Things you didn’t know about Jonathan Leahy Maharaj!


In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you get to know some of our team a little bit better…already we have told you a few things about Edel Cox, Ali O’Brien and Basia Kozlik.

This time round it’s time to get to know our fantastic Creative Director (the ‘colouring-in’ expert as he calls himself), and chief nice guy Jonathan Leahy Maharaj a little bit better!

My favourite holiday…
Jonathan Leahy MaharajEveryone needs a hero. In 2001 I got to spend 2 weeks with mine, my father, in Trinidad, an island with roughly the population of Munster, a love of food that would feature on a nuclear version of the Scoville Scale and a climate that when it rains the sun comes out to dry you off again.

I got to see flying fish, humming birds, 360° rainbows at the bottom of a 300 feet high (91.5m to all you metric fans) waterfall. I got to hear the incredible sounds of 200 shell drummers at pan-yard and we ate the most incredible food in the most incredible of places (by incredible, I mean it was incredible that they were allowed to open, hygiene and H&S seemed like something not quite invented in some of the “restaurants”).

I met family who I had only seen in photos, I took so many photos – out the window of a moving car mostly, our hosts were not as inclined to stop as I was due to a phenomenon they refer to as bandits, (quite confusing when the holy men out there are called Pandits!)

And more importantly, I got to spend time with a man I knew little enough about, and learn about him, his culture (human barbecues are a riot) and his love of whiskey and coconut water (Try it. No, seriously, go somewhere with real, fresh coconut water and try it. I’ll give you his address and you can post him a thank-you card.).

Finally, my Trinidadian family home is across the road from the local Rum factory. Its like having Willy Wonka’s factory next door, the smell of the burnt sugar cane going through processing is olfactorial heaven.

My dream car…
Well I’ve had the Raleigh Strika, the Raleigh Winner, the Raleigh Amazon, the GT Agressor and my current beast, the KTM Ultra3.29, an animal of a bike.

Oh wait – you said “Car”… It’s a late 80’s, early 90’s Saab 900. Lets leave that there.

The part of my job I love most…
Designing. As designers we get a little precious about what we do, because we genuinely love what we do. By love I mean Adore, with all our hearts. So to be allowed to actually do what we do is a gift in itself. To be paid to do it? (Almost) a bonus!

My worst habit…
Not getting my hair cut more than the 4 times a year I have religiously stuck to over the past number of years. There comes a time (well 4 times year) I look like a cross between a Wookie and a homeless person.

If I’ve turned up to a meeting and you’ve seen me at that point, I apologise, but we all have our rituals, and the (4xhaircuts/12months) is one of mine.

My best habit…
Giving my all. I had an incident once with someone where I asked for 110%, to which she replied that it was mathematically incorrect and impossible to give 110%. So, maths not being a strong point of mine, I give my all.

Beastie Boys - license-to-ill-cassette

My first album…
We were too poor for a record player (I grew up in the great depression years of the late 70’s/early 80’s) so it was all about cassettes. So my first album (on cassette that I bought) was The Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill. Still have it, still play it, still rocks. There was another, earlier album that I received as a gift, but I chose to ignore it, now that I know better.

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj

My hobbies are…
Who has time for hobbies? ..Ok, in my spare time, I read design blogs, look up design inspiration websites, read about design software, do some digital illustration and pester the hell out of my family for being on twitter (@jlm_cork BTW, sorry in advance about the cursing), and I photograph & Instagram the hell out of everything (@jlm_cork as well). Not so much our cat/dog or my dinners, although they do make an appearance from time to time (not in the same image, that’d be weird).

Jonathan Leahy MaharajDescribe yourself in 5 words…
Shorter than I think I am. (sorry, that’s 6.)

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?
Short story: London will always be my City of Choice to live in. It has a buzz and an atmosphere like no other place, and a culture that embraces design as an entity that is both tangible and valuable, more so than any other city I’ve ever been to or lived in.

I believe that part of its allure is that it’s a place where you can be as anonymous as you want to be, so with headphones and sunglasses, I believe that invisibility is already possible in a place like that.

So… I’d do the Tate, the National Portrait Museum, some Tube/bus surfing (my old man was a bus driver, so theres a small obsession with transportation going on) the Design Museum, back to the Tate’s bookshop (heaven pt1), a bookshop called Magma (design bookshop heaven pt2), a restaurant in Norbury called Mirch Marsala, and some lounging about.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring?
An iPod for music, a solar charger for the iPod, my wife for company. (the kids will be grand, we’ll be back in a fortnight, three weeks tops)

The best advice I was given…
I’m not sure that I have ever been given “advice” as such that I’d count as life changing… I think that you should be true to yourself in everything that you do. Life has taught me that. Is that advice? If so then does that count?

Otherwise, there’s loads (I mean LOADS) of cursing on this website, so excuse my including this, but it really does have some of the best advice on it: Good Advice!

Jonathan Leahy MaharajJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads our creative Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland 

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