Humans of TMA is a content series in partnership with Discover_TMA that showcases the diverse, interesting, and creative people that make up The Marketing Arm.
Let’s get to know Jelani…
What’s your guilty pleasure? I have a guilty pleasure that I am not really guilty about. Pro wrestling is a really groovy thing for me. I’ve been watching since I was a kid and won’t stop anytime soon.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about you? If there was one thing I wish more people knew about me, it would be how common my name actually is. Granted, it’s not “Michael,” but I see other Jelani’s all the time. And you will too.
What’s your hobby or passion project outside of TMA? Some of my big passions are video games, drawing, and writing (but not the work kind). I like to write things that make me laugh. Oh! And I used to have a podcast too.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on? If I were to talk about a professional skill I am working to improve, I’d say presenting. I can do it, but I feel like there is always an opportunity to improve.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? Some of the best advice I ever received was from a teacher who pushed me to focus on the writing aspect of advertising when my skills in design weren’t at the level of my peers. I feel like I can stand out as a writer and I get to work on so many different things. It’s dope. And he’s dope for providing the advice.
What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? After a busy day at work, I love to get home and take a walk around my Long Beach neighborhood. I live in downtown and the area is really similar to a small town. I recognize everyone and just love taking in the city. After I’m done walking, it’s usually time for video games. I’m still playing Overwatch and Red Dead Redemption II even though my library doesn’t require me to.
What three words would your closest friends use to describe you? If my friends only had 3 words to describe me, I would guess they’d say: Loyal, Outgoing, OPTIMISTIC (caps used for emphasis).
What’s a trip that changed you and why? My trip to Japan had a big impact on me. I have loved Japanese culture for as long as I can remember. Having the opportunity to be immersed in their world was remarkable for me. Can’t wait to go back.
What trend do you hope makes a comeback? Remember when TV shows had theme songs with lyrics that lasted 30 seconds? Bring that trend back!
What led you to this career/industry? I got into advertising when discussing what I wanted to do with my life with an ex-girlfriend. I realized how much I liked the mix of creativity with a taste of office politics. Prior to this, I was a trainer at a bank teaching phone bankers. So much has changed.
If you could trade places for a day who would you choose and why? If I could trade places with one of those YouTube reviewers, I think I would have a blast. Watching a movie, thinking about how you feel about said movie, then becoming a “movie” to discuss it..
Favorite form of live entertainment? My favorite form of live entertainment (after pro wrestling) is concerts. I don’t go all the time, but when I do, I have a blast.
What are you watching? My girl and I just started The OA and I’m also watching a volleyball anime on Netflix called Haikyu.
What are you reading? Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch. Not to be confused with the Childish Gambino album Because The Internet. It’s all about linguistic changes in the modern age.
What are you listening to? Jelani Areyeh (see, I told you!), Kota the Friend, and bLAck pARty. I love my rachet music, but their sounds are perfect for a rainy day.
Who are you following? Saintchase, Mr.drawmatic and Koteri.ink on IG. Their art is ill.
What are you ignoring? Reality TV, Periodt.
What trip are you planning? Probably going somewhere pretty close like Catalina Island with my girl. I don’t trip too often. (See what I did there?)
Jelani Warren works as a Copywriter for the CA Lottery, The UPS Store, and CBA clients in the TMA Irvine office. He was born in raised in California and resides in downtown Long Beach, CA. He tells all his friends Vince Staples and Snoop Dogg are his neighbors (they are not).