Meet our Jumpin' the Gun Lead Designer & Resident Rockstar
Ladies and gents, may we please introduce you to the incredible human who aligns our JTG vibe to make sure there's no negative space. She’s the coolest and makes us all look cooler in the process. Tara... if you'd give us a 🥁 drum roll 🥁 please, so that we can introduce to all of you – Tara Bakkes, our lead designer and (literal) resident rockstar!
Once upon a time, when Jumpin’ the Gun, was just starting out, Tara came into the picture by the luck of the draw. T-Bird had just about had enough of being a cog in the corporate machine at the huge agency she was working for at the time and was keen to join a smaller team with more room for creative freedom. So, she came in for an interview and she was such a lekker human with such an amazing personality that we hired her on the spot – not a word of a lie! We knew right from the start that she was the perfect fit for Jumpin’ the Gun and would be able to help us take our business to the next level in the long run. These days, Tara is part of the furniture and a completely invaluable part of the JTG team.
“The thing I love most about Tara is that she always reminds me that it's not just about being a support system for our clients, and that we have to focus on our team as well. She always remembers to bring gees to our team with fun ideas and activities.
“I also find it super endearing that it is so important to her to touch base with the team and that she wants to connect with all of us in person since it gives her energy, inspiration, and purpose for being at work (this is tough when you're a fully remote team),” says Michelle, Managing Director at JTG.
But aside from just being great to work with, Tara is also a VERY talented all-rounder designer. Like almost superhumanly so.
“Tara is pure, concentrated creativity! She can tackle any project, no matter how complex or abstract and be able to find a clear and unique way to communicate it visually,” says Creative Director Keagan Clack.
Tara is also incredibly talented when it comes to extending a brand's assets - you can just jump in with a name and leave with a content library filled with creative assets that all represent that brand to perfection.
“Her attention to polish and finish is at a level that is super important to Keagan and me as creatives, and we are also incredibly lucky to have found in Tara someone with a genuine interest in visual exploration and who speaks the same design language as us,” Michelle enthuses.
Tara enjoys all types of design, but has a particular love of layout and print, as well as logo- and brand development.
“Design needs to be clear in terms of communication – it has to communicate quickly and effectively. If you want someone to feel a certain way, your design should communicate that feeling clearly from the start. That being said, over the years I've realised I also quite like it when things aren't quite perfect; I enjoy it when something is a little ‘off’. I know it sounds strange and doesn't always apply, but I believe that little something off-kilter keeps the viewer engaged,” Tara explains when asked about her design philosophy.
Outside of work, Tara also happens to be a true-blue rockstar, having played drums in bands like Julia Robert and The Fads. She likes her music loud and fast, and the music she plays in these bands tend to be loud and fast, mostly leaning towards grunge and punk.
When she is not putting killer beats to rowdy tunes, she likes to hone her creative skills and enjoy some downtime with friends and family.
“I am getting more into video these days, especially filming and editing. I also enjoy photography, socialising with friends, getting a braai on, hiking, swimming, camping - all those good things,” the undercover homebody explains.
If Tara had to be a shade of pink, she would be a soft baby pink. “Because I am a big softy.” Yeah, we all knew that - you ol' harshmallow (hardcore marshmallow) 😉
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