Staff Reporters
Mar 28, 2024

Creative Minds: Zosia Ella Kilpatrick's quest for happiness beneath the turquoise waves

An active surfer, a weekend gardener and a wellness enthusiast, the award-winning MullenLowe creative shares secrets to inner peace.

Creative Minds: Zosia Ella Kilpatrick's quest for happiness beneath the turquoise waves
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Zosia Ella Kilpatrick

Origin: Perth, Western Australia

Places lived and worked: I was born in Singapore, moved to Toronto for education, and then lived and worked in Indonesia, Melbourne, and Perth. 

Pronouns: She/Her


Senior copywriter, 303 Mullenlowe, Perth, April 2022 to present
Senior copywriter and strategist, Willow & Blake, Melbourne, April 2021 to April 2022
Senior copywriter, Clemenger, Melbourne, April 2019 to April 2021
Senior copywriter/founder, ZEK copywriting, Indonesia, July 2018 to April 2019
Copywriter, McCann, Melbourne, Feb 2017 to July 2018
Copywriter, The Brand Agency, Perth, June 2016 to Feb 2017

1. How did you end up being a creative?

A day in the life of Zosh. I rewrote a Beatles song in an attempt to explore the existential dread I was feeling whilst working in a marketing department. This piece of writing got me into Award School. I came second in my state and was offered my first job as a copywriter.

2. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

Like Pixar’s Walle, this ad’s core reason for being is to ‘find the beauty’. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out Andrew Stanton’s Ted Talk: The Clues to a Great Story. From the stunning soundtrack to the visuals, it does a great job of touching the viewer on a surprisingly deep level…for a hardware store, anyway—and showing us, in a slightly heightened, hot-actor kind of way, what it means to be human.

I often play this ad just to feel something. Maybe that’s weird, or maybe it’s just good advertising. 

3. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

Queens On The Edge: this three-part series promises laughs as long as the Busso Jetty, personalities as big as the waves in Margaret River and wisdom as ancient as the Karri trees in Pemberton. The Southwest of Australia is a stunning tourist destination home to enchanting forests, pristine beaches, and quaint little towns. However, after conducting our own research—going on a real road trip—we discovered what was truly unique about this part of the world, which was actually the endearing and oh-so-quirky residents who call it home.

The matriarchs of this region are the wildest, most beautifully eccentric, and free-spirited older women you’ll ever meet. So, we recruited four of the most fabulous, documenting them as they ticked off their ‘F*ck it' lists on an epic road trip that became our campaign.

4. What makes you really happy?

I’m not your traditional ad woman. I no longer drink whiskey at 8 pm on a Tuesday in the office.  These days, I make my own food from scratch. I spend my weekends in the garden worm-pooping my herbs and veggies. I also get up early most mornings to go for a surf. I actually started surfing later in life. I needed a big distraction after turning thirty and breaking up with my long-term, box-ticking boyfriend. And geez was surfing it.

I will boldly say it’s one of the hardest sports in the world. Beyond lots of arm strength, you need an almost tracker-esque understanding of the ocean, as well as a deep understanding of human psychology when dealing with the primal brutality of a busy line-up. There’s also a spiritual component to it, which can make you talk a bit like that surf instructor from Forgetting Sarah Marshall but connect you with nature on a whole other level. When all the above comes together, and you drop in on a beautiful turquoise face, positioning yourself perfectly in the wave’s power pocket, there’s no better feeling in the world. And it makes me feel stupidly happy, so much so that I have been known to let out a sneaky ‘yeow’ or ‘pew pew pew’. Yep.

5. What or who are your key creative influences?

Blake Snyder’s screenwriting book ‘Save The Cat’ and K.M Weiland’s insights into character arcs had a big influence on my understanding of storytelling. I can also now guess almost every movie ending, which means I am forced to seek out films written by people like Aaron Sorkins or David Mamet who have since become other creative influences of mine.

Lord Dunsany introduced me to fantastical, poetic prose, and Neil Gaiman to the most quintessentially human prose, even though the settings are often the most magical. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel ‘The Signature Of All Things’ helped me discover the meaning of life through the most insignificant of things: moss. Similarly, Somerset Maugham’s ‘Of Human Bondage’ explored the meaning of life through seemingly insignificant and, at times, unlikeable characters. Yet their humanity slaps you in the face, waking you up to your own. 

Jame’s Clear’s Atomic Habits, Scott Pape’s financial advice as well as many others, have all helped my creativity thrive and even extend out into home organisation and investment strategies which are proving a lot more lucrative than creative advertising.

6. What kind of student were you?

I was good at school. And it paid off as I had an ECD once hire me purely off my TER score. When I told him I received 98.25 and had done physics, he didn’t even look at my portfolio, but told me I’d got the job. Disclaimer: I was also super green, so I doubt my portfolio had much merit, but it still helps to have a broad understanding of many different topics – including maths! I actually love maths.

Whilst I was a good student, I would also skip school. But the I would do that to study at home. Self-learning has always been my thing. Or to read the latest Harry Potter book… 

7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

A boy broke my heart, so instead of binge-watching rom-coms, I took the bus to the airport and bought a ticket for the next flight. It took me to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, where I obtained work illegally as a lifeguard at a Club Med resort. With no lifeguarding experience or qualifications whatsoever, I sat majestically up on one of those ridiculously high poolside chairs. And didn’t do much else except dance for the guests on the edge of the pool in perfect unison with the other staff members in classic Club Med style.

8. Who do you most admire?

My dad. He is an architect who began his career designing resorts before moving on to…prisons! He’s always been interested in the way a space can help rehabilitate those within it. He helped design this one prison around an actual river. The river still flows through it to this day, helping its inhabitants heal. To me, that’s incredibly creative.

My partner is an aerospace engineer, carpenter, pasta maker, and swan-like surfer—all rolled into one. He’s also one of the most creative people I know. If there was a human who perfectly combined the sciences and arts into one beautiful being, it would definitely be him.

My mum, because I can’t say my dad and not mention her. Also an architect and a lover of all the artsfrom contemporary dance to crochetingmy mother introduced me to literature from an early age. And when I say early, I mean early! I read books like Bernard Schlink’s ‘The Reader’ before my twelfth birthday. That was quite the sexual awakening. She also taught me that books can save your life. Turns out they really can

9. What app could you absolutely not live without? What app do you wish you could delete?

My Headspace app is crucial, especially when working in an ad agency, but honestly, I don’t believe there’s any app I couldn’t live without. I’ve consciously decided to minimise, if not completely reduce, my social media and general digital presence. Sure, I still keep up to date with it for work, but personally, I keep myself to myself and also keep my anxiety at all-time low levels.

I’m actually pretty passionate about this topic, so much so I wrote a little opinion piece about it, which you can check out here.

10. What advice would you give to a 10-year-old you, if you could?

Invest in bitcoin and Netflix! Maybe not such appropriate advice for a ten-year-old.

I’d tell her to stop watching Disney movies about princesses who believe their self-worth lies in finding their prince. I’d tell her our period is actually our superpower and not something to be ashamed of. I’d tell her that ‘fat’ is not a feeling and she is perfect just the way she is. I’d tell her that braces are not the end of the world. And that she will be kissed. I’d tell her to be kinder to her little brother. He’ll be way cooler than her one day. I’d tell her I’ve spent twenty-plus years trying to find her and that it was really good to see her.

11. What's your guilty pleasure?

On occasion, I love to binge-watch reality TV. From ‘Too Hot Too Handle’ and the hilariously condescending writing behind the AI presenter ‘Lana’ to ‘Love Is Blind’ and that part of every season where the blind contestants finally see each other and most realise love is definitely not blind, to ‘Love On The Spectrum’ and it’s light-hearted, yet deeply touching portrayal of neurodivergent individuals. If you want to learn about the human condition in a raw and extremely real environment, there really is no better way.

Campaign Asia

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