Jana MEIER-ROBERTS

Art Director | GQ GERMANY

I grew up in a 70-person village in rural Germany. When I was 13, my parents dragged us to the States very much against my will, but I quickly learned to love it there. After returning to Germany four years later, I desperately wanted to go back. A few years later, I enrolled in journalism school and later lived and worked in one very beautiful (Santa Fe) and one very exciting (New York) city in the United States. In 2010, I became art director of GQ Germany and dragged my American husband to Germany somewhat against his will (ha!). But he learned to love it here. We’ve lived in Munich for 8 years and have a 4-year-old daughter.

questionnaire

What was your very first job? 

Designer at Outside Magazine in Santa Fe (if you’re talking industry jobs). My very first job was working in a bookstore while I was in high-school, where I rose to the challenge of wrapping a globe someone purchased as a Christmas present. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Apart from that, spendng the entire day surrounded by books is pretty sweet.

Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

I’m the art director at GQ Germany and as head of the art department am responsible for all layouts and illustrations in the magazine.  

How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 

When I started journalism school in the US, I had dreams of becoming a writer of long-form pieces about quirky people/places (gems from my clips include stories about amateur porn actors in Missouri, a rural commune with aspirations to build an entire town and a PETA activist who spends her days sitting naked in a cage to alert the public to acts of animal cruelty). Toward the end of my bachelor’s studies, I enrolled in magazine design, a required course. The professor saw something in me and urged me to change my career plans and stay in school to further educate myself in the field of magazine design. I decided that while I love writing, it would probably be easier for me to be a full-time designer and write on the side than the other way around. Something I’ve found to be true, by the way. I left school with a bachelor’s in magazine writing and a master’s in magazine design and I’ve never looked back.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

I try to find the time to extend my search for visual inspirations beyond just the web (Instagram, Pinterest, the usual). Looking through books that include trend-setting work in my particular field (such as the Type Directors Club or Society of Publication Designers annuals), or magazines like Esquire (US and UK) and Conde Nast Traveler (US) give me huge jolts of energy and ideas. Also visits to museums and keeping my eyes open when I walk through Munich, as one would expect. I try to constantly evolve and have made peace with the fact that I’ll never stop learning how to be better at my job.

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 

I feel most proud of the beautiful work my department produces under my direction. Bringing someone up from intern to art director is a pretty great project and an awesome feeling.

 

 

jury

Head of TV | HAVAS WORLDWIDE
Managing Director | BEHIND THE SCENES
Deputy Head of Art Buying | JUNG VON MATT
Editor | I-D MAGAZINE
Head of Creative Services | ESCADA
Creative Director | NIVEA
Founder | BUREAU BRAUNE
Head of Production & Casting | CLOSED
Crea. Director & Partner | EDENSPIEKERMANN
Global Mktg & PR Dr. | MYKITA
CD/ Head of Design | KOREFE KOLLE REBBE
Head of Creative | ASOS
Creative Digital Director | DDB Hamburg
Head of Art Buying | KOLLE REBBE
Mktg Manager | LIEBESKIND
Exec. Creative Director | SCHOLZ & FRIENDS
FOUNDER | MFK PUBLISHING
Creative Director | HESS NATUR
MD & Partner | SERVICEPLAN Berlin
Head of Art Buying
Creative Director | LEO BURNETT-LAEUFER
Exec. Creative Director | SERVICEPLAN
Exec. Creative Director | HEIMAT HAMBURG
Founder & CD | CEE CEE CREATIVE
Managing Director | BBDO PROXIMITY
Creative Director | JUNG VON MATT / SAGA
Exec. Creative Director | OGILVY
Senior Art Director | DONKEY
Global Brand Management | ZALANDO
Founder | KEMMLER KEMMER
Managing Editor | TASCHEN
Creative Head of Mktg | S.OLIVER
Founder & Creative Director | HORT
Exec. Creative Director | PUBLICIS pixelpark
Creative Lead | GOOGLE Germany
Founder | CFS KRUG
Global CCO | OGILVYONE WORLDWIDE
Exec. Creative Director | LEO BURNETT-LAEUFER
Creative Director
Brand Strategist & Mktg | ANDREAS MURKUDIS
Creative Director | MARIO LOMBARDO
Mktg Manager Lifestyle | PUMA
Creative Director
Global Visual Director | BERSHKA
Creative Director | ANTONI
Manager Brand Marketing | LIEBESKIND
Art Director | GQ GERMANY
Head of Art Buying | SCHOLZ & FRIENDS
Creative Director
Cr. Director | DIRK & PHILIP KOMMUNIKATION
Chief Brand Officer | RIMOWA
Head of Art Production | ANTONI
Head of Art Buying | THJNK
Director Brand Design | ADIDAS
Cr. Producer & Bookings Editor | FARFETCH
Sr Mktg Manager | STRENESSE
Art Buyer | ANTONI GmbH
Head of TV & Film | JUNG VON MATT
Chief Creative Officer | LEO BURNETT
Creative Director | THJNK
Design Director | BAUME ET MERCIER
UX Creative Director | DDB
Artistic Director | MONCLER
CD / H of Photography | DEEPBLUE NETWORKS
European Digital ECD & Dusseldorf CCO | HAVAS
Owner | ROSENDAHL Berlin
Head of TV & Film | ANTONI
Head of Global Creative | ESPRIT
EDITOR IN CHIEF | INTERVIEW
Creative Director
Creative Director | STUDIO SCHILLER
Founder | YES IDEAS
Marketing Manager | CONVERSE
Creative Director | LUKAS LINDEMANN ROSINSKI
CD & Founder | DONALD SCHNEIDER STUDIO
Head of Photography | RED BULLETIN
Brand Mktg Manager | ESPRIT
Brand Marketing | NIKE
Art Director & Co Founder | KALTBLUT
Glbl Head of Comm. & PR | ZALANDO
Partner & CD | KABOOOM ADVERTISING
CEO / Creative Director | THE GARAGE
Mktg Manager North Asia | JAEGERMEISTER
Team Lead Gr. Dsgn & Digi. Exp. | MYTHERESA
Creative Director | TRACK
Chief Creative Officer | OGILVYONE
Photo Editor | GERMAN VOGUE
Head of Art Buying | JUNG VON MATT
VP ECD Continental Europe | SAPIENTRAZORFISH
Exec. Creative Director | CHEIL Worldwide Inc.
Owner / Partner | SOLOMON WINTER
Creative Director | OTTO