This is so funny! You know why? Coz you’re curious, just like me. I’m Poptasi. But before I tell you all about Poptasi, let me first let warn you : I am not from this planet. I know, it’s hard to comprehend. Give it some time. You’ll get used to it. Just like the people who once thought this planet was flat. Crazy.
Anywayz. I’ve been roaming this planet for quite some years now. I’ve been observing and analysing. Learning and adapting. That’s what i’m a master at, adapting. Sometimes i am so good at it, that i forget who i am.
I do not fit in any pattern. There is no label for me. I know it’s confusing. If there is no label, you earth people do not understand. Coz you’re the masters in labeling. You label e-ve-ry-thing.
So if some things (or me) do not make sense to you, do not worry. I’m used to it. Give it some time. Let it sink in. Just remember, the planet isn’t flat right?
Now we’ve got that sorted, let me give you another warning. Because this is probably the longest ‘About’ page ever. That doesn’t make sense, right? Well at least for now it doesn’t. Remember the flat planet. Online experts advise me to keep this page brief and concise. But hey, rules are there to be broken, right?
It’s not just the longest, but possibly also the most honest about-page. Coz I’m not just gonna cover the ‘beautiful and successful’ things about me, like almost everyone else does. No. I’ll share with you all about Poptasi. The good, the bad and the ugly choices i made. My nice and dark times. One doesn’t go without the other. So if you’re still here, still reading, then I’d say sit down, relax and enjoy.
Did you also have a dream of what you wanted to be when you grow up? I didn’t. Although I am a dreamer. Or … is that just having a rich fantasy ..? Anyhow I didn’t have a dream that I wanted to live up to. I simply liked many things. Too many maybe. Still actually.
I am Poptasi. Previously known as Poptasi. I was registered, as you say ‘born’ in Amsterdam on 19th of March 1971. I’m doing creative communication (advertising) since 1993. As an art director and creative director. Not just in the Netherlands, but also in Slovenia and Argentina. Amongst many other things I also worked as a snowboard instructor in the Austrian Alps.
In 2010 I became patissier. Just for fun. In 2012 I opened the first macaron shop in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam. Shop, bakery, lounge, webshop. All of that. The shop is already closed now though.
Make a choice
During highschool, I still could not decide what I wanted to be when i grow up. But I had to choose something. So I decided to study Information Technology (yes, IT). That sounded interesting to me, something with computers. But after one year I learned that it wasn’t quite my thing. What to do then?
I observed what other people did. It struck me that many people chose a profession from what they had already done since childhood. That’s why they were so good at it.
But, what was I good at? I had no idea. I liked too many things. The only thing I could think of is that I’ve been drawing since my little toddler fingers could hold a pencil. But how to make a profession out of that.
Two channels and paper letters
Years ago, at times when there were only two channels on Dutch television (Nederland 1 and 2) I saw a television program from Veronica. It was about ‘how to become a creative in advertising’. That sounded like the answer i was searching for. So I wrote a letter to Veronica. Yes a paper letter. Emails did not exist in those days. And Veronica sent me a letter back, with a list of all creative educations in the Netherlands. I contacted all those schools by traditional mail and requested information.
They all send me brochures. Paper ones. I then placed all these on a table and made a selection. I visited the most interesting ones. And I learned that one was too woolly. The other too simple. But the last one on my list was the Academy for Art Direction and Design in Amsterdam.
Academy for Art Direction and Design
It was a private school. With only room for a limited number of students per year. You first had to go through the selection procedure. Like an job interview. By showing your work.
So I started drawing and painting. Different techniques. Except charcoal drawings. I didn’t do that one. Because I don’t like to work with charcoal. You only get dirty hands and nails. I prefer pencil, ink and acrylic paint. Nevermind.
Like a job interview
Somewhat nervously I went with my artworks to my appointment with the director, Joost. Attentively, he leafed through my work. I will never forget what he said when he was finished: ‘You are an exception’. I thought exception? Why exception? What do you mean with exception? Why me? Does he know i’m not from here? I do not want to be an exception.
Then he said: ‘I still miss one technique. Charcoal. But judging your work, I believe you’ve got that covered. You are admitted.’ I was flabbergasted. My face changed into one big big smile.
It was not until later that I discovered that all my classmates had received a home assignment for their application. Depending on how you performed that assignment, you were admitted.
Life after school
After my exam, I did two things. I started my own graphic studio. And I started working as a manager at McDonald’s. I enjoyed both to the fullest. That way I had an income. And I could enjoy the creative life, without having to worry about whether I got enough assignments.
After a few years I got a job at a large advertising agency in Amsterdam. And guess who their big client was: McDonald’s! Yay!
There is only one way to find out
But in time, as curious as I am, I wanted to discover what kind of advertising agency I liked the most. A large or a small one. Since there was only one way to find out, I went freelancing. That’s how I got to know a lot of agencies. The advertising world is not that big tho.
After a few years of freelancing, I started missing a regular team. Freelancing was fun. But having to work with new people all the time, didn’t take me where I wanted to go. I needed people I could count on. Can build on. And grow together with.
It’s a Grey Worldwide after all
I got a job at Grey Worldwide in Amsterdam. Then from Art Director in Amsterdam I became Creative Director at Grey Worldwide in Ljubljana, in Slovenia. Yes! Now I could lead the entire creative department. Bring creativity to a new level. That was so much fun. The agency was very happy with me. And I with the agency.
My enthusiasm was unstoppable. At least that’s what I thought. In my enthusiasm I bit off more than I could chew. I went on and on. Instead of just running my department, I ended up leading the entire agency.
I found out too late
The agency was super happy with me training and guiding all departments. But ultimately I wasn’t. I only worked more and more. Which I found out too late. Resulting in being completely empty at a certain moment. Literally. I could not do anything anymore. I was anything but productive. Let alone creative. I didn’t understand .I adapted too much. Nothing made sense anymore.
I felt defeated. The only thing I could do was stop. Even though my colleagues did not agree, I had failed. With pain in my heart I resigned. And returned to the Netherlands again.
Burn baby burn
Then I did nothing for a while. I was done with everything, forgot who I was. I was lost. During that time I discovered that I had a burnout. Literally burned out. That’s exactly how it felt. Now that I knew that, the pieces slowly began to fall into place again. I could start my recovery. Find my way back.
But where to start? Well, then you go to a specialist. Almost everyone does. Except if you’re Poptasi. Asking for help and saying no, are my weak points. Because why would you ask for help if you can do it yourself, right?
So I found a solution myself. By staying creative, as long as it had nothing to do with commerce. So I started drawing, painting, making statues and designing t-shirts.
I went to school in in Australian Alps. Seemed fun to me. To become a Snowboard Instructor. The mountains and the alpine air did me good. I found myself again. I felt good again.
Miracles do exist
Miraculously I found a house in Amsterdam and a job at an advertising agency in one week. That felt good. I was back in business.
But after a few years, the agency did not fulfil my needs anymore. Omg. But instead of just going on, I decided to stop. Fortunately I had learned from my burnout. Just doing nothing for a while. I started to design a new t-shirt collection. Just because I could.
Below your level
Then I ended up at a small graphic agency. The only thing was that the job was far below my level. I mean, I was over-qualified. For me it was more a hobby club. But the people there were super nice. So it balanced the other out. Only then I learned something new. Which is that there is nothing wrong with working below your level, as long as you do not do it for too long.
So you probably guessed already. I stayed there for too long. My enthusiasm and good intentions to help the office grow, turned against me. Fun was not fun anymore. Hard to believe, but my friendship with the boss had reached the level that I was fired by him through a text message. Seriously.
Coincidence does not exist. Or does it?
Now it is a coincidence that coincidence does not exist. But I had also started attending Patisserie school next to to my work. Just for fun. Four days a week working at the agency and one day a week to school. It was then when I fell for the charm of macarons. So I plunged in.
I was eager to find a balance between art direction and pastry. So I opened the first macaron shop in the Netherlands. Although the truth is that I never found that balance. Because pastry consumed all creativity. But I was enjoying to the max. Though I had to close the shop coz of many circumstances.
So then what. Just nothing. Well… doing nothing is nothing for me. I always do something. But I had to make a choice of what I’m going to do next. Again. I can do a lot, but choosing is not one of them.
Not so long ago I wrote a blog Later when I grow up. A friend tipped a TEDx presentation from Emilie Wapnick in a reaction to my blog. Only then did I understand why I have so many interests. And why I want to do so many things. Why I get bored when I do something for too long. There was nothing wrong with me. No. I was just a multipotentialite.
I wanted to know everything about it. Because it seemed like it was totally about me. So I bought their book Renaissance Business. That book promised to help you become a professional of your ‘multi potentials’. And that is exactly where I am now. So I do not have to choose at all. I can just do everything. And it is also logical. The pieces have fallen into place. This is how ‘become a rockstar’ was born. The quest to discover your true self.
About Poptasi multipotentialite
What kind of multipotentialite am I then? Well, a designer, copy writer, painter, advertising psychologist, illustrator, DJ, producer, art director, filmmaker, toy designer, web designer, video editor, patissier, artist and coach. The list is getting longer and longer. I am the most sensitive being roaming this planet. Blessed with the curse of perfectionism. Yes for me it is a quest too. I’m learning something new every day. With falling and rising. But when I rise, I am a star that shines. A star that rocks.
Two years later
I wrote this ‘About Poptasi’ page in 2018. While i’m writing this, it’s 2020. In 2018 I was a Multipotentialite. At least, that’s as far as my knowledge took me then. But my brain never stops. Whether I like it or not, it just keeps on thinking and philosophizing. Even when i’m asleep. Now i’m even closer to the source. The core. I’ve discovered what my drive is. Why I’m roaming this planet. The essence. Why things are what they are. What’s it all about. That’s simply it. I am an essengineer. And so the circle to rockstar is round again. Can you still follow me?
Now you know (almost) everything about me. Tho if you have any questions, please just ask me. Love, Poptasi