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Meet Jes Sheldon of Teammate

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jes Sheldon.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
One night in high school, I randomly found myself interested in starting to make Tumblr edits (I had a Miley Cyrus one specifically). I started out working in Gimp, and gradually made the shift to photoshop. As my skills grew, so did my Tumblr (and Twitter, where I’d post edits that linked back to my Tumblr) and eventually Miley followed me. She reached out to me during her Bangerz era to use one of my edits as her Adore You single sleeve, and that was the start of me designing for her.

Through Twitter, I also became good friends with Olivia Rudensky (who works for Miley; she’s the fan account that Miley hired) and with that I started doing random things here and there for Miley design-wise (this was during her Younger Now era). From there, I went on to do more work for her, including her She Is Coming cover, the 1-833-SHE-ISMC billboards, and now her Midnight Sky cover.

Shortly after moving to LA in 2018, I was introduced to Cynthia Parkhurst, who’s the founder of Teammate. I did freelance for her for a while and then transitioned into full time this April, and I couldn’t be happier. Working on those Tumblr edits years ago made me realize that my dream was to be a graphic designer for the music industry, and I’m lucky enough to be living that dream and designing for multiple artists that I grew up listening to.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For the most part, it’s been smooth. I’ve been lucky enough to have met amazing people that have introduced me to other amazing people, which has been a huge help in getting me where I am today.

I took a little break of making things for fun while I was in college (I went to school for art photography), but eventually I picked it back up in graduate school, which was when Miley started her Younger Now era. While both undergrad and graduate school were photography based, the experiences there helped shape my graphic design. I was able to use the creative thinking I learned for photography and apply it to my work.

When I moved to LA in 2018 it wasn’t for a design job, it was for a photo archivist position. I stayed in that position for almost two years before I started full time at Teammate.

So while it’s been a smoother ride, there were a few stops along the way.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Teammate story. Tell us more about the business.
Teammate specializes in digital strategy and creative content capture for high-level talent. The company works with clients across everything social media including photoshoots, creative direction, rollout strategies, lyric video creation, merch design, and more.

Teammate is really unique in the sense that it truly lives up to its name – there are six of us and we all work together, no one is a stronger working part or acts like they’re more important than the rest. It’s all about the balance and how each skill set we bring helps to build the bigger picture. It’s truly an amazing and authentic group of people. It’s exactly what you want to look for when picking a company because there’s just such a great energy.

Beyond the work we do for artists, we’re also all really involved in social justice issues and giving back. The company makes a monthly donation based on immediate-need causes that’s discussed with all employees prior to the donation. It’s important for us to be able to use what we’ve built to make a difference because we’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to help our community.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
A huge part.

While my skill set and work ethic are a huge part of why people want to work with me (or continue to work with me), I know that luck is what got me those introductions to begin with.

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