2 Minutes With ... Juan Leguizamon, ECD at Havas Germany
Juan Leguizamon is an executive experience creative director at Havas Germany who focuses on evolving the agency's creative innovation through tech culture. His career is based on digital advertising from agencies in San Francisco, California, to New York City, where he has been pushing the creative industry into a meaningful one.
We spent two minutes with Juan to learn more about his background, creative inspirations and some recent work he's admired.
Juan, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I'm originally from Colombia but grew up in the U.S., where I developed my career from design to digital advertising in California for agencies such as Razorfish and FCB, then continued in New York with agencies such as Saatchi, HUGE and Pereira and O'Dell. Now I live in Germany, working for Havas.
How you first realized you were creative.
At the age of five when I would normally get in trouble for drawing all over the walls.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Comedian Andy Kaufman, who messed with his audience and turned them into his punchline.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
Moving from Florida to San Francisco to pursue my design career was pretty life-changing, due to the different lifestyles and sociopolitical views. I felt I was able to fully express myself artistically and be exposed to a very inspirational open-minded culture.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Saul Bass defined my creative DNA and also my love for design and cinema.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
My own podcast called Give a F*ck that is exclusively an extracurricular project from Havas Germany, where the idea was to transform the topics that we get from our complaint box and turn them into provocative podcast episodes.
Your favorite fictional character.
Max Fischer from the movie Rushmore, directed by Wes Anderson, who I strongly identify with. If you aren't familiar with this character, imagine the most prolific and biggest nerd from a boarding school who happens to be the most rebellious punk but yet an elegant creative genius.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
I'm obsessed with this hip creative online magazine called "It's Nice That," where they focus on the most unexpected trends and underrated creative work.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
Although it was catastrophic, it got us to take advantage of hybrid working culture, which is something I've been a fan of, even before the pandemic. I believe that work should be flexible for employees as long as they deliver their work. Ironically, I still come to the office every day and I encourage people to come often. However, the idea of being able to be dynamic no matter where you are, is pretty special.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
I was partly involved with a featured film by Oscar wining director Werner Herzog called "Lo and Behold" that won many advertising awards and was also featured at Sundance film festival. The reason why this is considered one of my favorite projects is because it combines my love for cinema and technology.
A recent project you're proud of, and why.
My colleagues at Havas Germany were able to develop an app called STAYBL that helps stabilize a user experience for people that suffer from Parkinson's disease. I find it pretty mind blowing that we were able to pull that off. At Havas, since we are obsessed with meaningfulness on everything we do, let there be the evidence that passion driven projects could speak volumes.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Film director Michel Gondry and all his music videos that really sparked my inclination to think in weird unconventional ways.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
Comedian Nathan Fielder's projects that mess with people in such a sophisticated way, who keeps reminding me of Andy Kaufman.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I think the ability to inspire and challenge others to think, act and create in ways out of their comfort zone, with the goal to evolve the creative industry. Also, as a creative is very rare to see that I could be as interested in marketing KPIs, rich data and business outcomes just for the sake of proving that creativity could also have a qualifiable value.
Your biggest weakness.
When I put too much passion over logic.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Blowing people's minds with bravery, silliness, and kindness.
One thing that always makes you sad.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Running a hip interactive production studio.
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.