Jonathan Key

Jonathan is a very talented fellow who was apart of our Threesome Sydney show with Gabby Lord and Gemma O'Brien – see what he's all about below (he really does have his fingers is all the pies!)

Where do you go for inspiration? (online and offline)

Hiking and exploring always gets me into a creative state of mind. The act of disconnecting from the internet and spending a few days in an isolated location helps me focus and realise what’s important. I actually did a lot of ‘wondering’ this year and discovered new hobbies such as time lapse photography.
I believe anything can inspire you as long as you look at life with a positive attitude. Inspiration is quite easy to find, the hard part is converting that creative energy into solid ideas and projects. Inspiration should come organically. The best way to learn and discover is by just following your interests. This is also important so that the inspiration leads to work that I feel is genuine and authentic.

Any personal projects you have to share?

I became obsessed with the mathematics of art earlier this year. For example, if you look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s work, you’ll see the Golden Ratio, Fibonacci sequence and grids providing structure; I decided to research these concepts because I found it fascinating.
These concepts would end up inspiring my recent album cover for Oliver Tank’s Slow Motion Music. I found an image of Kurt Hofstetter’s 5 step golden section and thought the geometry was incredibly powerful yet calming. I used the geometry as a foundation and applied my imagery of dreams, clocks and clouds to symbolise the passing of time. I made an intentional decision to respect the previous album art and evolve Oliver Tank’s visual language whilst adding on my own style. I also combined my interest with video/motion to make the album cover animated, this then translated into projections for the live shows and promo assets.

Additionally, over the past year I have been expanding my skill set so that I can eventually do more motion/film related projects. While I haven’t been to film school, I've picked up a few screenwriting, editing and directing books to help fill in the blanks. Since I've designed and collaborated with lots of bands, music videos seemed like the obvious choice to begin my journey into video. This year, I directed my first music video ‘ANOESIS’ for the band Valar and it was an incredible experience. The production was all done on a low budget with a group of talented and generous friends. I definitely made a lot of mistakes in the process but I’m still incredibly proud of the result for a first try. I’m excited to do more music videos soon and improve on the previous in every aspect. I don’t think what I’m trying to do is a departure from design but rather an extension so that I can execute my vision beyond an album cover.

Design work by Jonathan Key The Design Kids interviews Jonathan Key work-2

What extra curricular activities have you taken part in whist studying to boost your work experience/networks?

I’ve been lucky enough to intern at two great studios: Eleven Eleven and Blue Marlin. In addition, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to join Rockstar Memoirs as a junior designer. Everyone I’ve worked beside has indirectly become a mentor; it’s humbling to be surrounded by such experienced and generous creatives. I love typography, so I jumped at the chance to take part in TDK’s Threesome Sydney. I got the opportunity to collaborate with Gemma O’Brien + Gabby Lord, two incredibly cool designers whom I admire. I also jumped outside my comfort zone by taking on more of an art director role for 2 projects: 'Rise x Temper' and 'Spirit Faces.’ Some of the projects are outside my skill set (such as installations) and so I’ve been delegating the work whilst still providing the vision and direction. It feels odd when I’m not the one creating everything, but I’ve learnt that when you plan things and put your trust in the right people, the results are spectacular.

Whats your plan for when you finish?

Being creative makes me happy. I’d love to join a studio that shares a desire to create innovative work and values the growth and education of it’s employees. I’d like to direct music videos, create iconic album art and I want to become a better creative, I know that I don't have all the necessary skills yet, but I’m confident that I can learn.
Outside of work, I plan to travel (Tasmania, Iceland, Japan & USA), create a short film and fly to the moon. (Well, maybe not that last one.)

Design work by Jonathan Key The Design Kids interviews Jonathan Key work-4
Design work by Jonathan Key The Design Kids interviews Jonathan Key work-4

Favourite 5 studios you'll love to work for in Australia.

- Toby + Pete
- Animal Logic
- Oh Yeah Wow
- M&C Saatchi
- The DMC Initiative
If everyone turns me down, I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a small studio. I’ll have to wait and see!

Design work by Jonathan Key The Design Kids interviews Jonathan Key work-5
Design work by Jonathan Key The Design Kids interviews Jonathan Key work-5

Where to find Jonathan Key online.

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