Creativity Squared: Sparking Movements with Juliana Jaramillo
Juliana Jaramillo recently joined Jack Morton in Chicago as as VP, executive creative director from Giant Spoon, where she worked on some of the most lauded award-winning experiential work in the last few years including HBO’s “Bleed For The Throne” and Under Armour’s RUSH Performance Lab.
In her new role, Juliana leads creative direction for clients including Molson Coors and Kellogg’s. A trained industrial designer, Jaramillo built a career collaborating with brands such as Target, Google, Louis Vuitton, and Puma. She has also worked with Revlon, MoMA, Marriott and more, helping them show up at key cultural events from Sundance Film Festival to SXSW, CES and Art Basel. She also helped develop two product lines for West Elm.
I am the kind of creative that has a ton of bookmarks, and a million tabs open in my brain. I am naturally curious; variety is very important to me. I love trying new things, exploring new places and expanding my knowledge. All that energy and interest helps evolve who I am.
During the pandemic I took a hand building ceramics class on zoom, which lead me to my new 'amateur ceramicist career' (@jjobjects on Instagram). Each piece is unique, with its own name and story. They are all up for adoption and come with their own certificate. I was surprised by how much they resonated with people wanting to bring one home with them.
I’ve really enjoyed this new creative outlet. I find that learning a new craft, after years of perfecting your own is invaluable. Being bad at something keeps you humble and grounded and reminds you that there is so much to learn!
In my experience, a piece of work that is truly creative usually manifests itself physically. I feel a good idea, it might give me goose bumps, or a rush of energy and excitement.
Similarly, when executing some of the best work I’ve done, I usually feel uncomfortable. I might feel scared or nervous, but I take it as a good sign that am pushing myself and the work out of the comfort zone and I just need to keep going.
I worked on two experiential campaigns for HBO, #Bleedforthethrone and one for Westworld at CES, and they were both great examples of this. Hosting a blood drive for Game of Thrones in the middle of SXSW when people are looking to have fun and party was a huge risk. Would anyone make the 'ultimate sacrifice' and bleed for the throne? Would they even show up? In the end the work was a huge success, it was recognised in the industry and won awards, but even better than that is the joy of succeeding at something hard.
At the start of a project, I usually start alone. I immerse myself in the world, I go digging and end up exploring all these different paths. If all goes well, you find golden nuggets along the way that you can then turn into something special. I bring these to the team, and together we work through the back-and-forth process of shaping it. One move sparks another and you just keep building. In the end, the best results have lots of different fingerprints and no true owner because it’s a true group effort. I love that process, it’s the best part of my job.
I grew up in Colombia and am part of a very large and close-knit family. My parents each had seven siblings, and I grew up surrounded by over thirty cousins, plus my two siblings. I was never alone, and we were always playing or planning some sort of performance. I got a lot of practice corralling people to do things as well as dealing with a variety of personalities early on.
I was also very lucky to be exposed to a variety of experiences throughout my formative years. My family was able to travel abroad and experience different cultures. I played a variety of sports and participated in high school extracurricular activities like dance and theatre, all those things factor into the type of creative leader I am today.