2 Minutes With … Josephine Wallin Ankarstrand, CD at DDB Stockholm

On never giving up

With over 20 years of experience, Josephine is currently a creative director at Nord DDB Stockholm. Just prior, she was a CD and partner at Le Bureau. She is also the founder of Freja, a network for women in the advertising industry.

We spent two minutes with Josephine to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Josephine, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I mainly grew up in a suburb of Stockholm called Kärrtorp, though my first two years were spent in Vårby Gård, a different suburb. Now I live in Stockholm with my husband Daniel, my children Flora and Lykke, and a dachshund called Dacke. 

How you first realized you were creative. 

I drew a lot as a child. And when I chose art and photography as a special subject in high school, I noticed that I was drawn toward the creative spectrum. 

A person you idolized creatively early on. 

Salvador Dali, or else my father, who was a painter. But during my first year in advertising there was an art director in Sweden, Tove Langseth. She looked so cool and won a lot of awards. I wanted to be like her. 

A moment from high school or college that changed your life. 

I started to play basketball on a very good team, and I trained and played for 4 or 5 days a week. I met a lot of new friends. I felt very rich when it came to friendships, and that gave me confidence. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat 

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring. 

I loved the TV series Chef's table. Not because of the food, but I loved the passion they had to be the best. I hope my passion gets me there someday. 

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

A campaign to get more people with disabilities into the labor market. It aimed to make CEOs understand that there is a lot of undiscovered talent. It was incredibly emotional and powerful.

A recent project you're proud of. 

This campaign for ChildX, an organization working to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children. We wanted to show that abuse happens everywhere—every place is a crime scene.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius." I was so in love with this campaign. I just burst with jealousy when I saw it. 

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

"Chill Boards" by Coors Light. I wish it was my idea. This is from Nord DDB. 

Your main strength as a creative person. 

I never give up. And my passion for advertising is strong. 

Your biggest weakness. 

I never give up—ha ha. 

A mentor that helped you navigate the industry. 

I never had a mentor. I have figured stuff out myself, but I've made some lovely friends along the way. I love them. They helped me when I was doubting myself and was afraid I couldn't do it. Their support has been so valuable to me. 

How you're paying it forward with the next generation of creatives. 

I started a network for women in advertising six years ago, Freja, and we are now 400 members. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising. 

I want to be a priest if this doesn’t work out.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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