Storytelling Through A Different Lens with Jay Villacci

Welcome to Mindless Interviews! Join us as we speak to our wonderful campaign partners, our past interns, industry professionals, and deep dive into Careers + Stuff That Matters.

Today, we'll be joined by one of our insanely talented past interns. Jay joined Mindless Academy and took part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme in December 2021. Since then, Jay has gone to graduate from York St John University with a degree in Photography and now works as a Digital Content Intern at Aesthetica Magazine.

In this interview, we'll be talking to Jay about his love of photography and videography, sharing work online, and growing as a storyteller with Mindless Academy.

Mindless: Give us a rundown of your educational background, what did you study, and where? How did you find your experience?

Jay: Hello, well, I’m actually a southerner living in the north. I moved here to pursue a degree in my passion (photography). I wanted a fresh start so I thought 200 miles away would do the trick. I was anxious at first however soon found my feet and started to really enjoy my personal experience in York as well as my academic one. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to base my career up here and have since been networking to find freelance work related to my practice of photography and videography.

Mindless: We’re a big fan of your photography work over at ! What inspired you to follow this line of work?

Jay: My biggest inspiration to pursue my goals was actually the passing of my mother back in 2018, I knew I had to make her proud by staying grounded and following my dreams. I began fiddling with cameras at 15 years old, I was and still am a film nerd and my ultimate dream is to become a Director of Photography in the future, so I suppose film culture had heavily inspired me to pick up my sister's old camera and begin to narrate stories that I wanted to make.

Mindless: This is such a powerful story and will be an inspiration to so many - thank you so much for sharing, and a HUGE well done to you for carrying on with what you love during such a tough time.

What inspired you to share your work online?

Jay: Being a member of the Gen Z community I grew up alongside the rise of image-sharing apps such as Instagram and Pinterest. It was cool to take mundane, banal images and proceed to plaster them with wacky film filters; however, I wanted to explore the realms of film photography without the need for highly destructive filters. I began experimenting with analog photography and sharing my results online. People's ongoing support and interest inspired me to keep sharing content. I would now say that the analog medium has become a vital aspect of my style.

Mindless: How did you find the job hunting scene after graduating?

Jay: Difficult, like pulling teeth. I am still searching for a permanent studio job alongside my current internship and freelance work but It is a damaging and depressing process of rejection and lack of opportunities. I was lucky enough to have seen an advert for a digital content internship over at Aesthetica magazine and soon later became a successful candidate for the role.

Mindless: The hard work you put into your portfolio, your experiences, your search, definitely paid off. Congrats! Can you tell us a little about what you're doing now and how you're finding it?

Jay: Thank you and certainly, now I am pushing my search and reaching for freelance work wherever I can find it. I am currently in the middle of an 8-week digital content internship at Aesthetica art and culture magazine, so far I am loving my time here, the people are lovely and I get to express my interest in photography within the content creation aspects of the internship.

Mindless: Photography and Videography is a form of storytelling in itself. How did completing the internship with Mindless Academy allow you to grow more as a storyteller?

Jay: Mindless gave me the voice to construct informative articles which I cared about, I think when you can be given the opportunity to write about topics you agree strongly on you get to find yourself more in the process. The internship gave me some valuable written and communication experience, an experience I think every employer is now looking for.

Mindless: What was the biggest takeaway from your time taking part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme?

Jay: Experimenting with written forms of communication I would say, it enabled me to practice persuasive and informative writing with the added bonus of a CV booster every graduate is in search of. I think what you guys do at Mindless is really inspiring and it has given graduates the opportunity to explore alternate career paths.

Mindless: What advice would you give to a young creative like yourself?

Jay: Don’t change your style, If you become conventional like the rest you won't stand out to future clients/employers. It’s super important to stay true to your work and general style. If you're changing your ways you may feel unhappy and eventually fall out of love with your practice.

You can find more from Jay at and also connect with them at

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