I want to introduce you to Jenipher Lyn, my Instagram friend, whose doodles have become part of my morning ritual. I head to Starbucks, grab a green tea, open Instagram and look for her daily doodle that often sets my intention for the day as I sit down and start to journal. She has become my doodle guru, since I saw her work in my coach and now friend, Michelle Ward's nursery.
The last three interviews I have written had to do with leaps of faith artists have taken and these themes were not brought up by me or planned ahead. With Jenipher Lyn, she wasn't afraid or hesitant to express her fears, insecurities, and obstacles as she expands her artistic wings. The intention of this interview with her is to inspire you, to empathize with other creative entrepreneurs, and to show bravery in action.
When I first started interviewing people, I did lots of research and had a script. Then, one day, I couldn't find all my prepared questions amongst my stacks of notebooks and unfiled papers, so I ad libbed. In those first panicked moments, I settled down and let the artist speak. It changed my interview style forever. When Jenipher Lyn started speaking, her honesty was enthralling, uncensored, ego less and plain adorable.
After her jobs at car auction houses and a call center (which has to be the WORST job for a sensitive soul), she made the joint decision with her husband to do this art thing full-time. She does a line of unique greeting cards with her doodles, has an Etsy store where prints are also sold, and sells wholesale to stationery stores in NYC. Additionally, she wrote and published a book titled How Being Stubborn, Depressed and Unpopular Saved My Life. Currently, she is working on a revised edition that will have an additional 60 NEW pages that she is on track to finish by December.
Wearing the hats of artist, business manager, promoter and marketer can be overwhelming at times for any artist. This is why so many give up and get a "real" job. They struggle with the dreaded "I have tremendous guilt if I'm not working" mindset that this artist so adequately defined for us. Elaborating further, she pointed out "I work for myself, but I don't let myself enjoy the fruits of working for myself. I have to be productive."
As she tries to figure out how to convert her social media presence on Instagram from a great conversation and community to sales, she battles between being the creative and the business person. When someone is so gifted on the right side of the brain, how does she activate the left-side without draining her right-side completely?
She takes a leap. Jenipher Lyn has signed up for what she described as a big local trade show. When I said to her, "Is it the National Stationery Show in May?" Her reply was "Um, yes. You know it?" Having worked in stationery design for 12 years of my life, I want to tell you this is not a local show, but THE SHOW. Every retailer in the United States is there. She is getting a booth of her own at the show of shows hoping to expose her work to stationery vendors, gift stores, and licensing people. I can see her work on mugs, notebooks, journals, napkins...I really can. This is bravery in action.
What I want to convey to you today is that even though some creative types might work out of small, unorganized homes without office space and our jobs may seem unconventional, we still show up every morning to our jobs. We often stare at a blank page, canvas, or computer with fear and hear this undeniable voice, strong in our head and heart that screams, "You must do this. This is your purpose, your calling. And you must use every bit of your energy to share it with the world." Jenipher Lyn, I admire you for your inspiration, hard work and ability to be be real. Don't stop. Some people have Gurus in India. I found mine in New York City on Instagram. What a world we live in.