Jasmine Dowling is a name on everyone's lust list, creating beauty out of everything she touches. Jasmine is a graphic designer by trade but as a self-proclaimed creative she works on everything from graphic design projects, lettering and creating artwork to creative directing, styling and photography.
We've all reposted one of Jasmine's typography prints at one time or another!
In this Q&A we chat to Jasmine about what the meaning of being creative means to her, copyright infringement and that success can be as simple as working on what you love daily.
Q1: In your own words, please tell us what you do and how it came to be…
In summary I would say that I work as a creative. I spend my days doing anything from graphic design projects, creating artworks, creative directing to styling and photographing. My business has definitely evolved over the years, I started while I was still in university trying to teach myself hand lettering in any spare moment that I had. At the time brush lettering wasn’t really a thing so unfortunately (and fortunately) there wasn’t any tutorials for it which meant I was able to build my own style, put it online and that would later go somewhat viral.
At the time of finishing university I was making enough money through clients that had found me through social media that I didn’t go into a designer role at a studio, instead focusing on my own thing. Due to getting most of my work through my online presence, styling and photography then became a skill that I was constantly working on. So when the lettering work became repetitive, I would start experimenting with that more. It has never been a conscious decision to expand the business but it just has moved in that direction where I am more multi-disciplinary than I had planned.
Q2: Was your current business always on the cards or did you have other dreams growing up?
Yes and no. Working for myself had never crossed my mind and I feel like I stumbled into that. I had always planned on working in a studio in the design arena but I was never really picky which type of design or creativity. I kind of loved it all so I knew as long as I was able to exercise creativity in my workplace I would be pretty content.
Q3: You are most well-known for your typography, but we know you have quite a few more hats when it comes to your career. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in addition to this, what’s involved and what’s your favourite part.
Yeah so most of my weeks are split between Lettering & Graphic Design (mainly branding or illustration), then you have the more recent parts of my business like Creative Direction for brands, Styling & Photography. The last three normally tie in together, where I work with a brand on a creative concept for a shoot then execute it through sourcing, styling & photographing it myself.
Designing will always be my favourite but I love having the freedom to work across different mediums of creativity. I think that definitely helps to keep me inspired and motivated because it rarely becomes repetitive.
Q4: For Internationals Women’s Day and all of this month, we are focusing on strong women we admire and who we think are breaking the mould in their industry. Can you share with us how you are creating a point of difference?
For me, I focus a lot on being an example for other women especially in creative businesses. That you don’t need huge connections or financial backing to make your hobby your work. That you have rights and can stand up to large corporations when it comes to protecting your work. Lastly, that success doesn’t need to look a certain way. It doesn’t need to be world domination or fancy cars, it can be working on what you love daily - that is enough.
Q5: Did you study or are you self-taught?
I have a Bachelor of Design majoring in Visual Communication so I technically did study but as for learning what I do for work I would say I am self taught. Everything from my hand lettering to styling to photography I have learnt from practice and google.
Q6: You have worked with a lot of well-known and successful brands, people and businesses. What do you think it is that draws these clients to you and how do you find clients that also align with your passions and values?
Since majority of my clients come from social media, I feel they are able to get a good sense of who I am and my work prior to reaching out. It is a position of privilege to only work with clients that align to my values and not something I ever take for granted. When you’re working for yourself sometimes you really just need clients so you can pay your bills but once you’re not in that position I think it is important to take advantage of that freedom and choose wisely.
Q7: How do you continue to find inspiration (and motivation) for your work? Is this something you pull from your clients?
For most of my work, I bring it back to being inspired by life. By that I mean whether it is for lettering designs or photography work I always try and bring it back to how we interact with things, emotions or moods behind moments. It also helps working between disciplines. I always find that the styling influences the design and vice versa.
Q8: What does the future look like for Jasmine Dowling? Do you have a business plan in place or do you like to keep things fluid?
I really like to just keep things moving. I have never had a 5 year plan in place and I don’t think I intend to at the moment. I like to think that if I continue to stay in touch with the work that I want to be doing, enjoy that work and keep trusting that then I will always be fulfilled by my work.
Q9: What are your strengths as a business owner and what roles you have found to challenge you?
I would say that my strengths are being self aware and self motivated. I never feel as if I need someone else to tell me what I need to get done and I constantly am pushing myself forward. My weakness is definitely being a control freak, which is why I still mostly work alone.
Q10: What are you passionate about?
Copyright infringement. At quite a young age in business I have had to take on pretty large corporations legally which was a big wake up call for me. It affected me a lot in the earlier years so helping & educating others on this is definitely something that I feel passionate about after dealing with it multiple times.
Q11: What are your top 3 superpowers?
I think as any creative, one of our biggest super powers is the ability to create something beautiful out of nothing. Secondly, being able to keep multiple fiddle leaf fig trees alive & thriving. Last superpower would be that I am able to demolish a large movie popcorn alone.
Q12: How do you practice self-care? Do you find this essential in running a successful business?
Self care to me is really paying attention to how I am feeling and reacting in the day to day and adjusting accordingly. Working alone can a tough sometimes but it is also a great opportunity to learn a lot about yourself. You get to know when you need to get outside, when you need to do creativity for creativity sake, when you need to really practice meditation or just get some movement in. It is so important to me that I don’t burn myself out or run at a level 100 stress all the time. As much as I might want to in that moment, I am in this for the long haul and I need to work sustainably to make sure I can.
Q13: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Get to know yourself and what you want out of a business without any preconceptions. You don’t need to fit into the mould of a successful business person. You have the freedom to do things your own way & create your own version of success.
Q14: One last thing… share with us a quirky fact about yourself! Something that people might not know about you?
I don’t think I am alone on this but I can’t sleep without a fan on. If I am in a hotel or somewhere that doesn’t have a fan I have an app that recreates the noise.