Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Gooden.
Hi Jordan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
When I was younger, I was always surrounded by creativity. Between my sister and I, she went for the libraries/book stores, and I went for the paint-by-numbers and vogue magazines. I always loved images and aesthetics over words and numbers. If you would’ve told little me that I’d be working for the top social media company and also a freelance artist, I would’ve laughed!
I am a DMV Native. I was born in Washington, D.C., and am the eldest child of single African-American parents. I spent my younger years growing up in Northern Virginia. During my younger years, I was attentive, quiet, and always secretly daydreaming about the downtown D.C. museum field trips we’d take as a class. I was always eager for art class, any project where I could do a simple PowerPoint presentation and show my creativity skills. Life wasn’t always art, though – I mean, I didn’t know my talent at that young age, so I participated in other activities. My entire childhood, I grew up playing school and travel club soccer – and I was pretty good at it.
You’re probably wondering where this story is going – I decided soccer was not for me when I suffered an injury that required extensive PT. After the injury, I needed to figure out what else I was good at and what else I would do with our lives, so I found art again.
As I reached my teen years, soccer became less fun and more pressure as it was the time to start getting serious about playing post-high school and possibly professional.
In my senior year of high school, I decided to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, where I became surrounded again by artistic individuals. While at SCAD, I decided to try out a class in the Advertising and Branding department, where I met a professor who quite honestly changed my life. I will never forget my first year at SCAD when I attended the Embrace Conference for Diversity and Inclusion in the industry (by SCAD Black Student Association). I specifically attended a panel by my summer 2017 pre-college professor, Emily Sanders. At the time, I decided I’d be majoring in advertising, allowing me to include strategy and creativity in my work. Still, I had NO idea what I was doing. I just knew that a media career was what I wanted. Emily said, “you will prove yourself right,” and it’s stuck with me ever since.
I’m pretty good at drawing, painting, and graphic design using art in various forms and mediums, and I have a growing portfolio.
Now attending Towson University (graduating in December 2022), my resume has been on an incline as I have secured 3 internships in the pandemic. I interned as an Events and Research Intern with the media blog and events company Brightest Young Things, where I worked on collaborative projects with the Smithsonian (a full-circle moment for little me). I then interned with television and entertainment company A&E Networks as an Ad Sales Partnerships Intern working on collaborative projects with Lifetime, KFC, and more! Most recently, I interned in two roles at entertainment network NBC Universal working on Digital and Global Ad Sales. The most notable mention is that I will be interning on their Global Ad Sales team at TikTok in their second *ever* intern class. I’m just getting started.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It certainly hasn’t been the smoothest road. Without diving in too deep, in 2009, I was diagnosed with childhood cancer, Wilm’s Tumor of the kidney. I went from being a healthy kid soccer player to being hospitalized, getting surgery, and 6 months of chemotherapy. I spent my days drawing in sketchbooks and creating daily while I was briefly homeschooled. I am beyond ecstatic that I am going on year 13 in remission, cancer-free. I am working on new ways and ideas to give back to the cancer community.
Another struggle along the way was living in a single-parent household. We moved around a lot! I have had about 7 addresses in the past 7 years, including DC, MD, VA, Georgia, and Florida. Over time, I have truly learned to value each place I have lived as they are a part of who I am. I am more culturally diverse because of each of my experiences, and I think it makes me a better communicator, which helps me excel in my field.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am self-taught in illustration, painting, graphic design, and marketing. What sets me apart is that I create for fun, especially when I paint and draw. I don’t create for-profit. I make it because I love it, and It’s an outlet for me to get things off my mind.
I am known for my graphic design flyers and social media posts at school. I am currently Assistant Director of Marketing for the Campus Activities Board at Towson University. We plan events for students and by students on campus, so I enjoy developing different marketing tactics for students. My most recent and notable one was a Pep Rally featuring our drumline, poms squad, and Rita’s on April’s beautiful 70-degree day. The event was to promote our Spring event week (Tigerfest 2022, where we had Rico Nasty & Flo Milli perform). We had over 300 attendees!
For my professional work, I work in Advertising Sales for Entertainment, Media, and Tech companies. So, in simpler terms, I work on teams to sell the advertisements you see on TV. From pitching to planning slots, I have only gotten my foot wet. I can’t wait to learn more!
I interned as an Events and Research Intern with the media blog and events company Brightest Young Things, where I worked on collaborative projects with the Smithsonian (a full-circle moment for little me). I then interned with television and entertainment company A&E Networks as an Ad Sales Partnerships Intern working on collaborative projects with Lifetime, KFC, and more! Most recently, I interned in two roles at entertainment network NBC Universal working on Digital and Global Ad Sales. The most notable mention is I will be interning at TikTok, in their second *ever* intern class, on their Global Ad Sales team.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love the culture, pride, and history that Baltimore and DMV residents have. I love that I may not meet one type of person while walking down the street. I love that there are different demographics and different cultures that I interact with daily. I love the pride, there is no greater pride than that of Maryland residents, and I love being surrounded by people who enjoy their city/state as much as I do. The only thing I would improve about the area is how hard it is to meet other minority creatives my age. I feel like we are all in our world, whether social media or elsewhere – I haven’t been able to cross paths with many people. I hope more media companies like Voyage get a greater spotlight for the creative community’s greatness.