Creative Conversation

Johnny Huynen | Edition One


Working within a creative industry, Firetale is constantly collaborating with talented individuals with their own unique passions and talents. It is from other creatives that we are inspired and motivated, as it reflects back within our own work. Creativity can be sparked in numerous different ways and it's always intriguing to understand how others work and learn from them, or simply just see an art form from a different perspective. For this edition of 'Creative Conversation' we sat down with Johnny Huynen, founder of Juce Media to look into and learn from his creative world.


How did you get in to your line of work?

Having undertaken study in visual communication focusing on graphic design originally, my final year lead me into a new found yet pre-existing passion. I'd been making videos since I was in my early teens but never anticipated it to be my career. I think deep in my subconscious I knew this is what I wanted to do, and it was my study that lead me there. I think dabbling in other forms of creativity; graphic design, illustration, photography, it kind of paved the path on what it was I good at. I think as a creative, you really do need to dabble with all forms of artistry to figure which shoe fits best.


What do you enjoy most about your job/career?

Not being chained to a desk. I love that I can be collaborating with businesses, getting out in nature, filming cool things happening all whilst making a living. I love the unpredictability of film and video as you never know what it is you'll be filming next and what could happen next. You could be looking through the viewfinder of your camera filming a dog running on a beach and in the top left corner you see an albatross fighting for a fish in mid-air.  When the camera’s rolling literally ANYTHING can happen.

Where do your ideas/creativity evolve from?

I get a lot of my ideas from the inspiration of things I've seen before, not necessarily directly but more so those things locked in my subconscious. Personally the best creativity comes from a clear head, and a clear head is one that is disconnected from that which can cloud it. I find social media and digital to be on 24/7, not literally but in an analogy sense. Digital is just awake all the time and it's easy to get so locked into a head of digital. Ironically, the work I produce is digital but I find to get the best visual execution for digital I need to remove myself from it. Leave the phone at home, laptop, take myself into nature with just my camera and leave everything else at the door.

Taking time away from the regular is crucial, and it’s my first step always when I'm locked in a state of creative block.

file 3-02-18, 2 41 18 pm.jpg

What are some of the challenges you face in a creative role?

Creative block. All creatives get it, sometimes for super extended periods of time. It's a time where you just have nothing that gets you excited, nothing that gets you passionate and those rainbow colour juices flowing. Everyone gets it. How you manage it is what defines good creatives from brilliant creatives. Often you could be hit with several projects in a row that just do nothing for you, and it sends you spiralling into a world of dissatisfaction because nothing you've created can make you feel proud. This literally is the fuel to the creative block. How do you get out of it? I take myself into nature, I disconnect and think about and take in nothing but my surroundings. That, and ironically, its to crack that next creative project that I can be proud of as it validates to me, for myself, that I've still got good ideas.
Another challenge is literally the industry itself. It's ridiculously competitive especially in the space of video. A lot of it can come down to the gear you can afford, your knowledge in editing, and the jobs you get and how much creative freedom you have in them.

I do think a beautiful thing about modern-day video, however, is that its still an emerging industry, and we're in the box seat to really define it as an industry.


What are some of your favourite projects?

My favourite project has probably been co-shooting with Matty Warmington at Kaboose Media, we filmed a six60 Tuatara Brewery collab promo video at the Third Eye in Wellington.
My favourite independent project was my recent trip to Samoa, all expenses paid, to film a wedding over there. I got a non-touristy taste of the culture having stayed with the family in the village.


Do you have any tips and advice for fellow creatives?

Biggest tip literally is to just make stuff. Go out and make stuff, it's the only way to get better and get seen. Do something absolutely radical, change the game somehow. It sounds stupid but get those likes on Instagram, those followers on Youtube. Creative work, especially in film is primarily digital now, we are digital designers. Build a following and a reputation, a dope portfolio with creative and commercial value and you'll be well on your way. I haven't got a single job from my "Honours in Visual Communication", not a single job, yet I've been working in creative for 5 years now.

Portfolio is everything, just make great content.