#EmbraceEquity with judge Jane Jin
A Q&A with 2023 Student judge
March 8, 2023
In recognition of this year's International Women's Day (#EmbraceEquity) we wanted to celebrate all the talented hard-working women in our industry and so, we approached the women jurors of our three 2023 Awards competitions – Photography & Illustration, Design and Student - with a Q&A. We wanted to provide them with a space to discuss their experience in the industry today as well as share their advice to up-and-coming creatives.
Jane Jin, Art Director, George P. Johnson Experience, Auburn Hills, MI.
How did you end up in the industry?
I’ve always been interested in poetry, fictional writing and Art in general.
Having graduated with a Communication major, I was lost and not sure which industry I would like to go into further. Journalism or PR both seemed a little too serious and far-fetched for me. I decided to go into creative writing, ie. copywriter in advertising. However, with no references, no real work experience in the creative industry, it was difficult to get my foot into the door. I decided to go to a portfolio school in Germany for advertising, while this time, I had more of a focus in developing my art direction skills and conceptual thinking skills.
What were your goals as an up-and-coming creative?
In the very beginning, I was very much into the idea of proving myself and my skills to the employers and my peers. The job searching period right after college has left such a substantial impact on my perspectives as a creative. I realized that only advocating yourself as creative to people is simply not enough. People want proof. I started to invest most of my time working with other ambitious and amazing friends on awards such as: ANDYs, Clio award, NY Festival advertising award, Webby award, ADC, and D&AD, etc. The process of shaping the ideas into campaigns was such a rewarding experience, especially when working with an amazing team. I got lost on the ride of the creative highs, and even now, I simply couldn’t forget. The experience has given me more confidence as a creative, I’d say at the time, maybe a little too much.
Now my goal is to be level-headed and be a real team player for my teammates. Be a valuable and reliable person for my team. Trying to be as authentic and genuine as possible with my ideas/ concepts and be more humble and patient to anyone who might have a different experience than me.
Who was your mentor?
I had a lot of mentors on my creative journey, teaching me great lessons here and there. Though none of them are physically close to me at the moment (Since I moved a lot in the beginning of my career), we still occasionally contact each other via email. I have someone at work I deem as my mentor. I am a little awkward about putting my coworker here on a blast, but I learned a great deal from the leadership at my job.
What was your experience climbing the creative ladder?
Creative industry is like any other, a human industry. The people in the industry have taught me a great deal about work and value. Of course, there have been difficulties or tribulations here and there, but nowadays, I am able to see it as more of a challenge than an inconvenience.
The more you know people, the better you can tell a good story that can move others.
Do you feel the creative industry has evolved when it comes to fairness to women in the workplace?
Never felt that being a woman has slowed me down in general in the creative industry, so I’d say I felt no difference from the past and now. I guess I am pretty lucky in that regard.
What is your advice to young creative women seeking a career in the industry today?
Be ambitious and proactive in reaching out to the right people to form creative teams. Different teams for different campaigns. Learn how to best work with different types of creatives. Focus on awards that have credit in the field and build your reputation up as a creative. (very important) When you have an impressive portfolio of works and awards, don’t be shy in reaching out to as many people as you can. Make your work and effort known. Learn how to advertise yourself and present your value to the employers. Confidence is important, however, no ego when working with others. Stay humble and be a good team player. People will appreciate you eventually, or even if not, you will still gain in other aspects, for sure.