Friday Fives: Jonah Gabriel (Real Good Studio)

March 26, 2021

Real good studio poster

On Fridays we give #highfives to a different designer from our extended family of PNCA students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers. 🙌🏾🙌🏻🙌🏽 We ask them five questions, and post five images.

This week's feature is Jonah Gabriel, a motion designer and founder of Real Good Studio, a full-service creative studio specializing in good ideas at the cross section of experimental and interactive work. He began his career during his sophomore year at Bennington College creating animated content for Perrier. Since then he has made billboards and TV spots in collaboration with Miley Cyrus and MTV, directed a music video for Flux Pavilion, and had his work exhibited in galleries and expos in New York City, Paris, and Seattle. Jonah has worked on animation and AR projects with Pablo Rochat, Nike, Balenciaga, Netflix, Samsung, Wieden+Kennedy, Eric Andre, Adult Swim, Adidas, and more. His experience before Real Good Studio includes motion design work with Johannes Leonardo and Sagmeister & Walsh.

Jonah is joining us on 3/31/21 for our Design Panel Series, a student-powered conversation with visiting guests, current PNCA Design students, faculty, and friends, presented in collaboration with FISK. Join us for the online conversation by registering on EventBrite (we'll send you a's free and open to the public!).

Graphic Design department head Kristin Rogers Brown spoke with Jonah in March, 2021.

Q: What do you "geek out" about?

A: I get way too excited about new technology. Things like machine learning, AR, real time rendering, and generative design are super interesting to me. I think exploring these areas are some of the few remaining ways in which you can make something truly novel.

Q: What do you do to get "unstuck?"

A: Learn a new skill or a new tool. I had a serious creative block at the beginning of this pandemic so I decided to learn Spark AR. Just the act of learning a new tool and the possibilities that come with it always gets me excited and leads to new ideas and creative exploration.

Q: Is there anything you wish you had known just starting out, that you know now?

A: Put just as much thought and effort into being kind as you do into the quality of your work. There are lots of people who make great work—there are considerably fewer who make great work AND are enjoyable to collaborate with. Do good work and be nice to people.

Pursue everything you’re interested in and see what bites.

Jonah Gabriel

Q: If you were not working in the particular niche you are now, what would an alternate you like to be pursuing as a career/job/practice?

A: My thinking around this has always been to pursue everything you’re interested in and see what bites. In college, I started getting hit up by big brands to make animations even though that’s not what I was studying. So I just kept doing it, since it was the opportunity that was in front of me. If money/momentum hadn’t been a necessity and I was free to follow my whims, I would probably be making fun lamps.

Q: Here's a good question from a previous guest... “Why do you do what you do?"

A: I’m completely and utterly unqualified for anything else.

* * * * *

See more from Jonah and and Real Good Studio on instagram @leisureco_ and Learn more about Real Good Studio on their website.

Hear more from Jonah in conversation with students and faculty in our Design Panel Series, FREE with registration (we'll send you a link). Co-hosted by PNCA Graphic Design and FISK.

Follow along with our #fridayfives on instagram @pncadesign.