Collaborative design studio Bonfire Labs has added two established professionals to its roster, Jonathan Keeton and Tom Leonard. As the executive creative director, Keeton will be responsible for bolstering the pipeline, improving the production process, bringing in creative talent and mentoring junior artists. In the recently created position, director of business development, Leonard will spearhead the exploration of new business prospects, while maintaining relationships with existing clients. The additions of Keeton and Leonard mark the beginning of a directional shift for the company.
“There is a bit of a revolution happening at Bonfire and they are perfectly poised to explode as a studio,” Keeton noted. “Bonfire already has a stellar reputation for super competent technical execution – which is not easy to do – so my main goal is to fortify the design capabilities to help it become a design powerhouse. By adding this final piece, Bonfire becomes a balanced information design studio offering complete services.”
“Bonfire Labs has been really smart at seeing what is coming down the road, hence the reason they have been around now for over 20 years,” said Leonard. “They know how to respond to the needs and changes in the market, and how to augment themselves without losing the brand or the brand values, so I jumped at the chance to work with them.”
Well-versed at directing, designing and executing complex visual effects and design projects, Keeton comes to Bonfire from Pixomondo where he was the executive creative director for the U.S. commercial division. With more than 30 years of experience in the creative design world, Keeton has an in-depth knowledge of the industry gained from working with talented people and the school of hard knocks, having co-founded Radium and Western Images, and founded Good Pictures, in addition to holding various other positions at Varitel Video and Quantel. He will be instrumental in shaping Bonfire into a full-service studio.
Over the past 25 years, Leonard has brought his a combination of creativity, technical know-how and business savvy to the likes of Western Images, Rhythm & Hues and Digital Kitchen. He has extensive expertise in broadcast production, design, animation, editorial, CG, VFX and live action for commercials, television and film. As a freelance producer, he’s lifted the spirits and standards of outfits such as DreamWorks and Imaginary Forces. With a background in production and business development, Leonard understands the importance of consistency in terms of good creative work and opportunities, and the positive impact that the right personnel can have on a company. He also knows how to manage the natural ebb and flow of the business, enabling artists to focus on the development and execution of great ideas.