The Pop Profile series is a peek into the creative process of some of the most talented people making content on social media. It’s a chance for them to step out from behind the camera, into the spotlight, and let us pick their brains. This month, we’re talking with Jonathan Lo.
Our creator community is brimming with influencers and content creators touting an incredible range of interests, talents, and skillsets. Needless to say, this months’ Pop Profile is no exception. Jonathan Lo is a content creator in our Pop Shop, but that is just one of his many, brightly colored hats. His Pinterest and Instagram associated with his blog, Happy Mundane, are dedicated to “celebrating the ordinary and the extraordinary, good design of any kind.” His content makes you want to approach your daily walk home with a new set of eyes, encouraging you to look up, look around you, and take in the beauty of your every day. He also runs a production company, JC Productions, which includes art direction, graphic design, photography, and styling. He also runs The Octopian, an independently published zine that explores design, lifestyle, and architecture, all with a sci-fi filter. We encourage you to check it out, it’s all as fun as it sounds. We caught up with Jonathan to discuss how he balances it all, and how he approaches his creative collaborations with brands.
A bit on Jonathan
I’m Jonathan Lo, a creative director and designer based out of Orange County “The OC” in Southern California. I’m also the editor of the blog Happy Mundane. I’m always looking for good design of any kind, and keeping an eye out for the little moments in beauty in the every day.
I started J3 Productions first, as my professional background is in graphic design and art direction. The Octopian was a side “passion project” that grew out of the need to just satisfy my own creative interested outside of client work. The Octopian is a limited edition printed zine that explores lifestyle, architecture, and design all with a subtle sci-fi filter. There’s no set publication schedule as we just work on an issue when we have some free time between projects.
On getting started with paid gigs
Monetizing and collaborating with brands through social media came kind of unexpectedly. I guess I started with creating a blog, mostly to share and document the things I was liking, but then the advent of social media took things to another level. Suddenly there were platforms like Pinterest and Instagram where I could expand the content I was originally putting out through the blog, now being able to be viewed by much wider audiences. I’ve been fortunate to have some great brands discover my work and I guess feel what I’m creating aligns with the messaging they want represented.
On his favorite brand collabs
I think my favorite collaab was probably for Dunkin’, because donuts! Outside of Pop Pays, because I love home decor, I’ve done some fun collabs with West Elm.
On his creative process for branded content
The first step is definitely reading through the brief and trying to make sure I get a clear picture of what the brand objectives are. Then trying to figure out ways to convey that message, but still keeping true to my own voice. I mainly take on collabs that are more lifestyle driven, so making sure I pull the right kind of props and accessories comes next. I often try to do a quick sketch or mock up to send to the brand before I go to implement anything final. I think that helps put the brand at ease and allows for any adjustments and/or feedback before you get too invested in a setup.
Advice to those getting started
From a content creation perspective, I think it definitely helps get you noticed by brands if you are able to cultivate a distinct visual view or tone of voice. I also think if you’re just starting out, going a little above and beyond and being reliable and consistent will help build a good reputation that will earn you repeat customers and generate referrals from word of mouth.
A huge thank you to Jonathan for sharing her creative process and journey with us. You can keep up with him on his Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Interested in learning more about how Pop Pays can speed up your custom content production? Learn how to get started, and check back here for more inspiration from our creator community.