2 Minutes With … Sara Tate, European Partner at TwentyFirstCenturyBrand

On how having a dyslexic brain translates into an idea-generating madhouse

Sara is a partner at TwentyFirstCenturyBrand. With 25 years of experience across TBWA London, Mother, BBH London and more. 

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

Sara, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Saudi Arabia and now live in London. I'm a city person to my core and I like to be within walking distance of a coffee shop and at least 100 other people at all times.

How you first realized you were creative.

My friend and I pretended to shoot a Happy Mondays video when we were 10. We were not the Happy Mondays and we did not own a video camera but I remember thinking the shoot went pretty well.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Madonna. The hair, the clothes, the voice, the swagger. And still the GOAT at continually transforming. Something most of us find incredibly hard to do.

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

I was eight weeks into my English Literature degree at Oxford when I discovered I was dyslexic, which explained why I was struggling. It crushed my confidence at the time, but also steered me towards career paths where I could use my strengths: my ideas, my voice, my energy and my empathy. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Sarah Lucas. An original YBA (Young British Artist) now with a retrospective at the Tate reminding us how misogynistic the media was in the '90s.

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

If Books Could Kill podcast - comedic evisceration of the TED-ification of modern thinking. 

Your favorite fictional character.

Siobhan Roy and also fan-girling Sarah Snook.

Someone or something worth following on social media.

Real Housewives of Clapton, the grandchild of Nathan Barley.

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

A Japanese water-hating duck called Ruberduckzilla created for Oasis when I was at Mother. Complete with a graphic novel and a 3D QR code game. Utterly bonkers and utterly brilliant.

A recent project you're proud of. 

The TwentyfirstCenturyBrand team partnered with Flo Health to transform them into an organization on a mission to close the gender data gap and make female and reproductive health more personal, proactive and people-centric. This work has inspired prosocial initiatives like "Anonymous Mode" after the Roe vs. Wade ruling and programs to improve health literacy and make Flo free of cost across developing countries.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

Chris Morris is an utter genius. Nathan Barley came out in 2004 a couple of years after I landed in London. Utterly of the moment, yet still hilariously relevant today.

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

Cold War Steve creates satirical, surrealist collages skewering the British political circus. Smashing together the tradition of satirical cartoons (like Hogarth) and today's meme culture. His Twitter account is addictive.

Your main strength as a creative person.

My dyslexic brain. It's a pattern-spotting, connection-making, idea-generating madhouse.  

Your biggest weakness.

My dyslexic brain and its deep dislike of detailed things, boring things and finishing things. 

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

Competing on the Great British Flower Fight. Trying to wrangle dried flowers into a 30-foot-tall dinosaur sculpture and never answering another email again.

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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