The Backdrop: Jonathan T. McLean Jr.
Jonathan T. McLean Jr. (@J__Clean) is a creative based in Los Angeles, California, USA - He has experience in marketing, social strategy, and art direction for a number of notable brands in sphere of media, sneakers, action sports, and fashion. One our most recent visit to LA he gave us a look into his world via his home decor and closet showing a few of his favorite collectibles.
What type of mindset do you enter when thinking about or arranging the space where you live and/or work?
Creatively, always. That’s my approach to anything - I’m a creative. I like to create. I like to curate. This space is the first personal space of my own. With it being a studio; led me to be a little more creative with the space given.
Did you think about your space as much prior to living and working on your own?
Yes! My dorm rooms in college were fly. My room at my Mom and Dad’s house is fly. There’s nothing like waking up in a setting, around things that inspire you. Plus, when you have guest you want to have them in an environment where they feel welcomed.
Favorite piece of art or favorite home accessory you own?
The Air Jordan painting gifted and created by my good brother, DJ Pauly Guwop as a house warming and birthday gift for my 23rd birthday. It’s a painting divided into 4 sections. Jordan’s 1, 3, 4 and 5.
Do you prefer to work from home or in a more social environment (office, co-working space, etc?)
I prefer to work in a social environment. Working from the crib is amazing – I just prefer that social interaction.
How do you feel that affects your work?
I don’t think it affects my work or creativity. It’s more so, where I prefer to get the work done.
How do you identify inspiring pieces to bring into your space?
A piece that is authentic and resonates with me and my lifestyle is what brings that. The Air Max 95 wax candle, is just as important as the The Clean Slate co branded Hennessey bottle - next to deadstock sneakers as house décor.
Ok, switching gears - You're huge on sneakers - Do you approach them from a utilitarian perspective or are they something you cop because you like to have them around for inspiration, etc.
Both. I cop sneakers because I love them, and I cop sneakers because they tell stories. I’m attracted to that story and I still love them ha! Some sneakers, I can’t wear - They’re just too good. Call me out on it, cool. But the worst thing is getting a fresh pair dirty. I rather keep them DS and pull them out later. I wear my sneakers though. Don’t get me confused – please. There is just a few pairs I have to keep up.
Favorite pair of kicks from 2017 and why?
Nike Roc A Fella Air Force 1. The AF1 is my favorite sneaker. So to see it collaborate with a brand such as Roc-A-Fella says a lot about the brand Nike, and its direction in the future. The heritage the ROC has on culture; It’s undefeated. Per the fact, Jay Z is my favorite rapper.
If you could design your ideal work/living space and budget is not an issue - What does it look like?
It’s minimal. It’s all white. White furniture. Black and white art pieces on the walls. It’s just minimal. And that reflects the work my company does. Minimal on the outside, but we get the work done on the inside.
Any projects in the pipeline that you can ACTUALLY speak on?
Honestly - I don’t know. Just taking life day by day. And thankful for all I have, and all I’ve been able to work on and accomplish. The work I’m doing with Nigel Sylvester is second to none, we’re killing it, so that’s always next. But other than that, Jeffrey and I are seeking what’s next for us, the brand, the community – all that. We’re in a stage of transition. I am aware of that. Change is good. So I am excited to see what’s next for myself and my team, as well. God has us.