Creative Mind Podcast 22: Jonathan Deiss

“Education isn’t just about what you’re learning. It’s also about learning to learn.”

“I think one of the things about the creative professions in general is built into them inherently is problem solving. If you want to become, say a biologist, really what you’re doing as a biologist is you’re discovering things that already exist. As a creative you’re inventing things that don’t exist.”

Creative director and entrepreneur Jonathan Deiss has had a very unique career. After being accepted to Ivy League schools to study architecture, eventually graduating with a Master’s Degree from UCLA, Jonathan headed down the path to deign buildings. However, it was what become known as Web 1.0/2.0 that attracted him more, to work in burgeoning world of websites and digital design. Jonathan realized, “Education isn’t just about what you’re learning. It’s also about learning to learn.”

Rising Up The Ranks

Over the years Jonathan rose up the ranks of advertising agencies like Tribal DDB, Dailey & Associates, Trailer Park, TBWA Chiat Day, The Ant Farm, mOcean, Real Pie, Mojo, Publicis, Leo Burnett and Sapient. He has overseen accounts for Activision, Clearwire, Wells Fargo, Epson, ESPN, Warner Brothers, Disney, Kia, Mutual of Omaha, Disney, Paramount, Fox, and Sony to name a few.

He’s done a lot of TV, film and video game marketing as well as traditional marketing. He then went “client side” and helmed creative for Beachbody globally and was responsible for all creative department business including, not only all design direction, but also department budgeting and administration, talent acquisition and retention, and product development.

Hungry, Curious

When talking about all of the projects he has worked on and projects he has overseen, Jonathan points out, “You have to learn the discipline of learning in order to succeed in life. One of the ways that I’ve succeeded is by having a hunger for figuring things out. And the only way you get hungry about figuring things out is if you train yourself over the course of your life from childhood, to have an interest in discovery to have curiosity, to be interested in new things, new ideas, new information.”

That curiosity led to Jonathan creating two new ventures, two projects that could not be more different from each other. TheThrillStudio.com is the home 3D printed orcs, dragons and wizards. Micowilderness.com is the home to spiders that are as large as your hand. When we talked it was hard not to chuckle at the idea of spiders but Jonathan said something very wise:

“Whether or not you’re going to be a great professional in whatever industry you choose is going to be more based on your work ethic, your, your intelligence, your ability to problem solve and your attitude.”

And he is right. So, enjoy this episode of Creative Mind.


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