Hi readers! This month’s highlight on “Around the World” is Jasmine from @wordsbyjasmine who makes some of the cutest bookmarks I’ve ever seen! She also happens to be writing her very own diverse novel (actually multiple at this point!). I asked Jasmine about both her shop and designs as well as her novel.
I. How do you decide which designs you want to release each month?
Planning my designs each month is actually trickier than it seems. To begin with I thought I’d go pretty broad – and starting with my first 10 designs was definitely a great idea to get the business off to a great start. To begin with, I start with my favourite books and I try to work out what might be popular, while also working on books which don’t have much merch.
II. What is your favorite design in your shop (or in process)?
Oh, that’s a tough one. But I think Percy and Annabeth have to be my favourites. Rick Riordan made me feel less alone as a dyslexic kid when I saw that these demigods were like me and could be heroes. So I think the characters resonate with me that way, but I just feel that their designs are so simple and I just adore the colour scheme! I’m really proud of myself for these ones!
III. Those who follow you know that you’re currently writing your own diverse novel! What (or who) are you most proud of in accomplishing this?
There are so many things I’m proud of when it comes to my novel. Mainly, it’s the fact that it’s starting to now feel finished – it honestly felt like it wouldn’t happen for a while there. I’ve been going through a tough time for maybe the past year so having my novel to disappear into has really, really helped that.
4. Are there aspects of your novel–and the world you’ve built–that reflect your own personal life and experiences?
My novel is a f/f fairytale retelling, in a fantasy world without homophobia. I feel this is incredibly important because, when I was figuring myself out, it would have been so validating to have been able to find myself in the characters of a book I adore. I’m hoping that my work may be able to help others like me, because I know how isolating it can be to go through that alone. I’m also going through a lot with my partner’s family, which has made things tough, so I think I just needed a queer story with a happy ending.
5. How did you come to open your own bookmark shop?
If I’m honest, it’s actually a little hard to remember! A lot of people have asked me this question and I find myself lost for words every time. I think it began when I got a wacom graphics tablet for my birthday and started doodling when my mental health got to me. Soon that turned into fanart, and the more I shared on my instagram story, the more people I had asking where they could buy my work. This – when everything felt like it was horrible – brought an incredible confidence back into my work. After that I started experimenting more with my work, and I had a few dozen people tell me my work would look adorable on bookmarks. So when I was confident enough, I tried it out, and I haven’t looked back! I’ve only been selling bookmarks since May 15, but I’ve already sold over 650! How crazy is that! It’s a lot of work, but I really couldn’t be happier. I feel like this has opened so many doors for me and has helped me focus my work. It really is mind-blowing how quickly things can some together 😄.
[ all photos courtesy of @wordsbyjasmine on Instagram ]
Look out for another bookstagram interview next month on the 15th!