The Creatives - Jandre van Heerden

18 October 2022


How did you find the jump between being a student versus industry work?
Not as bad as I thought. I know I took on a bit of extra work as a student, so when it got to work in the industry, I ended up doing more than what was expected initially.

Who inspires you in your practice?
People don’t inspire me, but I find places and feelings very interesting. Feelings of melancholia and the feeling evoked by an absurdist artwork do a lot for me. Music and film often interweave space and feelings in significant ways for me.

A favourite Open Window memory?
Hard to pick just one. The 2021 Pangolin Awards when I got to see the film work my friends made in lockdown was a nice evening. There’s something ritualistic about a group of people in the dark, staring at a bright rectangle, and then talking about it afterwards.

Do you have any advice for an up-and-coming creative?
Learn the technical side of your craft in and out, before anything. Your style and creative side will develop naturally. Don’t force it.

What is your favourite spot to work in besides your desk at work?
This open field: -25.880677, 28.199394

Favourite coffee brand/supplier?
Earthen Coffee on John Vorster Dr! The gentleman who runs it makes very pleasant small talk about moral ambiguity while you wait for your order.

What is one thing about studying that you miss the most?
Being able to dedicate every day to learning something new. Gets a bit harder when you have to balance out work.

What is a work mantra of yours?
I don’t like repeating things to myself, I feel it sets a bad precedent of only listening to signs when they’re repeated. However, I do try to compare the quality of my work to other industry professionals, spot the difference, adapt, and repeat.

How do you keep yourself motivated to stay creative?
A lot of the work I get is more technically-orientated than creatively-orientated, and although I still enjoy it, it leaves me wanting to do something more abstract. It also helps to surround yourself with people who are constantly making things.

What is an unpopular opinion you have?
Film adaptations aren’t bad if they don’t follow the source material. The two mediums vary in how they tell a story. It’s like a painter and a digital illustrator using the same reference image. It’s supposed to look different.

What is a dream you are still working toward?
Peace of mind.

What was your major, and are you still working in that field?
I double majored in Sound Design and Screenwriting. I’m happy to be working as a sound designer (and occasionally a music composer). I still work on my independent films when I get the time.

Where do you currently work?
I freelance through multiple companies/studios. Burnt Mill Road in L.A. give me horror short films to work on monthly. ScreenPoint Digital did some amazing ads for UCT and The Red Cross that I was a part of. Some cool work coming up, but it’s all under NDA, sadly!

Do you prefer online or in-person work?
I prefer a mixture of both. It’s nice not having a complete disconnect from the work environment. Then again, a lot of my work is easiest to do when you’re alone in a quiet room.

Your go-to creative snack?

How do you get past a creative block?
I’ve never experienced creative block. I think because I’m always taking in some form of creative media, whether it’s a filmmaker or a band I’m currently drowning myself in. I believe a constant intake of good media absolves creative block.

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