August Östberg is currently a creative fellow at AKQA’s New York office. August along with his two teammates, Ludwig Hallstensson and David Svedenström were winners of the Future Lions competition in 2014.
Describe your path to what you're doing now.
I've always been doing stuff. I started early drawing comics, moved over to art, fell in love with film making and had a quick romance with game making. I had a hard time deciding on what I wanted to do. But, after going through so many different paths, I finally decided to go into advertising. It’s the only industry were I can pursue all of my passions.
It’s been over a year since you won Future Lions. What has happened in a year?
After winning Future Lions, me and my two team members (David Svedenstrom and Ludwig Hallstensson) were hired by AKQA.
"We signed some papers, got on a plane to America and started working the day after."
We signed some papers, got on a plane to America and started working the day after. Working as a trio has been great. We can take on bigger projects, stay efficient and still make time to goof around. It’s hard to realise an entire year has passed. It’s been many crazy projects and adventures.
Tell us more about coming up with the concept behind Google Gestures and making it happen?
When we came up with the idea, we realised that there were only seven days left until the deadline. So we got to work immediately, we spent the following seven days and nights (skipping all classes) on developing the concept into an actual submission.
What was your experience like at Cannes Lions International Festival?
It was great! Getting the chance to spend a week in Cannes was really eye-opening for me.
Does living in New York influence your creativity and work?
Of course. I wouldn’t say that everyone should move cities. If you're happy back where you are, stay.
"The most important part is to always surround yourself with inspiring people."
The most important part is to always surround yourself with inspiring people. That’s why New York is so great. It’s filled with creative maniacs.
What excites you most about working at AKQA?
Being able to change cities. We’re the first group to join AKQA’s Creative Fellowship Program, which means more or less, work for three years in three different AKQA offices. It’s pretty sweet to get the chance to maximise our first three years in the business like that.
Do you have any tips for students going into this industry?
I believe that it’s the work you do outside of school hours that makes a difference.
"Find/create a group of great talents and start jamming out idea after idea."
Find/create a group of great talents and start jamming out idea after idea. Eventually something great will come out of it. Try out competitions like Future Lions. Even if you don’t win, you’ll still learn so much.
Who would you most like to share a desk with?
The obvious answer would be to say the people I sit with today, but let's skip that. I would love to share a desk with game makers, script writers, painters, etc. I think it would be an amazing experience to learn something new.
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