Ji Lee, the man who conquered Google and Facebook with his great ideas, teaches you to think for 20 euros. “It doesn’t matter the economic conditions, the origin or the age. My example is applicable to everyone,” says the creative director of Facebook and Instagram, who now shares his learning to think better about an online course at Domestika.
Ji Lee studied graphic design and advertising in New York while premiering in the labor field. Most of the time, the tasks entrusted to him were not satisfactory, so he relieved himself by giving free rein to his own personal projects. “It was very frustrating to work with clients who almost always distorted my creative ideas or did not approve them.”
One day, Lee says, “I printed some simple comic book snacks, first 15,000 and then 50,000, and put them in the mouth of the models and characters of all the advertising elements of the city, on marquees, posters and billboards. The balloons were in white, for which it was the people of the street who filled them with comments, it was impressive how quickly texts appeared, mostly full of sense of humor or critics, very sharp, generally funny. little revolution that reached all the media. ” It was 2002 and Lee baptized that Bubble Project action.
Somehow this first project summarizes the way he understands communication, a very personal style that has led him to be creative director of Facebook and Instagram, a position he has held since 2011. His motto: “Learning by doing, ideas are not valid in themselves. ”He repeats it again and again at the DIMAD Design Center , in Matadero (Madrid), during his first visit to Spain, whose objective, he says, is to spread the inspiring vision of his ideas about design, Communication and new relationships between people.
Therefore, encourage anyone who wants to listen not to consider our hobbies as secondary. “We must put in value what we really enjoy, because, with the help of new technologies, it can become our way of life,” he says while announcing “a revolution based on activating personal passions (hobbies, entertainment and distractions ) as a formula to address the labor concerns that are evolving in life. “
Be from where you choose
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1971, but with 10 years he moved with his parents to Brazil. From there he jumped to New York, to study at the Parsons School of Design , where, after making a name within the communicative guerrilla, he signed first for Google Labs, and later for Facebook and Instagram. Today, it deals with these two huge corporations learn to enhance the use of mobile applications, and innovative technology. “I try to come up with new creative frameworks. Everything must become an interactive experience.”
Back to his mantra: “It’s about people having a good time, telling their own stories, even in big companies; it sounds banal, but it’s transformative. From the playful, gamming applied to work brings immense benefits, to this is important the personal attitude and the conscience of the company, when a worker is not subject to pressures and has fun with his daily work, he develops better “.
Ji Lee does not forget his moving childhood, which has led him to feel Korean, but especially Brazilian, and now another New Yorker. “From the humility of the profession of teachers of my parents and the struggle to break through in another country, I can clearly say that there are no barriers for anyone. The important thing is to act, ideas have no value in themselves, only the action is the engine of our life and our dreams. Starting up projects is the only way to know if they are valid, “he says.
Sharing is winning
His commitment to the idea of training people in a creative and proactive attitude has led him to create, together with the online community of designers Domestika, Strategic Thinking, a course to help you think better, through simple exercises that allow you to observe reality from other points of view and apply it to concrete achievable projects. Currently, you can sign up for only 20 euros. “I define myself as a designer and communicator of ideas. Through trial and error in my personal projects I got the necessary visibility to be called from large companies in which I had never dreamed of working. I think my example is transferable to all people “The economic conditions, the origin, the age or whatever they are dedicated to in life do not matter. My message is liberating, it gives hope of a fuller and more enriching life.”
This liberating message is the one that sends through its online course developed by Domestika with which it encourages us to look inside what activates, moves, inspires, and leads us to share our concerns. Lee does not understand that people just complain. “I understand that today we have very important reasons to feel disappointed or frustrated, but being isolated and focused on the negative does not solve anything. We have to activate, move our ideas and communicate with enthusiasm and good humor,” he says.
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The optimism of his speech also moves to his opinion about social networks and the new technological instruments of the Internet, which, according to him, offer “the opportunity to make themselves known and expand friends and knowledge. This is a very direct way of improve at work with minimal cost, sometimes only time “. It has also meant a change in the mentality of the creators, much more open today to share their work. “When I was younger, there was that conception that you had to protect your ideas, but the Internet changed everything, because it is completely transparent. People learned to be generous and share their ideas. I do not like to protect mine, I think I open you it’s an advantage. The more you get involved, the more ways you share discover with known and unknown people. “