Creative Director of Olala Studio
A designer at heart, with a high enthusiasm for football and futsal, Jean Basri began his career as a graphic designer and has over the years developed the eye and capacity for photography, videography, advertising, animation and event management, with a special interest in branding and corporate and marketing communications. In 2018, following a long career in corporate affairs at the Securities Commission Malaysia, tasked with creating advertising campaigns, improving brand awareness, assisting in administering confidential offices and overseeing the strategic direction, Jean Basri founded his own multimedia creative agency Olala Studio.
Today, he leads his company as creative director, and offers a host of services that includes digital marketing, social marketing, 3D modelling and animation, photography and videography. On the side, he has also started a small menswear brand under the label Jeanbasri Pour Homme, available online at Fashion Valet, where he refashions the traditional baju Melayu into modern, elegant, slim-fitting designs made of high-quality French satin.
We speak to him about his accomplishments and what it is like to wear many hats in this 2018 interview.
What is the ideal lifestyle for you?
Having work-life balance is very important. You cannot be healthy if you’re just working all the time. In our line of work, often we are bound to the desk, working long hours at the computer. I try to balance that out with sports – I play football and futsal, and I try to play every weekend. I’ve joined a social football league. I’m not so fond of the gym, honestly. I think having to chase after the ball motivates me to move about more. After work, my time belongs to my two kids. Raising kids can be tiring, but once you look at their faces, the fatigue just vanishes.
Where do you find the energy to wear the hats of an entrepreneur, a fashion designer, a husband, and a father of two?
When you’re driven by passion, you don’t really count the hours. It’s hard work, but you just can’t help it; it almost comes naturally to you – both the energy and the desire. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it.
What do you do to rejuvenate the mind?
Talking to people helps, listening to what they have to say. This way you get to see things from their perspectives and keep yourself abreast of your audiences’ taste and ever-changing mindsets. From here, you innovate and find your creativity.
How do you feel about having accomplished so much at such a young age?
I feel that I’m not there yet. There are still things that I wish to pursue. I want to be like my mum. She’s like 80 now, but she’s still healthy. She’s got a degree as well as two master’s degrees. I know I can’t beat that, but I hope to at least come close. I think in life you should have a mentor. My mum is my mentor and all that she has accomplished motivates me to keep developing myself. In life, you have to keep going.