Jun Zee Myers has been the Head of Media Labs and Animation at BuzzFeed since 2017. In the beginning, it was just her, Lizz, and two others in a closet! Back then, in 2017, the goal was just to prove that animation on social media was viable. Now, the team has more than quadrupled in size and has a massive impact. Before BuzzFeed, Zee was a 3D Animator on Hollywood films like The Hobbit and Planet of the Apes. The jump to social media was unexpected but Zee was drawn to the incredibly fast feedback cycle of social media: “When you post something, you know almost instantly whether it is a hit. For a film, you’re looking at a minimum of two years before you find out what people think of it.” She draws inspiration from people who follow their truth and can articulate it, like Alan Watts, Jane Goodall, Herminia Ibarra, and Stephen Fry. Zee admires artists with bold, colorful styles like Mameko Maeda, Mary Blair, Muxxi, and Suzy Ultman. She’s a big fan of Genndy Tartakovsky and Hayao Miyazaki, and obviously is inspired by everyone at the Animation Lab!
At BuzzFeed, Zee oversees all aspects of the Animation Lab and Media Labs. Media Labs is BuzzFeed’s outlet for unique experimental projects, where she produces large scale projects in interactive video, metaverse or augmented reality spaces, and AI. Zee loves to support artists and help them grow their careers. Her goal is to continue to grow the Animation Lab and its properties, and create an exciting, collaborative, and diverse workplace for artists and animators.
Zee’s advice for aspiring animators is, “Get feedback from near and far, and really listen to it. Don’t let your inner critic get to you – you don’t have to follow all the feedback you’ll get, but you can learn a lot about yourself, your work, and other people’s perception by hearing many perspectives.”