rest of the world and have such a unique history, culture and sense of humour. That gives us a distinctive point of view that makes our work fresh and different.
From what you observe, what do you think are the main differences between working in Australia and abroad?
Scale. The US and UK have larger budgets and clients. You have to do more with less in Australia, which makes for really innovative work. You need disruptive ideas when you have less money.
Who inspires you in this industry?
The people I work with. I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people. Every day I see crazy solutions to sometimes impossible briefs.
Despite the attention you and your work has gotten, do you ever feel visible at work still? Did you ever at the start of your career? What did you do to overcome it?
Yes, of course. This is a very competitive business and there are lots of really talented people. And, we’re conditioned to believe certain people are inherently more talented and better suited to lead than others.
I was freelance for many years. Every time I’d start a new project, with a new agency and new people, I’d have to prove myself. Each time I had to earn their respect. I brought my A-game, a good attitude and I just went for it. I always took it as a challenge to prove them wrong.
For people who feel invisible professionally, what would be your advice?
A good idea is undeniable. Bring the best ideas. They can ignore you once or twice but if you’re the constant source of the best idea in the room, they can’t ignore you.
Make every idea the idea that stands out and no-one can forget.
Work harder than everyone else and enjoy the grind. When one idea dies, do ten more, bounce back and don’t give up. Even if you’re not allowed in the room to present, your ideas will speak for you.
Be amazing, over and over and over until you are no longer invisible.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of having worked on?
I hope the next thing I do will be my favourite thing. I like to think that the campaign we wrote and shot with Ryan Reynolds for Toon Blast gave him the advertising bug and helped him become the ad genius he is now.