Meet the Team: Jon

Welcome to Meet the Team: Our new blog series where we’ll get chatting to each and every member of the GRIN team.

First up is Jon! Today marks Jon’s 3 year ‘GRINiversary’ (what we like to call our work anniversary). Jon joined to team back in 2018 and now, we couldn’t imagine GRIN without him. We got chatting to him about his passion for all things creative, design influences and his musical talents.

1) What’s your name and what do you do at GRIN?

I am Jon Wesley-May a Mid-Weight Creative here at GRIN. Where I work on a mix of Motion, Design and Web UI briefs, striving to make beautiful and engaging creative.

 

2) How did you end up working in the creative industry?

Since I was young, whether that be being into photography, making music or media, which I studied at college, I was always instinctively creative. Whilst studying media, we had a brief/module where we had to ‘design’ a TV-show intro ident. As soon as I started that project, the dream of being a vision mixer went out the window and design was something that instantly clicked for me. It became a matter of what I would do in the creative industry, not if I would work in the creative industry.

3) What has been your favourite project you’ve worked on while at GRIN?

This past year has been a great experience for me creatively, as I have worked on a multitude of different projects. I focused on developing my motion skills further and becoming more confident in that sector of creative. It’s hard to pick just one, so I will go with two in mind:

The Wonder Stuff – Don’t Anyone Dare Give A Damn

HSBC – Pay by Bank

Beginning as a designer who was passionate about motion, these sort of projects would have been the ones I thought I would never be able to do, or get a chance to work on. So looking back at the past year, these would be my two highlighted experiences for sure.

4) What do you like most about working at GRIN?

I know a lot of people say this at their work, especially in the creative industry. But, it has to be the people I work with, along with the range of briefs I now work on. Being interactive within a team of innovative and visionary people allows for us to work on various briefs with efficiency and versatility.

5) What is your favourite thing about Birmingham?

Nothing. I am from Sheffield*.
Whilst travelling to Birmingham, before travel restrictions were in place, my favourite places to eat were Wasabi and Thai Express. I think I kept those places running during my first two years working at GRIN. I wonder how they’re doing, I miss them.

*Joking

6) What is something that inspires you?

I have a lot of influences and inspirations, some of which are not solely within the design industry. I take a lot of inspiration from musicians, filmmakers and animators. Which I think all have some impression or effect on the way I work and think.

Musicians like Toro Y Moi whose music videos are always amazing and inspiring.

Film makers such as Willem Verbeeck who inspire me to travel and shoot more film photography.

Animators like Ben Marriott whose work I love for the texture and roughness of his design for motion.

7) Is there an artist or designer you admire? And why?

Someone who is a huge influence on me is is Gmunk. A Creative whose work I have followed for a while now. I think it’s the range of creative projects and scale of work he has been a part of that inspires me. I see him as a sort of gauge of what is possible in and out of the industry.

 

8) What are you interested in outside of work/design?

Although my passion for creative/design is at the forefront, close to them is my passion for music and learning instruments. One of my aunt’s had a piano in her house growing up and I was obsessed with it. Once I learnt how to play three chords – that was it. I have been making and been around music longer than design really, but it was always something I didn’t want to make my work. I recently bought a bass guitar and made three tracks that I uploaded for some friends to hear, which you can listen to here:

“I take a lot of inspiration from musicians, film makers and animators.”

9) What has been the most challenging part of adjusting to WFH?

I think for me, the most challenging part at the beginning was missing the studio environment. However, with time I have started to see the benefits of WFH and how to fill in the gaps of making home feel like a studio. I think the future will look different for a lot of agencies, whether that be completely working from home or having a split work setting. It is a case-by-case basis. I like being able to play instruments at home during breaks, but miss being a part of bigger studio environment.

 

10) Plan B? If you weren’t working in the creative industry, what would you be doing and why?

Either making music/soundtracks, film making or photography. I guess they count as the creative industry… so maybe an ice-cream man. Why? Hear me out. At school, we all had to write what we wanted to be when we grew up. Everyone put doctor, astronaut, scientist, as one does. I, on the other hand, drew a picture of an ice cream truck and me eating a lolly inside it. They’d be free in theory, wouldn’t they? I don’t know if that’s how it actually works. But yeah, ice-cream man. Definitely, I like Zzapps.