Jensen has a number of qualifications under his belt which include a Diploma in Marketing Management and an N6 Certificate in Fine Art. He won the Sassda Award for design excellence in 2006, and in 2002 he was awarded the NSA New Media Artist of the year in KwaZulu-Natal. Jensen has worked for celebrities and musicians such as Nathaniél; Snotkop; and Simply Red.
1. What was your first job/ where did you start?
I started out in 1995, as a dreaded in-house designer for Robust Pools. I was hired after showing my hand-drawn portfolio to the then Marketing Director after a cricket game. I had never worked on a Mac in my life and hadn’t even finished studying at that stage.
2. What made you want to build a career in your profession?
From childhood I had a natural ability for drawing. I guess I knew from my Lego days on the carpet that the nine-to-five grind was not for me and that careers where every day was new, were rare. In many ways, advertising stimulates my science half as well as my ‘arty-farty’ half. There are very few careers that suit a hyperactive head as much.
3. Describe a day in your life at present.
My day starts at 05:00. I am up; showered; shaved; prayed; and firing in studio by 06:00. On a good day, there is a chaotic mix of briefs; brainstorms; intense idea crunching; laughing; getting irritated; and producing epic visual concepts and complete work.
4. List your favourite song; movie; and book.
My favourite song is hard to pin down because I have a few. Every life has a distinct soundtrack. AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ really gets me in the groove. Five minutes alone with Pantera will also do the trick. Surprisingly, perhaps I am not a great fan of cerebral movies, as movies should provide an escape, not a challenge or a lecture. I enjoyed Seven and Fight Club, both of which are my firm favourites. As far as books go, I love anything Richard Laymon has written.
5. Who would you most like to meet - dead or alive - and why?
For me, I would love to entertain Nietzsche and C.S. Lewis for dinner. Hammer and
6. What has been one of the most important lessons you have learnt?
In creative work, being completely in touch with your spiritual source is critical.
It’s where I go in good and bad. In my personal life and in my creative life I suppose, less is more and quality reigns over quantity any day. A splash of Tabasco trumps a bucket of water any day.
7. What is your secret indulgence and your three 'can't live without' items?
My not-so-secret indulgence is my Hotwheels collection. A complete, beautiful addiction. I cannot survive without a smile from my daughter or wife; Pantera on my iPod; and my KTM 950 SM.
8. Who do you think is getting it right in the industry?
I think any creative individual who practices his craft with an obsessive dedication to authenticity is getting it right. The passionate, batty few, who pursue perfection for perfection’s sake.
9. Which person in the industry do you think is making waves?
I appreciate waves made by unsung heroes. Stealthy masters who make them and never see any recognition for it and who perhaps do not seek it. I love that. From a typography point of view, Kevin Shenton, at TripleM is a force of nature, and an illustrator whom I recently became acquainted with, Jason Bronkhorst, certainly has my attention for his grit. On the music front, the Odendaal brothers at Broken Records are going to go into orbit any second now. Joe Niemand is always up there, and in film, Nic Costaras from Switchvert is blessed with that elusive ‘X’.
10. What is your favourite fragrance?
Well, I wear Hugo Boss Original, but as for perfume... whatever your sources told you, it’s a damn lie! LOL!
11. Which car would best personify you, and why?
Probably a bike more than a car, something bonkers; impractical; powerful; and unmarked. A big, naked motard; pimped to the hilt; serial number filed off. But a car, probably an original 1976 Chevy El Camono, black with the gnarliest V8 big block
motor, just dying to eat up chunks of tarmac...
12. What is your favourite reality TV series?
One of man’s more brainless moments. I would love a reality show where I get to shoot at unarmed clients every other day... any takers? I have always though that a Survivor Hillbrow was a cracker idea. Start one side with a big screen TV set; openly displayed cash; and a Rolex, and then whoever makes it to the other side, takes home the title.
13. Who is someone you truly look up to, and which qualities do you most admire about them?
I have had the blessing of working with some very astute ad men in my career, as well as a few snake oil salesmen. Among artists, I really admire Derek Healey, a man who came from humble beginnings, and never lost the ability to treat fledgling creatives as diamonds in the rough. My dad is somebody who also taught me about soft answers and staying the course, no matter what. My mom, for a vision that never dies.
14. What's your stance on social media?
As with any other media, I always hope for a triumph of substance over style. If it has a backbone and truly makes a revolutionary difference, then I am all for it. But if it’s just another contrived way to blow bubbles, kill it quickly.
Apart from his creative work and achievements, Dean enjoys riding motorcycles and he loves fly fishing. He keeps marine fish in a reef system for good measure too.