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Jonathan Moore: Interactive & Productive

New Ezra, aka Jonathan Moore, discusses his layered approach to organization and the need for constant client communication -- like it or not.

“Genius? Nothing! Sticking to it is the genius! Any other bright-minded fellow can accomplish just as much if he will stick like hell and remember: nothing that’s any good works by itself. You’ve got to make the damn thing work!” So said Thomas Edison, a man that made many ideas happen. We have much to learn from the creative minds around us that actually act on ideas. Behance was thrilled to have a discussion with Jonathan Moore, an especially productive interactive designer that has made a real impact in his industry.

Jonathan Moore has been a trailblazer for six years, working under the moniker New Ezra and as Senior Art Director at 2Advanced Studios. He has developed interactive campaigns for clients such as Disney, Lexus, Electronic Arts, Adobe and Adidas, and has received awards from around the world. He has also utilized his experience to develop new brands including Groove Roll, a company that will likely launch this summer. Jonathan’s insights help us understand the depth and success of his work.”Many times it pays to shut the computer off and open up a notebook to sketch ideas,” suggests Jonathan. He explains, “…when I come up with an unconventional idea I will take two or three hours develop (it)…without taking the time to explore an idea, it is easy to find yourself knee-deep in an idea that doesn’t even make sense for the project in the first place.”
As for ensuring that his time is well spent, Jonathan invests time in staying organized. His approach to staying organized involves the following methods:

Write everything down!

  • “Sometimes it’s easy to remember client directives from a meeting, but when you’re transitioning between multiple projects it is easy to forget small details.”

Organize before the journey.

  • “Before starting the creative process take the time to organize all the client information, assets, and research.”

Separate components into folders.

  • “During the design phase keep Photoshop files organized with layers named and sections or elements of the design separated into folders.”

Consider the needs of collaborators.

  • “When you are in the production and build phases try to keep specific portions of the project separate to allow for others to assist with aspects of the project.  Also, always comment your code.  This will minimize the learning curve as others jump onto the project.”

Jonathan is also an advocate for constant communication. “Keeping in contact with the client helps to prevent feature creep and last-minute surprises during the project.”

The moment I have an idea I will take the time to quickly jot it down or act on it.

Despite early success, keep investing in your own development. Jonathan recalls, “when I was first starting out in the industry, I remember countless hours staying up all night learning and designing purely for the enjoyment of it.  It was a process of education and honing my creative style.  Now that I find myself surrounded by projects and freelance opportunities, it’s easy to neglect the personal explorations.”

Jonathan’s creative process fosters accountability and taking action. “The moment I have an idea I will take the time to quickly jot it down or act on it.  It is also helpful to start talking to as many people as possible about the idea – especially people outside of the creative industry for a different perspective; my wife is excellent at this. Vocalizing the idea also gets it out into the public and personally holds you accountable to seeing the project through.”

Increased collaboration is directly related to quality. Jonathan explains, “when faced with the pressure to creatively produce, it’s easy to stick to the client’s expectations and simply ‘get the job done.’” However, Jonathan strives to bounce ideas around with others, a procedure that he believes will “bring any interactive project to life.” His frequent collaborators include Eric Jordan, Shane Mielke, and Elder Jerez Jr. among others.

Jonathan questions the conventional wisdom of what it takes to succeed in creative industries. As he explains, “when I first started off in the creative industry I had very little experience and no formal education.  I remember sending out countless resumes and letters to every company and studio that I could think of, all with no response.  As a result I began to take on freelance projects to try to improve my portfolio… Over the three years operating New Ezra as a freelance studio, in order to survive, I took on every project that came my way, including magazine ads, trade show booth design, php development, 3D modeling, interactive design, and the list could go on.  This ‘learn it as I go’ approach helped expose me to many aspects of advertising and marketing which eventually lead me to working at 2Advanced. Formal education is incredibly important, but not essential to achieving success in the creative industry.  Determination and drive will see you through.”

Jonathan encourages creative professionals, from across industries, “to not cave under critiques and negativity.” He goes on to explain, “occasionally you will run into others that will attempt to discourage your efforts, but standing strong to achieving success both creatively and within your career will always allow you to rise above opposition. You don’t have to be the best at what you do, but you do have to be persistent at seeing your goals come to life.”

Comments (2)
  • standrew

    Being in the earlier stages of a creative career it’s very refreshing to hear someone with more experience atest their success to drive and determination over formal education.<br />
    <br />
    I strongly believe persistence is king!<br />
    <br />
    Andrew<br />

  • Renjamin

    Great Interview Jonathan.<br />
    Good to hear your comments about persistence.<br />
    <br />
    Keep on fighting the good fight homes.<br />
    <br />
    Renato<br />

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