Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonaki Guha.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
You could say I started in Mumbai, India. Back home, my entire family is involved within the advertising, television and film industry within different capacities — working hard behind the scenes creatively and otherwise. As a result, I started off with art as a hobby at a pretty young age but unfortunately let go of it as time went by. As I arrived at a deciding point in my life, I chose to pursue medicine as my choice of action. About 6 months in, I came to realize that science wasn’t something I could see myself doing long term. From there, with abundance support from my parents and art teacher I was able to get back to my art making. Additionally, I was also lucky enough to be given the opportunity to join my sister and brother-in-law’s advertising production house, Coconut Films for a summer in Mumbai. I had an amazing experience with them which truly put things into perspective and gave me that extra confidence in the field of design but more specifically — Graphic Design. I had already started considering going to university but that made me confident towards my choices and I started building out my portfolio, applying to art schools and the rest is history.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. Learning everything that graphic design comprised off along with adjusting to the huge transcontinental change was a lot of things but smooth. I was set in my ways back in Mumbai, so leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do yet. However, as I entered Graphic Design as a major, things got better through learning something I actually appreciated along with like-minded people who shared similar viewpoints. But it was definitely a bumpy road if nothing else. I entered the major with absolutely no knowledge in terms of the software, critiques were a foreign subject to me and I had absolutely no idea what a thesis encompassed, but with time, my awareness and software skills were able to reach a soft spot. I’m still learning each and every day especially with the tech world altering so rapidly but it’s really an exciting space to be in.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Jona Designs – what should we know?
I consider myself a multidisciplinary designer with a love for all mediums from print to digital and everything that comes in between. Along with that, I’m focusing on my design at my internship in PillPack, Boston. It’s a great company where I’m learning everyday. Other than that, since I’ve had some time post-graduation, I’ve starting working on furthering my degree project. It’s a campaign called Taboo Teaching which focuses on the importance of educating the world about sexual education for deaf and blind women in third world countries. I created this campaign using mediums of 21st century positive propaganda. It’s not a solution to the issue but more of a pathway to finding the solution in the form of an awareness campaign.
Last winter break, I worked freelance for a non-profit in Mumbai called Point of View. They specialize in giving blind and deaf women a 21st century outlook on sexual education among other things. They are doing some brilliant work, and my short time with them really opened my mind to the importance of the issue and the fact that it needs to be advocated for. Design with all its shapes and letter-forms really has the power to change perspectives. As a result, Service Design is something I’ve grown to become really passionate about. I’ve also come to realize that there can never be enough of it in our world today and I hope to be doing more of it in the days to come.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family and friends are definitely my strongest support system with my mother at the very top. But today I wish to honor and thank someone really near and dear to me, my art teacher — Punita Bhakta. She was a brilliant artist who not only helped me develop my entire portfolio when I was applying to university but also made me realize my true passion for the field. She was a beautiful human being who dedicated her life to teaching and helping students find their true passion in art no matter what level they came from. She taught me so much more than drawing and painting and believed in me even when I didn’t. I owe a lot of where I am to her.