Always being in front of a camera lens and trying to express her talent and ideas is how Jana Jamaleddine, motion designer at The Creative 9, remembers her childhood self. As a kid she was always interested in everything to do with media, acting, music and the arts overall. Although never neglecting the sciences at school, her passion was with the arts ever since she can remember.
When she was younger, Jana dabbled in a lot of art mediums before settling on one. She played the piano for a while, but she says her attention span and lack of patience got in the way. Later, she started enjoying drawing classes and acting. “I could never forget how I used to bring myself to sleep to the thought that someday I will be performing in a musical on Broadway.”
Those dreams of acting are what took her to university, where she majored in cinema and describes the experience as “fulfilling and one of the best experience that impacted [her] perspective on art, love and life.” Other major influences on those parts of her worldview were her father, who worked in book design, from whom she learned a lot - as well as the diverse background of her school in Beirut. “The school welcomed students and professors from very different backgrounds, statuses and races. That taught me a lot about diversity as well as impacting on my perspective on everything.”
Before officially entering advertising, Jana took a variety of small jobs, such as birthday animator, actress and voice-over artist among others. “Then I started building my motion graphics experience while I was a pre-graduate. I used to immerse myself in editing and animation classes that most of my friends used to consider break sessions.” However, Jana would strongly disagree. When talking about how she honed her craft, she simply says: “Practice, practice and practice.” From observing her supervisors at work and practising, to the coaching she got from her peers, honing her craft wasn’t a hard and fast process - and certainly nothing easy. Self-teaching, trial and error and long hours spent looking closely at what others were doing took her to the heights she has reached today. About the lessons she learned from those early days, she has only two things to add: “Patience and perseverance.”
Those two assets are exactly what led her to one of her first professional projects that she considers a milestone in her career. A campaign she did with The Creative 9 for their client AUD, celebrating UAE’s national day. “My job consisted of coming up with the film and campaign visuals to communicate the occasion in an emotional way. Even though it was a rather small production, the success and positive feedback it received from the client and the audience makes me so happy.”
Another project she points to as a pivotal one is a recent brand campaign she took part in for a healthcare client in Dubai. With a challenging brief, from the brainstorming sessions, to actually building the ideas and creating the visual communication, the entire process was a great learning curve for Jana.
Projects like this one, where deadlines are tight and expectations are high, are what makes the motion designer love her job even more. To her, as for many other creatives, there isn’t such thing as a bad idea during brainstorming. “You can imagine the laughs that take place during brainstorming sessions when we throw the good the bad and the ugly ideas around to spark better ones. I really enjoy pushing the boundaries, questioning the idea and reframing it, getting creative. I love watching my peers’ faces light up when they love an idea.”
On the flip side, some rougher parts of the industry and the job for Jana are how fast the industry is expanding, making it easier for people to get access to designing, editing and animating content on mobile devices. To her, this immensely affects the quality of work being produced. Another thing is the unrealistic delievery expectations set by clients, “This is also something that obviously affects the quality of the work, so we always try to push back at the agency, looking at how we shouldn’t be obliged to follow the quantity over quality rule when crafting.”
With the bad always comes the good – creating pieces that can speak to others, touch their hearts and leave a mark is what Jana loves the most. The advertising world allows her to explore those parts of her workflow where she feels the most free to come up with out-of-the-box ideas and, although as a cinema graduate she understands she still needs some guidance through Adworld, she knows it’s where she can grow into her best artistic self.
“What keeps me going in the communication industry and life in general is the hunger I have to learn and try new things every day, because only then I will be discovering my own personality, interests and passions. I aspire to become the best unique version of myself in what I do, while hopefully inspiring and influencing others to do the same.”