Born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Beirut, Jad is a Lebanese multidisciplinary artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His short film Ladies, Gentlemen and Everyone in Between was awarded the 2020 Most Innovative Short Jury Award at the Seattle Queer Film Festival and continues to screen in festivals around the world.

 A full-time daydreamer and a part-time saxophonist, Jad is oftentimes reminiscent of his days by the Levantine Sea. His work is a reflection of how he moves through spaces with a politicized identity and body as he attempts to question, make, and unmake sense of lived experiences.

What’s your role at Kworq? How long have you been here?

I am a Motion Designer at Kworq and have been working here for over a year and half now.

What attracted you to this role at Kworq vs any other agency?

Everything else was either too corporate or simply too boring. A quick glimpse at Kworq’s website and I already knew they liked to have fun with their briefs which is what ultimately got me leaning towards them.

Where is your portrait taken? Why this place? What’s the significance?

I chose to be photographed in and around an MTA bus ride in Brooklyn. I find myself taking the bus over the subway even if that prolongs my trip a little longer. It’s quieter and I can do that thing where I lean against a window and take the city in. Gives me the sense of home about NYC that I’ve been yearning for. As if the more I take the bus as a means of transportation, the more I am familiar with its schedule, the more I have my bearings around the city and my borough.

Why’d you choose to go into the Advertising and Marketing industry?

I taught myself design and video editing softwares at a young age and went from branding school productions all the way to animating my first short film. I was fascinated by the endless possibilities of visually transforming an idea using mixed media. It gave me the ability to become a part of a bigger conversation about the present world and myself. I followed the works of other visual artists and designers in ad agencies and wanted to recreate the same satisfactory feeling it gave me.

What’s the coolest part about working in advertising?

Growing up a polyglot in multicultural cities, I saw how much oral histories and language played a role in the way we absorbed design around us. With advertising, you get to shape a thought using all that cultural awareness. It becomes an extension of daily conversations that can be transformed into a whole new audiovisual experience. Not only are we contributing to advertising as a business, but we are enriching cultural narratives.

What’s the uncoolest part about working in advertising?

It isn’t unusual to question the efficiency or the responsibility you have in this domain. Being hyper aware of clickbait culture and mass-production, you try to challenge what the future of advertising and marketing is going to look like.

What’s an unexpected perk of working at an agency like Kworq in this industry?

You can learn a lot! With a small team, in a fast-paced environment, different departments begin to bleed into each other and you’re introduced to a new skill set with every project. I’ve expanded my knowledge of design and animation tools, and learned more about marketing strategies than I’ve ever known before.

What are some challenges of the business?

Keeping a creative spirit alive. There is definitely incentive to work on interesting projects whether internal or client-related. But sometimes, business is business and it’s not always exciting. Getting comfortable with a hybrid work model also continues to be a challenge, where working as a team on a visual project can sometimes get lost in translation over virtual spaces.

What’s something new you learned since working at Kworq? Doesn’t have to be work related. Could be silly, informative, fun, useful, a life skill, etc.

New vocabulary, Cinema 4D (the software), and if you catch the co-founders on a good day at the office, you will get free lunch.

What’s life look like for you in 5 years? Screw reality, what’s the “if I won the lottery” answer?

I’d be focusing on my music, take time to work on personal animation projects, travel to see my parents overseas, and cook a lot of good meals in a big kitchen I’d own. I’d also have 2 or more cats.

What inspires you in your work?

Anything around me in my day to day life from brushing my teeth to walking in the park is a source of inspiration. My work is a reflection of the way that I move in life and I find that very calming. It becomes an avenue of expression when words aren’t enough.

How do you stay creative outside of the Kworq offices?

I like to take my camcorder wherever I go and capture the life and places around me, a visual journal of some sort. The other day I attended a live figure drawing class in Manhattan. I’d love to make it a habit and maybe consider posing there myself. I enjoy watching student animation films from schools like the Gobelins in Paris, a huge source of inspiration. I also keep my mind going by solving Sudoku puzzles on a daily. Everyone should get into it.

All photography by Gabriela Della Corna