David&Goliath’s John O’Hea on Creativity and Culture

john o'hea head shot for d and g[1]2 John O’Hea is the new Creative Director at David&Goliath,  a creative agency helping challenger brands fight their way to market leadership. Prior to working at D&G, John was Art Director at DOJO, in San Francisco. He made the move to LA to join D&G. The Makegood recently spoke with John about  his transition.

The Makegood: Congratulations on being named Creative Director over at David&Goliath. What made you decide to join the team at D&G? How did they set themselves apart from other companies that you were considering?

Thanks. DnG has been doing great work for years on various accounts. They were the agency on a lot of work that I found myself saying “Cool, they go to do that.” In the automotive category they are doing the most different work right now. Working on automotive in the past, I know how tough this can be and when you combine that with a car company experiencing the growth that Kia is, there is much opportunity to do things no one has seen. The diversified client roster and going after new business is such a plus for me too. They just don’t want to stop.

The Makegood: Now that you are on board at D&G, what have been your first projects? How has the transition period been?

I am originally from LA so it hasn’t been uncomfortable at all. Jumping into work on Super Bowl and trying to find a place to live and keep your family happy takes a little creativity, but it is going well.

The Makegood: What are the challenges that come with being the new member of a creative team and fitting into their already established culture? Do your ideas clash at all? And if so, how do you work them out?

Culture is everything and this might sound a bit cliche, but, I don’t really call them challenges, they are more like opportunities to work with people who might see things a whole different way. It’s true. One of the things that I have always loved about this business is that no matter how senior you get, you always have the chance to learn from people and always becoming more prepared to do something new. This may be true in other pursuits as well, but in a creative environment and the culture we live in today, I think it is crucial to creativity. When ideas clash, that is just brilliance forcing its way to the surface. Working them out just means coming at the problem differently and beating it up until you’re happier than where you were before, you never know what brief the hit web series can come from.

The Makegood: How has your experience at other agencies prepared you to do well at D&G?

The diversity of work and the diversity of people and clients I have worked with is what prepared me. I expect that some of these experiences not only prepared me to do well but also will contribute to the agency culture as well. An important thing I have learned in the past is that it is not just enough to come in and do your work, you need to be a force, an energy.

The Makegood: How do you plan to make your mark on D&G while also helping the company grow and excel?

Do what I love doing and live the culture here.