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Next Creative Leaders: Dafna Garber

on May 04, 2015

Three words you'd use to describe yourself?
Cuts Own Hair.

What piece of work are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of the campaign I created for NyQuil. It’s a challenging category and the work survived a year of testing, re-testing, re-re-testing and miraculously came out really well. I love an underdog.

You had a special mentor very early in your career. In what ways has that shaped your career?
When I was an intern at Modernista, Kevin Tenglin, an immensely talented writer, took pity on me and helped me figure out how to be a writer. As my career has progressed, I’ve tried to do the same for other people, and I still have mentors that I learn so much from. It’s such a valuable thing when people are willing to help you be better. So I keep learning from people and I hope people learn from me, a little like a human centipede but of mentor/mentee relationships.

You were a part of starting CP+B LA. What’s the secret to successfully starting an office?
I don’t claim to be an expert, but when starting a new office, I think you need great people, patience, strong leaders, and as much help and snacks as you can get. CP+B LA had so many great people bear down and commit to making the LA experiment work. The office also had the benefit of the CP+B name and network behind it to help it grow. The first year was pretty crazy, but I feel very lucky to have gotten thrown together with such intelligent and talented folks.

You’re a mentor in and out of your agency. Why do you think mentoring is so important?
There are so many reasons mentorship is important at every level. Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to have such great people go out of their way to help me grow and get better. There have also been points where I wish I’d had someone to help me navigate through the more difficult aspects of the industry. If I can be a resource to the folks coming up, I’m happy to do it. Young talent is so fun to work with, they’re excited, energetic, and they know what Snapchat is and I don’t. And frankly, the better the juniors are at their job, the better and the easier, my job is. So yeah, I’m glad to help.

You’re an ACD now. What was it like to transition from a creative role to a leadership one?
Instead of just focusing on you doing the best work you can, you have to focus more of your energy on helping others do the best work they can. One of my biggest challenges as an ACD is time management. The more senior you are, the more meetings you have. And those meetings eat away at valuable time you could be checking Facebook or playing Candy Crush.

 

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