Jessica Gruba is a Multimedia and Motion Graphics Designer with the Minnesota Twins. I’ve seen some of her work in the past couple of years and I’ve been impressed. Some of her work can be seen here. Prior to her role with the Twins, she was a photographer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. I chatted with Jessica recently to discuss her passion for film editing, motion graphics and ascent into the sport digital media world. Enjoy!
Tell us about your role as the Multimedia and Motion Graphics with the Minnesota Twins.
My role as a multimedia and motion graphics with the Minnesota Twins is to design and animate in-stadium pre-game graphics for the scoreboards and ribbons, rotoscoping, food and retail graphics, menu boards for the concession stands, and all other graphics that may need to created for in-stadium or IPTV use.
What does your day-to-day look like?
My days are never the same. Most of my days are spent designing and animating in Adobe After Effect and Cinema 4D or rotoscoping, I sometimes take photos of food and retail items for graphics, edit videos and design still graphics. I love it this way because then my work doesn’t get repetitive.
When you first began your career in graphic design, did you always envision designing and working in sport?
I started in film production and began sports video editing and animation in college [university]. I did not always envision myself working in sports, it’s just where I’ve ended up.
I’ve applied to work as an editor and animator outside of the sports industry but have continued to get jobs in the sports industry.
How do you maintain a positive mindset through tough situations?
In general, I am a positive person and am able to keep a positive mindset through all situations. I try to see the best in every situation even when it seems impossible.
In the last eight years, I have had 12 surgeries to repair both my ankles and shoulders due to Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Syndrome and it hasn’t stopped me from my work. Being positive is what keeps me going every day.
How do find the right balance between incorporating your creativity and ideas into your work, while fulfilling the organization’s vision and following its guidelines?
It is very easy to prioritize an organization’s vision and following the guidelines over my creativity and ideas but starting with the organization’s vision and then applying my creativity to the vision and the project.
Sometimes brand guides and campaigns can be very restricting which restricts my creativity and then I just do what I can to bring in my ideas to the project.
Who are your motivators? (“Who motivates you?”)
One of my high school teachers told me to get anything accomplished, I will have to do most of the work myself.
I have always challenged myself since then with my design and video work.
My parents are my main motivators as they have always told me to pursue a career in the creative industry and have also supported me through all the ups and downs of working in sports.
My niece is now my biggest motivator, I want to be able to show her that she can accomplish anything she wants if she sets her mind to it. She is my world. Working in the creative industry is not the easiest but it is completely doable.
Who do you think we should interview on SPMA next on the creative side of the industry?
1 Lauren Kuznia
Lauren Kuznia is a Graphic Designer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx – She has been with the teams for many seasons now and enjoys being able to design and use her creativity in sports.
2 Jacey Brunsen
Jacey is a Graphic Designer at the Minnesota Twins. She loves sports and has been able to combine her passions of sports and design.
3 Jordan Johnson
Jordan Johnson, Photographer, MN United FC, NBA Photos – He has been shooting with the Minnesota Timberwolves for 12 years and is the head photographer for the last 3 years for the MN United FC.