Three Questions For: Jenna Melnyk

AIGA SB is shining a spotlight on our membership in 2014 with our “Three Questions” series. Today’s superstar is Jenna Melnyk, project manager at the DuPuis Group in Ventura.

Jenna Melnyk1) What attracts you to the strategic aspects of design and communication?
It is natural for a trained eye to create beautiful work, but beautiful design without strategy is just that—beautiful. It is the strategy behind a design that drives its meaning. It is the combination of design AND strategy that resonates with people and motivates them to take action.

Actually, this is what initially attracted me to The DuPuis Group. We have a strong strategic capability woven into our three core disciplines: innovation, branding and ventures.

2) Who or what do you rely on to stay inspired or motivated to think creatively?
So many things! I would have to say my #1 inspiration is my stomach. I am an avid home chef and this interest keeps me busy researching and experimenting with new techniques and recipes. Along the way, I also stumble upon many consumer trends and mindsets that end up being very useful for projects here at DuPuis as we are invested in the culinary industry.

A close second are the people in my life: my family, friends and coworkers (who really fall into the other two categories). I’m fortunate to be surrounded by intelligent and insightful individuals who are constantly pushing the boundaries of the expected!

3) Which of the projects or campaigns you’ve worked on was the most enjoyable or fulfilling?
While I am very proud of all the projects I have worked on at DuPuis, a couple from my top ten list are ArtWalk Ventura and the Gorilla Friendly Campaign. One of the core beliefs at DuPuis is that design should make things better for people and our planet. With these projects I had the opportunity to contribute to that mission on both a local and a global scale!

ArtWalk Map
Designed by DuPuis Ventura

ArtWalk Ventura
I don’t know where to start with this one—there are so many exciting things happening during ArtWalk Ventura this year. DuPuis involvement began slowly when we started hosting the work of other artists, but it has now blossomed into a significant contribution. I serve on the ArtWalk Steering Committee along with Sabine Dodane, Associate Creative Director at DuPuis Ventura. Last year DuPuis rebranded ArtWalk Ventura, which has led to a re-vamp of several promotional materials including the map, posters, and signage. Probably one of the biggest undertakings for me for was to re-do the web presence for ArtWalk 2014. I’m no developer, but with the help of the Weebly platform (and I’ll be honest, I have come up with a solution everyone on the committee is pretty darn proud of.

DuPuis also has a pop-up PODS® Gallery this year where we are showcasing the work of our staff. Moving to Ventura has influenced us creatively as individuals and as a firm, and our pieces for ArtWalk are inspired by this experience.

Last but not least, I highly encourage everyone to not only check out the amazing artwork on display in the Venues and PODS® Galleries, but to also stick around into the evening on Saturday July 19th. ArtWalk Ventura is hosting our first ever Mission Park Event Series starting at 7pm! The free entertainment line-up includes noted harpist Xocoyotzin Moraza & Family performing traditional “sones jarochos,” An aerial circus show by The Aerial Studio’s troupe of professional acrobats, and popular local band, Rey Fresco. We are also excited to have food vendors setting up at 6:30, including: local food truck Scratch, and the ConFusion Sushi Roll Tacos trailer!

Gorilla Friendly Campaign
Designed by DuPuis Ventura

Gorilla Friendly Campaign
The international aspect of this project made it particularly exciting to work on. There’s nothing like seeing something you worked on come to life over 9,000 miles away! For this project we supported Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) by designing strategic branding and billboards for their “Gorilla Friendly” campaign. The billboards raise awareness and aid in the campaign’s objective to improve compliance with established gorilla visitation rules during gorilla trekking season. People who are interested can read more about our involvement on the DuPuis website.

By Keir DuBois
Published July 15, 2014
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