We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Paola Honeyman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joanna Paola, how do you think about risk?
I come from an immigrant family, which by itself means risk plays a huge role in my life. My father came to America with only $120 in his pocket and a dream for a better life and better opportunities for his family. He worked here for two years before the rest of our family was able to join him. And when we did, my parents faced a lot of challenges adjusting to a new life with a young family. Their strength, fearlessness and tenacity was proof that anything was possible – if you are willing to work hard, make sacrifices and take risks. This mentality influenced both my personal and professional life. Most notably, leaving a comfortable corporate job to start my own agency was a huge risk, especially during a recession, while getting married and buying a house all in the same year! It was a great job, in a world renowned company with insurance and benefits. I could have climbed up the corporate ladder and had a safe and comfortable life, but instead I decided to bet on my freedom. I wanted to have the freedom to chose who I wanted to work with and the kinds of projects I could take. The risk was worth it – it gave me control of my time, much of which I use to explore other art forms such as painting, and to travel around the world to gain new perspectives. Playing it safe is boring, I think there’s no way to find our full potential except take risks and go all in!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I run a creative agency called Honeyman Studios. We specialize in building brands and telling the brand story through the process of discovery. First we start with the company’s story – we find out the motivations behind their business and what they want to achieve. Then we focus on their customer at the heart of everything – working to understand their needs, desires, and obstacles – really getting to know their story before diving into any design. We believe a solid understanding of the customer will yield better results for the company as well as provide a product or service that will best benefit their audience. We are not a design agency that takes orders or simply wants to make things look pretty, we are partners and strategists who will guide them through the business of design. This is what sets us apart – we go deep to gain a better understanding and build a solid foundation from which to grow and prosper. Our purpose is to elevate our clients, help them envision their full potential and guide them on a path to success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is amazing. It is my favorite city in the whole world and as long as I have lived here I still have not been able to see everything, and every time I come back from a trip I am so happy to be home. That is how I know I am in the right place! There is so much to do but here are some of my favorite things to do in LA:
– Hiking – There are various trails found all around Los Angeles, from Elysian Park to the Santa Monica mountains to Malibu. The views are spectacular and they provide great workouts! For a leisurely walk, the Ballona Creek which overlooks the Marina channel is great for a relaxing afternoon stroll.
– The food scene is fabulous in every LA neighborhood! In the west side, some of my favorite restaurants are Hama Sushi in Venice, Irori in Marina del Rey, Moonshadows in Malibu, and a variety of breakfasts spots everywhere. Some of our regular spots are Thomas, Maxwell’s and Rockenwagner all along Washington Blvd, Shoops on Main St, and Beachside on Palawan Way.
– There are wonderful parks everywhere. In particular I love Burton Chase in Marina del Rey, where my husband and I often picnic and watch the sunset together or with friends. For shopping, I love Abbott Kinney in Venice and Main Street in Santa Monica. There are lots of great stores and restaurants to chill out in afterwords.
– The beaches! My favorite is a quaint spot just south of the Washington Pier in Marina del Rey. But I also love Leo Carrillo State Beach and Point Dume.
One of the interesting things that came out of not being able to travel during this pandemic was being able to explore more of LA. I’ve gone on so many walks and hikes (always wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance) and have found many gems hidden in plain site. Grab the book, “Secret Stairs: A Guide to the Secret Stairs of Los Angeles” by Charles Fleming, and pick a neighborhood to explore! It’s a perfect way to learn about LA history and do a lot of discovering!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, my loving parents, Enrique and Dora Hernandez, who instilled in me their strong work ethic, creativity and imagination. Those values have sustained me and are a source of inspiration to me always. Their fearlessness in starting a new life in a new country, thriving and getting their children ahead will always be a reminder of the kinds of things one can achieve. My husband, Ian Honeyman, who is a brilliant musician, film composer and writer, has been my rock and constant support throughout my career and our life together. His talent and unending drive are a huge inspiration and his help was invaluable in launching Honeyman Studios. There have been so many people crucial to every step of my growth and I will be forever grateful to them. At this time, I’d like to give a shoutout to Chris Do and The Futur community for their support, creativity, professionalism and their mission to help others make a living doing what they love.