We sat down with writer, director and brand consultant, Justin Herber, in his West Hollywood Design District home to talk career, creativity, and what he loves most about The District.
By looking at your career track record, you’re undoubtedly a multi-hyphenate (the career of the future!) How do you define what you do?
I generally tell people that I am a writer, director, and brand consultant. What that really comes down to is figuring out ways to creatively communicate ideas through a variety of forms and mediums: films, scripts, or brand strategies and campaigns.
It is sometimes difficult for even my close friends and family to get their arms around what I do because it is multi-hyphenated and non-traditional. To some people I am a writer, to others I am a painter, to some I am a creative director or documentary filmmaker, and to others I am Jessica’s husband.
Take us through your average Monday. We can only assume it starts with coffee…
My schedule and responsibilities vary week to week, so every Monday is different. A few things I always try to do are to be at my desk by 9:30 (with a cup of coffee) and fit in a workout.
Here is what this past Monday looked like:
7:00- 8:00 – Workout (my go to spots are Training Mate, BaseCamp Fitness, LIT Method, and Prevail)
9:00 – 11:00 – Worked from Verve Coffee on Melrose on a pitch for a new client and reviewed a series of edits on some commercials I recently directed
11:00 – 12:00 – Made calls from the road on the way to a meeting
12:00 – 2:00 – Working lunch with a creative agency on a consulting project
2:30- 3:00 – Coffee with an agency producer
3:30 – 6:00 – Worked with editors and creatives at the post house on the commercials
6:00 – 7:00 – Called my writing partner from the car to talk through a few projects and listened to Pod Save America (a Monday must)
8:00- 10:00 – Dinner/Drinks and with my wife and friends at The Ponte
10:30 – Decompress
11:30 – Bed
Before moving to The District several years ago, you were living in an old firehouse in the Arts District (before it was a ‘thing’). Quite the change of environment! What brought you to this change of scenery?
Living in the firehouse (especially before the Arts District had been exposed) was kind of like living in the Ghostbuster’s Firehouse crossed with the Paper Street Soap Company from Fight Club. It was an amazing bachelor pad, but had certain, let’s call them idiosyncrasies, that I didn’t want to subject Jessica (my now wife) to.
When we started looking for a house together in Venice, Laurel Canyon, and West Hollywood and fell in love with the Design District. There were so many great stores and restaurants were walkable, the neighborhood was predominantly single family homes, and the layout didn’t create a lot of through traffic like in other parts of the city. In many ways, it was the exact opposite of my situation in the firehouse. We have been here for over four years and I tell everyone that this is by far my favorite place I have ever lived (no offense to Floydada, TX).
If you were to spend an entire day – on foot – in your neighborhood, where would you start, where would you pitstop and where would you end up?
Ideal day would look something like this (it would most likely be a Saturday or Sunday so I could spend it with my wife):
Workout (RiseNation – cause Jessica would choose)
Grab Coffee/Tea from Alfred in the Alley
Farmer’s Market on Melrose Place (grab food to grill)
Stop off at house and shower
Late breakfast at Hedley’s
Leisurely walk around the neighborhood
Haircut at Baxter Finley (ask for Anthony)
Meet friends at Zinque for light bites and an afternoon glass of wine
Pick up wine from DuVin or John and Pete’s (secret: Shiner Bock is always on special there)
Have friends back to the house to grill in the backyard
One word that describes the West Hollywood Design District: _______.
Photos by Natasha Lee