The Heroine’s Journey of Jo Arscott

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Freedom to dream. Freedom to transform lives. Freedom to build global brands. Being a Creative Director is a gift of a job. It fills your heart with joy even on the most painful of days. And the colleagues I’ve met along the way are the most talented bunch; when a team truly works together it’s a heart-warming thing.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

To be truly seen and accepted.

What is my greatest fear?

To not be truly seen and accepted.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I don’t deplore anything about myself. That would be an absolute tragedy.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Right now. Well actually for forever, we used to work at the same place yonks ago – George Tannenbaum: ECD and Copy Chief of Ogilvy & Mather NYC…just read his blog and you’ll know why.

What is my greatest extravagance?

My homes. I’ve always rented globally – “Money down the drain”. More fool me. I love regional styles; whether it’s a big old wooden house with a porch in the American South or a marble-floored apartment in Dubai. I have a curated collection of home décor that travels to every location with me – and a home isn’t a home until I unpack it. Now, sadly my stuff is in storage in the desert of Dubai. Not sure when I’ll see it again.

On what occasion would I lie?

I’d ‘white lie’ on any occasion so not to hurt somebody intentionally.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Leadership teams that don’t lead, support or respect their staff.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Every role has brought me the greatest joy in different ways. From the ‘Nothing is Impossible’ way of living at Saatchi & Saatchi London. The excitement of working for Coca-Cola HQ with Momentum Worldwide in Atlanta. The amazing ‘working family’ culture of Saatchi X and P&G/Walmart Marketing team in Arkansas. The daily learning of working outside of your comfort zone at Wunderman Thompson Dubai. My career has been brilliant and extreme and I’m hoping the next adventure will manifest the same wonderment.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Nothing of importance.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Mentoring. Always. Mentoring.

Where would I most like to live?

My global life has taught me never to predict.

What is my most treasured possession?

My dog Winston. He’s a miniature poodle and has travelled the world with me. He has a fan base and more followers than me on social media.

What is my most marked characteristic?

My positive personality. It matches my afro!

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Right now home in London is Primrose Hill. Winston and I spend hours watching the skyline of London, the views ever changing; from the awful burning spiral of smoke of Grenfell Tower to the uplifting NYE celebration fireworks on the Thames. I have one bench where I sit and muse life. You also bump into the most eclectic group of people from sassy Camden school kids, to news presenters, to nannies, dog walkers and loads of artists.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I’m kinda old school in London. I like to people watch. There’s a great corner at ‘The Crown & Two Chairmen’ in Soho.

What books influenced my life and how?

‘A Room of one’s own’ by Virginia Woolf. When I was a child and aspiring writer, she led the way for me. Her thinking. Her creative argument on why women need space and to earn their own money to truly be creative.

Who are my favorite writers?

George Orwell hands down.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

I quite like Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons. She was magnificent. She was flawed. In the end she was just like any of us.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

On a day-to-day basis on social media

Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX/Media for his balls. I LOVE his TikTok. @garyvaynerchuk

Elle Morris, President/CEO of SnapDragon Brand Design Consultancy for her support of all things good on Linkedin.

Tracee Ellis Ross on Instagram for her complete and utter wokeness to embracing creative talent and natural curls! @traceeellisross

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Ya know.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is life and life is art. Same for work.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019/2020?

Someone that scares me and gives me a “feeling in my belly.”

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019/2020?

People tend to naturally come into your life when you need them, I find.

What project, in 2019/2020, am I looking forward to work on?

The one I haven’t been briefed on yet.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I’m still here.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Sally Tambourgi, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Dubai for her beautiful creative eye and ability to thrive as a brilliant female role model in a historically male–dominated culture.

How can you contact me?

Do. Don’t be shy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s