US State Dept Culture Grant
RTDNA Edward R Murrow
Award for Excellence
The collected work of Jesse Stagg, an award-winning creative director with deep roots in pop culture, advertising, electronica, design, media arts, and experiential marketing. It's rumored he hacked a three-day pass to the TED conference.
The US born, UK raised Stagg began a global creative career as a Jr Art Director in the Cape Town offices of Ogilvy Advertising, making an immediate impression with innovative work on campaigns for VW, Shell, and Audi.
Relocating to Los Angeles, he joined the Turner Group as Art Director at Hanna-Barbera studios, later Cartoon Network Studios, in charge of concepting, art directing and implementing all major new studio marketing initiatives. Stagg’s highly successful launches of Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, and other Emmy-winning World Premiere Toons (later Cartoon Cartoon!) on Cartoon Network, gave rise to a new generation of animated TV superstars.
Departing Hanna-Barbera, Stagg worked on projects for, Disney Studios, WB, Fox, ABC, Sega, Sunkist, Mattel, TNT before joining with Disney Online. Stagg's work on Disney,com – the most trafficked site in the world at the time – led to album site designs for Disney films, The Lion King, Toy Story, Hercules, Austen Powers, Monday Night Football, GI Jane, Enemy of the State, and band sites for Hollywood Records artists, Queen and the Insane Clown Posse.
Stagg later joined Viacom / Paramount Studios as Creative Services Manager. Under his remit for all licensed properties including Twilight Zone, The Godfather, Mighty Mouse & Terrytoons, Top Gun, Charlotte's Web, among others. Stagg designed and directed the production of style guides, posters, sell sheets, logo design and brand systems. He oversaw a new global brand identity for Star Trek and the first franchise digital style guide in the entertainment industry.
Stagg went on to join CBS / Infinity Radio FTM as Senior Art Director spearheading the creation of Alternative / Modern Rock, Urban, & News / Talk websites in most major US markets. As Senior Art Director on KROQ.com, LIVE105.com, and KCBS.com he won 3 International Web Page Awards and received multiple award nominations and prizes including Webby's, Wammy's, and the RTDNA Edward R Murrow Award for excellence.
The original cartoon series The 7th Portal was created by Stagg and produced by Marvel comic-book legend, Stan Lee. The story of a global crew of early digital superheroes connected through Virtual Reality, broke records for an animated online series, became a successful 3D motion ride at Paramount Parks in the USA and abroad, and coined the word "Webisode", now in Webster’s Dictionary.
Stagg was asked to be Communications Chair of the Graphic Arts Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. During his tenure at LACMA, he rebranded the Council, tripled its membership, commissioned new works of art by artists Shepard Fairey, Raymond Pettibon, and Kenny Scharf. At Stagg’s urging, LACMA was the first major institution to recognize Video Games as a serious art form, and initiated the Into The Pixel Annual Awards at E3 Expo, to recognize excellence in the medium.
In 2014, Stagg curated and produced the painting of a 9-storey mural tribute to Nelson Mandela by Shepard Fairey. Inspired by South Africa's historic Purple Rain Protests, the artwork marked the passing of Mandela and the 20th anniversary of Democracy in South Africa. Praised by the US Ambassador as “a monumental tribute to the world’s greatest statesman.” For the full story see the purple shall govern.
Stagg was recently profiled in VICE.com for his early work as a creator of large-scale music events in the nascent Rave, Techno and Hip Hop scenes in South Africa, which is amusing considering how massive EDM has become. Stagg produced events in the US for Propaganda Films, New Line Cinema and also produced and directed Leonardo DiCaprio's millennium event.
Stagg has lectured in Media Arts at UCLA D|MA, and AFDA – the South African School of Motion Picture & Drama.
He continues to practice at the intersection of Design, Entertainment, and Technology and counts down enthusiastically to the Singularity.
MEDIA & PRESS:
Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Times