We had the good fortune of connecting with Leeya Rose Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leeya Rose, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“You should stay at a job for 3-5 years”. One thing that I’ve noticed is a generational shift is how long is the recommended time to stay at a particular job. In the past, I think jumping around every few years to different workplaces was viewed negatively or as a red flag for an employer. Especially in the advertising agency world, creatives tended to stay at places for 10+ years. My mindset in my career has been to stay at an agency as long as I feel there is creative growth potential and if the agency treats its employees equitably. I truly feel that I’ve gone further, earlier, in my career because I wasn’t swayed into a false sense of loyalty while still being early in my career. I was able to work with/learn from more people in a shorter amount of time, and because of that, I grew as a creative faster. I model my career off of people like Bozoma Saint John, who in the past few years has hopped multiple high-level jobs from Apple to Uber, and is now the CMO of Netflix. I do, however, feel that once I take on more leadership positions, I would be more likely to stay the course with one place a little longer.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We often have never heard of/have no access to the multiple lucrative careers you can have as a creative person. I happened to google search and figured out that being an art director is a lucrative career that combines my love of strategic problem solving, collaboration and creativity. I also saw alot of power in working in a field that’s so ubiquitous. Most Art Directors/Creative Directors in advertising are white, straight and male. As a young Black queer painter, I knew not everyone from my community felt comfortable walking into a gallery or musuem, but as an Art Director I have greater reach in ensuring representation across the board in media, which is in everyone’s living rooms. I’ve now spent the past few years creating work for major brands like Heinz, US Bank, Grey Poupon, Big Ten Basketball, Silk, Arby’s and more. I work at my dream agency, Weiden + Kennedy, which does work for Nike and McDonalds and has created some of the best and impactful campaigns in the past 10 years. I’ve also once co-hosted a podcast called Borrowed Interest which detailed our experiences as Black femmes in advertising. My goal has been not only climbing the ranks, but making sure I was making it easier for those young Black creatives who are coming in after by mentoring and spreading awareness about this career path.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Minneapolis, my favorite spot in the city is Milwaukee Avenue. It’s a street that’s blocked off for pedestrians with historically maintained homes. it’s beautiful and feels like a walk back in time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to my junior and high school English teacher, Mrs. Ambrose in Detroit, Mi at King High School. She is the first person I remember distinctly believing in my creative abilities and really pushing me to aim higher. She truly challenged me and brought out the best in me, and though I didn’t become a writer like she wanted me to be, I did become a creative thanks to her.
Website: https://www.noisemakerdesign.com/ leeyamakesnoise.com