Six Things You Didn't Know About Johannes Leonardo's Jan Jacobs
Johannes Leonardo co-founder Jan Jacobs launched his agency, along with creative partner Leo Premutico, back in 2007. In just a few years they proved the New York shop's creative muscle by producing some of the best, freshest work for companies like WNYC and Daffy's.
Since then, Johannes Leonardo has gone on to do boundary-breaking work for Google, such as Project Re:brief, which garnered Mr. Jacobs plenty of Cannes Gold Lions, including the first-ever Mobile Grand Prix -- and the distinct honor of being one of Google's longest-serving agency partners. But Mr. Jacobs has plenty of other surprising talents up his sleeve -- as we find out in this week's installment of "Six Things."
1. He learned to draw by copying the spaceships from the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series in the early 1980s. After each episode he'd rush off and recreate the battle scenes. To this day he can draw inanimate objects, but he says he's "hopeless" at drawing people.
2. He once abandoned a 1960s Lancia Fulvia. The chassis had broken right behind the engine, with the result that the car noticeably folded into a V every time you accelerated -- to the amusement of everyone that wasn't inside the car. It got progressively worse until one day it "just died", free-wheeling downhill until it came to a standstill. He left the car there, under a tree, keys inside and walked away. He never saw it again.
3. A guy bit him one night, resulting in his first tetanus injection. He says "this is a story best discussed over a beer," but perhaps because it all started because of beers?
4. He once took his girlfriend on a 16-hour ferry-boat ride to go surf the waves on the island of Nias in Indonesia. They slept in the bow, next to farm animals, in a cabin 4-feet high -- the roof was crawling with cockroaches. "The boat had just been painted baby blue, which may sound nice until you're trapped inside and are suffocating because of the paint fumes," he said. Remarkably, his girlfriend married him a couple of years later and they now have three kids.
5. He grew up speaking Afrikaans -- a derivative of Dutch, only spoken in South Africa.
6. Not only did he once have hair, he had Flock of Seagulls hair. It's an image he'd like to leave with everyone, serving as actual evidence that he had hair and "great hair" at that.