Jacinte Faria is the executive-producing queen of connections and clear communication.
In her latest roles, she's overseen video spots (and even an AR experience) for brands like Netflix, Google and McDonald's. But when Jacinte was entering the industry, her main way in was by starting small.
So to help find her first job, she found her first internship — as a studio assistant for FutureBrand, a brand transformation company in her home of Toronto.
From there, Jacinte only went up. Her starting role taught her how to help in the studio, proofread copy, oversee copyrights, and plan for accounts... until she was eventually managing them.
"Every time I wanted to try something different, they always afforded me that luxury,” Jacinte said. “I had such a trusting relationship with them; it was a family. Everyone supported everyone and a lot of those people still connect once a year over Christmas, get together for drinks. It persisted in that sort of culture, which is lovely."
Just like her FutureBrand family helped her to reach new heights within the agency, they also helped her outside of it. Jacinte said she was able to find most of her opportunities through references from coworkers, often beginning with them saying, “You need to meet this girl.”
“I was very lucky,” Jacinte shared with Adspire. “I very rarely had to do an interview for any of the roles I got. It is lovely to have good relationships with people and see how long that lead takes you.”
But the promotions and references and connections didn’t just come from nothing — every time Jacinte had the opportunity, she would put herself to work. So even on breaks and holidays from school, she would find herself at her co-op, continuing her climb.
Below: Right before she moved to L.A., Jacinte was executive producer for Shit Girls Say. The show became an instant internet phenom that spawned a zillion parodies, too much press to post, and awards at the One Show, the Webby's and the Bessies.
“It was pure confidence and bravery that had me jumping into a random position that I had no business doing.”
As she watched all the inner-workings from the sidelines as a studio assistant, she decided to make her first jump. She realized that account managers were the ones rolling in the money — and she wanted to join them.
“It was pure confidence and bravery that had me jumping into a random position that I had no business doing,” Jacinte said.
She learned a lot from working directly with clients, especially on the dead-end and unnecessarily challenging accounts, which were often given to employees who were in entry-level roles, like Jacinte.
“They would say things like, ‘I am the client, you are the agency, you have to listen to us,’” Jacinte said. “I would say things like, ‘You hired us, don’t you want our studied point of view? We’re working really hard to represent your brand in a market you don’t know anything about.’ They had no time for me.”
But every experience, good or bad, just helped her realize what she did and didn’t want in her career.
“I follow my nose when it feels wrong or it won’t fit. I just moved on. Most of the time nothing was broken; I just moved for change.”
For Jacinte, the complicated power dynamic showed her it was time to look for something that would make her feel more comfortable.
She realized that she didn’t want to be on the account side anymore, and rather wanted to be a producer — a position she actually didn’t know existed. And, little did she know, it was a position with responsibilities similar to the ones she was already doing in her account roles, like helping execute digital creative projects.
By that time, she had already made her way into an account director role at TAXI agency, but once again spoke a new role in a new department into existence. She asked to become an interactive producer who would be hands-on in the making process, and she got it.
From there, Jacinte found her footing across various agencies and studios in Toronto, and within two years she earned the role of executive producer at the production company Hard Citizen.
After a couple years there, she realized it was time for another switch. This time, in location.
She knew her move from Toronto to L.A. was key for her creative mind to stay sharp.
“I wanted to see if having sunshine all the time was as awesome as it sounded,” Jacinte said. “Growing up in Toronto is cold. There's a lot of friction and tension in your life — I wanted to remove that.”
All the worries that came attached to the changing weather, like going back and forth between multiple wardrobes and switching the car’s snow tires, were no longer an issue. The fewer worries, the more room she had in her mind to be more creative and concept newer and bigger things.
“L.A. softens you, like people say, because you don’t have that tension," Jacinte said. "You don’t have that appreciation for weather suddenly becoming warm, or the divergence of having a lovely day or a cold day, windy day or rainy day and what sort of emotion that brings about. It allows a lot of time for self-reflection because of the continuity in your day and in your life. You’re able to have more space. It was a good move."
Once she was out west, connections and referrals were Jacinte’s best friend again. ACNE, a creative studio, took her under their wing and introduced her to what she feels was, “literally everyone in the industry.” She was onward and upward.
Below: Jacinte was executive producer on a WeTransfer campaign that branded the file-sharing business as a humble facilitator of art and creativity. The campaign won a silver cube in the "integrated branding" category at the 2019 ADC Awards.
“Persistence and consistency are key. If you continue to say the same thing, you will eventually be heard.”
Fortunately, Jacinte has (quite easily) been able to make herself at home in California, most recently as managing director at Stink Studios, a creative advertising & digital experience company.
She’s progressed, produced and of course collected her paydays, but she’s also gathered some guidance along the way.
When it comes to using your voice, Jacinte advised incoming ad womxn to be concise, and stay consistent.
“I’m pretty loud,” she said. “Persistence and consistency are key; if you continue to say the same thing, you will eventually be heard.
“Sadly, I wish it was always the first time around – there have been a lot of 'I told you so' moments for me. [But] maybe I didn’t voice it in the right way. That’s why I think that being persistent and adding clarity into that, is often how you are heard. The more clear you are, the more people are listening to you.”
But even more importantly, she encourages students to experiment and explore all there is to find in this enormous industry, just like she did.
“Experiment, just like relationships,” Jacinte said. “Try new things, see what you like and jump around for new opportunities, new blood, and more money. You don’t necessarily get seen sticking at the same place, like our parents did working 30 years at a [company]. You do have to move around and get uncomfortable.
“The blood that you get from moving is so amazing. There is something lovely about being scared on your first day again. If you’re not scared, you’re a psychopath, so you need to be scared — be scared and be vulnerable.”
To see more of Jacinte's dope productions, visit jacinte.xyz.