Jess Huddart – Josephmark
WORDS BY NOLAN GILES, IMAGE BY ORION ZUYDERHOFF-GRAY - 16/08/2012
Over the last seven years the unique collaborative ideology of Josephmark creative director Jess Huddart has helped redefine Brisbane’s design community. Ambitious and talented, Huddart has been involved with a gamut of visionary projects with the creative agency, including a current engagement with Myspace. She is also the co-founder of the forward-thinking local initiative Seven With Another, which nurtures cross-collaboration between creatives from disparate disciplines. While this week she jets off to New York to help grow Josephmark’s global footprint, she says Brisbane will always be home to the brand.
“The point of us going to the States is not for us to leave Brisbane, but rather to help give Brisbane the chance to do more far-reaching work,” Huddart explains.
“The end goal for Josephmark is to always have some form of hub in Brisbane, that is where we grew from and I think Brisbane has a lot of potential to grow even further.”
Huddart says since moving to the Queensland a decade ago, she has watched our creative community flourish. While she admits she was “pretty disillusioned” by our design community when she arrived from Melbourne, she says educating businesses on the value of sustainable design, and collaborating with diverse companies across the city has been hugely rewarding.
“Brisbane has really come leaps and bounds in terms of its understanding of the value of design, and the amounts of cultural events that we are able to participate in,” she says.
“I feel like less and less people are leaving Brisbane.”
Joining Josephmark’s co-founders in 2005 as their first designer, Huddart has helped grow the business into one of the city’s leading digital design and branding agencies. She says the positive growth has been spurred by founder and managing director (and life partner) Ben Johnston’s favour of the cross-pollination of ideas, a strong focus on culture and a refrainment from looking sideways.
“I think our culture is one of the defining reasons of why we are so proud of the work that we produce,” Huddart explains.
“It is never about an individual or an individual effort, we believe that support is the best way for somebody to excel. Our team, the Josephmark family, are individually very talented, passionate and self-motivated – it is more like a collective of people with a similar outlook on life and things that they believe in.”
“Obviously it is a business and we need to get paid at the end of the day, there are realities like that, but most of all it is creativity that we aspire to nurture.”
This philosophy carries through to her work with Seven With Another, an organisation she formed with Monique Kneepkens, owner of design agency Fries Need Mayonaise.
“Seven with Another is not just about designers – it is about getting people from from as many disciplines as possible,” she explains.
“Brisbane is starting to get a stronger design community, and creative community, but I still feel like it is quite Siloed within those disciplines and Seven With Another is about breaking down the boundaries so that we can cross-collaborate and gain more insight from people that maybe don’t have the same process as us or don’t use the same materials or tools as us.”
Orion Zuyderhoff-Gray is a freelance photographer working between the mediums of film and digital. Head of photography at The Native Press Orion calls Brisbane home after a recent move from Canada – orionzuyderhoffgray.com.