Speaking to our latest BLUP50 member, recent grad, rising talent and Studio BLUP designer Jamaal, all eyes on him as he puts in the hours, hustling towards greatness.
// YOUR WORD FOR 2021
// WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN ONLINE/INSTAGRAM /TIKTOK / TWITTER THAT HAS STOPPED YOU SCROLLING?
Daniel Kaluuya winning an Oscar.
// GIVE US A WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
So, during my years of university I began freelancing. I took on as many projects as possible to help develop my design as well as business skills. I also interned with M&C Saatchi during my time which was great fun. I made some friends and some great connections. I then completed my graphic design studies and graduated at the University of Greenwich in the class of 2020. During summer of 2020 I started an internship with my now mentor, Joseph J Marshall where I got to learn about videography and photography as well as develop my graphic design skills through multiple live projects. During the same summer I also got the chance to shoot some behind the scenes film for The Heavytrackerz ft Scorcher amd Kojey Radical – 500 likes! Absolute banger! Once summer was over I got a contracted job at Studio BLUP and have enjoyed working with them ever since.
I have recently gained the opportunity to be a part of SBTV x Adobe x JeDelve’s program – a series following talented young creators embarking on a mission to gain insight and experience within the music industry.
//WHAT DOES 24 HOURS IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
Well… haha, I’m up before 8am working properly from 9am to 6pm with Studio BLUP. Then going for walks with my little sister around 6:30pm to step outside of the house and keep my mind stimulated for 30 minutes. If I am not doing that then I am either sketching or drawing up ideas to post on my design account @jamaal.gfx. Lastly, to top off the day I relax with the family and watch a film on Netflix or watching some anime or reading manga in my own time. I’m currently reading Solo Leveling, waiting on Bleach to come back but of course still watching One Piece weekly and many, many other anime at the same time!
// WHAT DO YOU DO TO SWITCH OFF OR CHILL?
Oouuu. So I’m either catching up on the latest episodes of anime, playing Super Smash Bros on my Nintendo Switch or watching films on Netflix. I have also rekindled my love for photography and film so now on my daily walks I take my camera with me and capture some shots of my neighbourhood. I also like to create merchandise concepts for a future clothing brand in my spare time. But most recently I have bought a pair of roller skates to cruise on, on trips out with the boys. But that’s still a work in progress haha.
// WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR BEST CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
I would definitely say that working with Joseph J Marshall during summer was a great career highlight so far. It has been such an eye opener for me! I have learnt so much about videography and how to apply aspects of it within my portfolio. I feel like my growth as a designer is endless. Working with Joe made me realise how much I love film and photography again and to practice whenever I get the chance! Big shoutout to Joseph J Marshall. He’s my mentor and a great friend!
// WHAT DO YOU SEE IN YOUR FUTURE?
Recently, I have discovered my love for film and photography as well as being a graphic designer. I would love to strive for an art directors role within the sports industry. I would like to direct sport adverts like NIKE’s Equality campaign as well as their sports marketing adverts.
// IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ONE CREATIVE/BRAND WHO WOULD IT BE?
I feel like everyone wants to work with NIKE and that’s cold but honestly right now I would like to collaborate with New Balance. They have really been getting their advertising right for me recently. The experience, the tone and the message. It feels really nostalgic and motivational. The hype is mad. I would love to work on a film with them.
// WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
My parents are my greatest inspiration, my mum in particular because she has always taught me to be nice but to be a strong minded and willed person too – to never give up but to know when to pick my battles! I wouldn’t have made it this far without her haha.
// YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF 2021 SO FAR?
Mad ting. I would say Unknown T – WW2. Too cold with the flows, melodies, storytelling, word play, energy, instrumental! Aaaaaaaah it’s unrivaled for me personally! Shhh!
But shoutout to 21 Savage’s Rich N*gga Sh*t that tune is a banger too!
// WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU AT THE END OF YOUR CAREER?
Jamaal was more than just a great graphic designer, he was also a storyteller and a great person. He loved to influence and inspire others to design a better world and not just be a local follower in the design world. He always gave his best doing what he loved.
// WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO NEW CREATIVES?
Fail as much as you can to get better at what you love. It isn’t easy but you have to fail to succeed. Learn from the creatives you would love to collaborate with and understand what it is they do. Then, develop your own way of thinking and looking at things to determine your position and existence within this world. Think big. Dream hard. Make it happen. But also make lots of friends so you can work together to make this world better. Don’t chase a title, just stay working on your craft, we are unique for a reason.
// WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR WORLD RIGHT NOW?
My happiness is important to me right now. I want to do things that mentally, spiritually and emotionally help me to evolve and develop myself as a person. That being said I am really trying to learn how to direct sport themed films like spec ads for New Balance , Nike, Puma etc.
// ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO MENTION?
If there are any opportunities to get on set that involve film or photography within the sports industry in particular, please get in contact with me through my DM’s @jamaal.gfx, @j_jxmz or email me at email@example.com I would love to gain the experience thank you!