What steps did you take to get where you are now?
I let the real me emerge more and more as I matured - coming from a background where conventional job titles are more respected than those in the creative field, it hasn’t always been easy to grab my passions by the hand and show them off to the world. I was so close to being labelled as a nurse as that was what some family members wanted me to be, but then I was advised by a wise mind that I shouldn’t let other people dictate my future for me just before choosing my course for college. Since then, I tried my hand in a range of pursuits which included Fashion Design & Textiles, Information Technology, Media & Communications and Art Direction, amongst many others. I’m a total slashie.
By discovering more about myself, I became more confident in my capabilities, which led to amazing opportunities. My first internship based across the globe was in Canada, and from here on I began working with more people based in LA, Sydney, Moscow and more. My 2017 started off with me working on mainland China, just by the border of Macau. All of these happened whilst I was finishing my degree at university, which may seem impossible to many but certainly not to me.
For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?
Compassion, and giving people a chance to flesh out their capabilities and prove themselves. As Harvard Business Review writer Peter Drucker expresses, “Far too many people - especially people with great expertise in one area - are contemptuous of knowledge in other areas or believe that being bright is a substitute for knowledge”.
I constantly witness people judging others by what they only see online, and never bothering to get to know the real them properly. It’s like when people say don’t judge the book by its cover but these people really do, more often than not unashamedly.
It’s a sad fact, and this is something I aim to change day by day through little actions, knowing that one day it’ll change.
What are you working on right now?
I’m always working on myself, constantly moulding how I do things. It’s one way to keep my passions blazing, which in turn, stoking up my creativity. I’m also working on becoming more embedded in the world of branding, and not just in terms of designing branding projects, but actually learning its core.
We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
At this moment, I wish I could focus on Art/Creative Direction more.
What is frustrating you right now?
Relying on coffee to have a productive day. As fun traveling is, having a messed up body clock affects the way I work for quite some time. Of course the easy answer is having a cup of coffee, but caffeine doesn’t work the same for everybody on this planet. For instance, I can only have one cup a day or I’d start shaking - so I’m currently devising a matcha routine instead.
What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?
Sorting out files on my computers. It’s a typical setting for creatives, and it gets even messier when iCloud gets involved!
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
Read insightful articles, make me a list and share their thoughts on them. If I must hire anybody, it’d be to add inspiration to my day-to-day routine - I mean I could just hire them for an hour a day, and that would definitely shape my life in many ways.
Let's bring out the time machine. What do you wish you could have told yourself, when, and why?
Come with me and let’s go back during my teenage years when I was surrounded by naysayers. I’d tell myself to keep doing what I had been doing to mould my future because she’ll love where her she’s about to go. That choosing to disentangle herself with some people is natural process that every person needs to go through to make space for better ones.
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
Anyway, I would ask Jennifer, how did you start your business? Did you one day just decided, okay I have an idea I'll make it happen from here on? What was it like to work on Call of Duty? (I LOVE this game). How did you impress recruiters when you had an interview for that job? How do you win their hearts? and more importantly, how do you stay sane when juggling multiple projects at once?
Answer from Puno:
Holy cow! I love this internet rabbit hole and so glad you're here on ilovecreatives all the way from London! I love your energy and your photos are amazing. Seriously great stuff. I would love to answer your questions!
How did I start my business? It started with Daniel and I wanting to building something from beginning to end. We had a big list of ideas, prototyped the one that had the most features, and then when we went to Thailand, ended up deciding on building Map. I wouldn't say it's a business yet, as it's not really generating revenue, but we're still working on it.
With ilovecreatives, that was Eva and I having a conversation about all the silo conversations people have trying to help other get the word out about creative happenings. Building a newsletter was actually less time consuming than being a glorified operator. :P
Working on Call of Duty was amazing. This was my first real job as a UX Designer and Director. I ended up building a team of 10 super rad people. Seriously, our company culture was AWESOME. Working closely with the game developers was super fun too. They are incredibly passionate and are diehard about the game. They understand the economy of their fans, it really opened my eyes to community building, but I didn't know it yet.
Unfortunately, I didn't see eye to eye with a new manager they brought in and I felt like it was a good time for a life transition. That happens like every 3 years right?
How did you impress recruiters when you had an interview for that job? How do you win their hearts? I bring on the energy and enthusiasm in the interview. I think 50% of the job can be given to you by just being really fun to work with, hard-working, and passionate about the product. After interviewing so many people, those are the people that stick out.
This was my first UX job and I didn't have a portfolio, but I talked about past work and experiences that showed I was smart, resourceful, and creative.
How do you stay sane when juggling multiple projects at once? Figure out how to make enough to start hiring people to help you out. Honestly, without all the people that have worked with Map and ilovecreatives, I would probably have to drop one. People are shortcuts and there are so many awesome people to work with!
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?
I’m always being asked this question and whenever I say, “I’m open to anything and everything!” people give me weird looks. But I’m serious. I would love to collaborate with a huge variety of characters and creative opportunities because boxing yourself in one or a few categories is often limiting. If any of you have something, I’m certainly all ears.
What is your ideal client?
Someone who’s not afraid to hand over some aspects of creative control to me. I’ve actually been blessed enough to have clients who embodies what I’m looking for, and I do hope that carries on.
What is your rate?
How should someone approach you about working together?
Simply introduce yourself and how you envision your project - meeting over a good cup of coffee (or matcha, I know a good place!) in Central London would be great too!
This member profile was originally published in October 2015.