Tomás Ostiglia: ‘Be generous. You will get a lot in return’
Posted on 2019 Nov,28  | By Nils Adriaans & Gijs de Swarte

LOLA Mullen Lowe Madrid is the number one, most creative agency in Spain. Last year, Tomás Ostiglia the agency’s Executive Creative Director ranked third among the world’s most awarded creative directors. Learn from Tomás' some real life, success-driven advice for your entire career as a creative.


1) What was your biggest fear when you just started?

Tomás Ostiglia: ‘My biggest fear when I was just starting out was the fear of not being able to come up with anything at all. But over time, I realized that this is impossible. If you have passion for this profession, don’t worry. Something of value always comes out. If you really put in blood, sweat and tears, dedicate hours and hours and – important - also have a bit of luck, something good will happen. At least, that’s my experience so far.’

2) Please describe your key-career break moment…

‘The first key career break moment that I remember was the first time I truly participated in the whole process. From reading the brief to hours of thinking, creating, producing, making a ton of changes, selling it and seeing the published piece out there in the world. From then on, I knew this job had hooked me. That really was a breakthrough moment for me.’

3) What was the lesson learned from your most loved mistake?

‘​M​y most loved mistake? Well, I have so many that I wouldn’t know which one to choose. But one of the biggest mistakes I learned early on is forcing the situation too hard to make an idea happen. Pushing against and disagreeing with everyone doesn’t do it. Yes, it might lead to your idea being published but you can be sure not everyone will like it, and it probably won’t work either. I think in this profession its important to move forward in search of consensus, listening to the people around you, listening to people you trust and admire.’

4) Where do you get your inspiration?

‘I get my inspiration from things that spark a light in me. Art is my main influence; modern, classic, underground art, all kinds, always. But I‘m also inspired by experiences like travel and a great night out - and of course by people in all their uniqueness. Being in this trade, that last one is a sort of a requirement.’

‘Be generous. You will get a lot in return’

5) If you want to get ahead in advertising these days, please, please do not ever…

‘In advertising but also in life, to get ahead and be able to sleep at night, please don’t be selfish. Playing just for yourself you will end up to be playing against yourself. One thing you will find out sooner or later, in advertising, if you’re generous, you will get a lot in return.’

6)  If I was a millennial and wanted to start in advertising now, I would…

‘Get stuff done. Then do some more. Today you have the tools to produce whatever you want, so stop spinning around in circles and do it. The tools are available, start creating… it will make you grow and it will create opportunities for you. Also – very important - make sure you enjoy what you do. Have a lot of fun. Mind all those important things that cannot be bought. And - be honest with yourself, don’t fake it, or again - you will end up playing against yourself.’

(6,5) Also, I'd like to state that…

‘As the great Amy Poehler once said, ‘Nobody looks stupid when they’re having fun’. So go have fun, and while you’re at it make it worthwhile.’