Andere über uns
26. September 2013
JMS 310W Media Writing & Reporting, Prof. David Coddon
Photo: Maximilian König
It is a lukewarm Saturday afternoon in downtown San Diego. A fresh breeze blows, letting the leaves of the sheets rustle and the decorative flags on almost every corner bob up and down. People are roaming the streets, heading from one side to the other, trying not to get hit by traffic and the ambulances that are rushing through every 10 minutes. “That’s exactly the same like conducting an interview in Kreuzberg; there’s also always an incessant noise.” A middle-aged man sitting on the terrace of Tender Greens restaurant watches the scene while enjoying his lunch. You can see in his curious eyes that he’s not from here. He came here for business.
How else could it be for someone who ran his own company at only the age of 16, you could ask? Jonas Meyer, now 31 years old, has a dynamic life story to tell. Born and raised in St. Wendel, a tiny place in the Saarland, Germany, he’s highly regarded for his design talent and created already in early stages flyers, business cards and the like for villagers, which resulted in 1998 in the establishment of his company called Meyer Marketing that was in 2008 changed into JMVC (Jonas Meyer Visual Communication). “I always liked the idea of creating a concept of something that’s not existing yet and to let this brainchild grow for turning it into reality. But should I ever have an own idea for something new, I wouldn’t want to be dependent on someone else.” Therefore, Meyer found himself studying business economics with emphasis on marketing, human resource management and business law at the Saarland University.
Still, there has been an unfulfilled desire, one that wouldn’t allow his mind to rest. “I’m not a bureau-guy. I had this enormous hunger and urge to go one step further and to exit the borders of my hometown. To see what’s going on in the world. Get connected to people having the same mentality like mine. Moreover, there was this hunger for creativity; I’ve always been up for editorial design and dreamed of designing THAT magazine to convey identity, which is the most fascinating to me. I hold the belief you can have a report on anybody and his or her story if you just take time.” Listening to his gut instincts and inspired by a friend’s photography, he started in January 2011 the MYP Magazine. MYP stands for ‘My Pages’. It is a non-commercial, ad-free online magazine that is directed toward international young creatives who want to share their thoughts on a given theme that is usually referred to the self. The previous 11 editions introduced already over 250 artists from various countries, including interviews with prestigious celebrity and newcomers. Since its foundation, the magazine has acquired over 70.000 readers and generated approximately 260.000 clicks.
What started as little more than an experiment, now enjoys now more and more success. Cooperation with the german-french TV channel ARTE as well as media partnership to the ‘beBerlin Design-Souvenir Award 2013′ and the international ‘Out of Box Award 2013′ has been set up. “In the last three years , so many things happened in my life whereas not in the previous 28!”, Meyer states while just having recently gained additional support from the University of Southern California and the Goethe Institut of Los Angeles. “Sometimes you just have to ask the people.”, he adds what appears to be his cardinal rule. “Sometimes I also had just crazy luck. I can’t evaluate what I’m doing – there are for sure plenty of possibilities to optimize it. I need people to criticize me.”
Today, Meyer lives in Berlin Kreuzberg, where he finds inspiration for his designs right outside the frontdoor. Since he’s also working for other companies like Twentyone Media or the fashion label Wemakethecake, he carries a whole series of job descriptions, such as publisher, editor, creative director, freelancer in management consultant and as brand manager. The latest description however took place in Katharina Weiß’ book “Legenden von Morgen”.
“I’d never identify myself as a legend. In fact, it’s a great honor for me and I’m very thankful that someone wrote an article about me in which I got described like that. But I am still none. I think I’ll never be. But that’s not the point anyway! It’s simply about having a good time – putting your heart and soul into it! If I could contribute to influence someone’s life just a tiny bit or to help that person, then that’s simply a huge pleasure… man, that sounds pathetic, huh?!”