Fake Love’s Lead Creative Technologist on the Power of Combining Art and Tech

For Jasmin Rubinovitz, it all started with mud

Rubinovitz studied computer science and ceramic design as an undergraduate.
Fake Love

When Jasmin Rubinovitz isn’t at work, you might find her playing with mud.

Rubinovitz spent her undergraduate years studying computer science and ceramic design. There, she came to an epiphany—the different disciplines balance each other out beautifully. Computer science is relatively new, exact and technical. Ceramics, an ancient, imperfect art form, reminds Rubinovitz to remain patient and focused.

“If you hurry, you could ruin weeks of work,” she said. “When I am on a pottery wheel, I have to be extremely focused on only what I am doing. There are no shortcuts.”

Rubinovitz combines her passions for art and technology as the lead creative technologist at Fake Love, the experiential ad agency that The New York Times’ branded content arm, T Brand Studio, acquired in 2016. Rubinovitz is tasked with executing Fake Love’s big, grand ideas; she’s currently working on two big tech and design-centric projects for gym brand Equinox and telecom company Nokia. Her goal, she said, is to figure out what emerging technology she can use “to make an experience more meaningful and magical.”

Before Fake Love, Rubinovitz spent two years interning as a software engineer at Google, where she worked on search tools and other consumer-facing products. But she wanted to flex her creative muscles, too, so she went back to school to pursue her master’s degree at the MIT Media Lab. There, Rubinovitz studied interactive machine learning algorithms, designed the front-end of the digital civic engagement game FiftyNifty.org, and experimented with different ways to classify, organize and deliver news content to digital news consumers.

Her interest in classifying news content made her consider applying for a job at The New York Times, and it was on the Times’ website where she first found out about opportunities at Fake Love. The agency’s marriage of creativity and tech seemed tailor-made for her, and she reached out right away.

“What I really like about my job is that the collaboration is really tight,” Rubinovitz said. “Ultimately, I think that generates better results.”

Courtesy of Jasmin Rubinovitz

Big Mistake

“At some points in my career, I have been very much a yes man,” Rubinovitz said. “I am the sort of person who tries to avoid arguments, and I have sometimes agreed to do something to avoid conflict. But when I did that long enough, I found myself doing something I wasn’t interested in doing, or doing something I was unhappy doing but had already agreed to do.”

Lesson Learned

“Don’t be scared to express your opinions—even if sometimes you don’t think it’s the smartest thing to say in the moment,” she said.

How She Got the Gig

Rubinovitz was looking for a job opening at The New York Times when she stumbled upon Fake Love’s work. “I got so excited and psyched, but I didn’t know anyone there,” she said. “So I emailed the jobs email, and I actually got a reply a couple of months later!”

Pro-Tip

Rubinovitz recommends keeping a running list of projects and ideas—professional and personal—so no good idea falls by the wayside. On her list: training robots to draw mandalas, abstract patterns emanating from a center point that are sometimes drawn to aid meditation. “Experiment as much as you can, keep learning, [and] go out with people to see art,” Rubinovitz said.

Courtesy of Jasmin Rubinovitz

This story first appeared in the July 23, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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