256 A Flower in the Desert

(Oh, it feels good to know in advance that this is not going to be a long post!) Okay, so you have seen this cactus before… I just placed it into a pot for the sake of converting this illustration into one of my Confetti Stickers – yeah, remember those? This one is symbolic of all the good I find around me, even in moments of deep distress. So, thank you flowers, you are my friends, and you know who you are!

Somewhat related but also not, I am no good with plants – growing, or taking care of them. Perhaps I will foster one this year, my friend Ashwita (Hosbettu) did promise me a succulent! Do you grow plants at home? Which ones, and what do you like about growing them? I recently bought some chilli seeds in Auroville (Pondicherry) as a little something-something for one of my “planter friends” in the city.


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes




255 Drops of Jupiter - Part Deux

Hello, hello.

(This post concludes the two-part mini-series, if you were keeping up.)

What did Jupiter Skye do for you?

(Erm, more like what Jupiter Skye made me do!) What it did do was give me an outlet to express myself creatively. When I started the blog in 2010, I was working my first job; being employed helped the growth of Jupiter Skye for various reasons. I had an income (funding impromptu explorations around the city and shopping trips, providing fodder for the blog, etc.); and I drew inspiration for the posts from my friends at work, or from the conversations we had. Jupiter Skye did not help me land writing jobs; but I did learn about creating editorials, photographing products, styling mood-boards etc.

To sum up (er, ROSS), the blog has constantly helped me tap into my potential and recognise my core strengths. (This product as a whole serves as a wonderful portfolio of – and testimony to – all my learnings from then to now.) That is not to say that the path has been remotely easy, nor does it mean I have achieved the highest levels of success. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no! Writing was something I got into, after college; it was never given a lot of thought. The jobs that I have held so far helped hone my writing skills; especially my first (which ended, July 2011) and second (which began, August 2011) jobs. (The editor at my first job would silently nod his head, if he were reading this – as in about me not being a good writer before, he wanted me to give it up altogether and pursue something artistic instead.)

The illustrating bit happened randomly; I always liked arts and crafts, and drawing, making greeting cards etc. from when I was a little girl, I just never pursued art or illustrating as a subject in college because I didn’t know I could – and was guided otherwise. Through my experiments with the blog, especially with regards to the artwork and layouts – the posts got me some recognition, I learned how to channel my artistic skills in a digital manner. Folks began to notice, and appreciate my work; though I had zero experience in the field, the blog got me most of the illustration projects I have worked on, till date.

What kind of space is this, now?

Well, it still really is the same space, also somewhat different. (There is some progression, I would like to believe – from being random to developing a better structure, content-wise.) As of now, I would like the core focus of this blog to be formed around: BOOKS, FRAGRANCES, HOMES, JEWELLERY, LOVE. These are subjects I like best (and most), and while they are fairly specific and somewhat huge as areas of interest, they possess minute details of all the other related things I like.

What are your intentions, now?

(They are subject to change.) I never did any pre-planning of sorts before I went ahead and started off with this blog, so I think it’s wise to not have too many intentions now. I do have intentions, a lot of them good – but with the kind of personality I have (being lazy in general, and also how long I want to do this versus shutting it down completely etc.) – let’s just say that I don’t want to make any false promises (or have unrealistic goals).

Some of my short-term goals are:

1. To make this blog more user-friendly by way of developing a better layout, and so that folks may find what they are looking for, easily;

2. Create professional landing pages (the ones describing what I do, and how to get in touch with me for collaborations and commissions, giveaways and greetings, and such);

3. Sell accessories (jewellery, brooch-pins etc.) and stationery (greeting cards, stickers etc.) through The Jupiter Skye Shop – I really suck at marketing my wares, and definitely need to figure this bit out;

4. And oh, of course, create more interesting content (it is what I do, after all).

What do you do, how do you balance what you do with the blog?

I am a features writer (because that is what I do for the most part, professionally), and a part-time illustrator (you know about this). Currently, I do not work anywhere on a full-time basis; I do undertake freelance and part-time projects involving writing and/or illustrating. With regards to striking a balance, it is not too bad RN – never mind the other bit of me being lazy AF and choosing to publish only two or four posts a month. I never left any of my jobs to pursue this blog on a full-time level; I have not made any money off of it yet (I would like to), and none of my jobs posed a conflict of interests with what I was doing here and what I was doing at work.

Irrespective of whether you are working or not – it is nice to have a sound ecosystem around you. There is so much that you can learn about yourself, and from the people around you on a daily basis… Everything that will either inspire or suck the energy out of you (you do not want the latter). (This has an effect, especially when you have a personal blog on the side, too.) I understand this better because I’ve had my share of depressing, personal situations and/or crappy jobs, gone through it all again; the circle never ends.

During such times (or after), try to float out of your body for a few seconds when you feel saner and see how best to remedy it. What do you like? What do you really want? What has changed? What won’t? As long as you are learning, you grow; do not work at a conventional job if you do not want to – find something else that keeps you grounded, and uh, busy. (It’s the keyword, here! Pharrell Williams should have picked the title of his track, and er, lyrics better, heh.) Working hard is rewarding in itself, leading you to better times; it gets easier over time, to separate what you want from what you don’t, the realisation of which can be gained only by experience.

P.S. Racile (my youngest sister) thinks this drawing might was deceptive. I do not have very long hair, nor I do not possess a boho blouse like this, etc. Like, uh, I did mean for this girl to resemble me but I drew it because I was unsure of what the artwork for this post should be. Okay, I will do better in my acts to follow; but this was not so bad, now was it?


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes


254 Drops of Jupiter - Part Un

Hello friends!

It is time, for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago. Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything. :-) The month of March brings me a gift, every year. Of time – it gives me the space to thinkthinkthinkthink, list out (new) goals for betterment, et cetera. 2016 marks my sixth year of blogging – and I thought it would be interesting to talk you about my blogging journey from then to now. This is a two-part mini-series; and will read rather long, but it would make me happy if on some level – these posts have you thinking about your own blog, and why you are here.

What does Jupiter Skye mean?

(I get this a lot!) I like the planet Jupiter, and Skye is a name I adore (I also learned recently that Jupiter has a very cool Aquarius connection, but more on that later). There were folks who initially suggested changing the name to something meaningful with relevant keywords, so that more folks would stumble upon my blog. I stuck with Jupiter Skye because I liked how it sounded. It didn’t need to mean much; all that mattered was that it was mine – my baby, my space!

When did it come to be?

December 20, 2010. (This was the first post!)

Why did you start this blog?

Well, at the time, blogs on beauty, fashion, personal style, etc. were very new in India. There were a handful I used to follow: Fashion-Bombay by Jasleen and Sonu, Honestly… WTF by Erica and Lauren, etc. Their posts inspired me on a very real level; I felt like I could connect to these authors and their blogs. I, too, wanted a space where I could live, learn, and be, whilst allowing my aspirations and/or inspirations to grow into something more than I imagined.

What were your intentions?

Okay, even if you ask me now about brands or collections or designers et cetera – I probably won’t know all that there is to know, and in some cases, nothing. What gets me going are the colours, details, patterns, prints, textures etc. Fashion, of course, is as subjective as music (or anything else). Everyone likes what they like. Though never stated explicitly before, I did not wish to title what I was doing as fashion blogging – I wrote about what I liked in a manner I knew best, roundabout though it may have been.

What did you do?

(The illustration explains this laconically, each box represents the period. The first box – 2010; the second – 2011 and 2012; the third – 2013; the fourth – 2014; and the fifth – 2015, etc.) I had no major goals then, so I didn’t hold back when it came to writing about bargain buys, D.I.Y projects, my personal style, things that were on my shopping list, et cetera. 2010 and 2011 saw me at my amateur best! The posts were random, were not connected broadly, each post was individual in its structure – the odd times when I go through my older posts, I feel like rewriting some posts or taking them down.

2012 looked better – I experimented with editorial layouts, and some series etc. that would interest or engage my readers on a regular basis. There was COOLIO, CHEAP and CHIC (want to revive this but will update the layout, first), a typeface series, other randos and I also bought a camera, then! Nothing fancy, though tonnes better than the one I owned previously; digital but not a DSLR, and it possessed a sound system for a newbie photographer to work with. This was also the time when I began telling folks about Jupiter Skye – never wanted to, before. Of course, some of my close friends knew about my blog only because they were the only ones privy to my doubts and such. But my friends at work and/or the friendly bloggers I knew, then? Well, nobody knew nothing. (Magali was one of the first bloggery few who came across it.)

2013 was the year when I was forced to move to WordPress (I was on Posterous earlier, and it shut down unexpectedly). I had to re-learn working with a new platform which included things like figuring out the ideal picture size for each post (I worked on broad, horizontal layouts before, WordPress supports vertical ones better), typefaces I could use for the content etc. There was a lot of good that happened, that year – I thought to create a confetti background and pretty header for the blog, bought a domain name – finally, and even got my business cards made.

2014 made sure that my good streak continued, the content grew more definitive (and qualitative?) – and, it was my fourth year of blogging. There were four giveaways that I held that year to celebrate, and 2014 was rightly deemed the “Fourth Year of Festivities.”

2015 started on a magical (and moody) note. (I also bought my Wacom tablet, then!) February onward, I began diligently following a colour theme, every month – so that the posts appeared more connected through the stories they told. I managed that bit somewhat nicely, but want to do it better – this year.

Do you wish you did things differently?

No, because I would never know to do what I do now if I did things differently then.

P.S. Okay, so this covers everything on how this space came to be – and I am covering the AFTER in a following post – what this blog has done for me, what I like about it, growth patterns, so on and so forth. Thank you for reading!


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes


253 The Mirror of Erised

We’re all fond of magic, and the folklore associated with it. Well, some of us are – for the most part. A mystical energy possessing abilities not entirely unlikely of making dreams come true, or of taking care of our troubles, et cetera? I, for one, have always been fascinated with all kinds of fairy tales – especially the ones where magic is the solution. Aiding the fair youth as he or she sets upon an obstacle-ridden course excelling in their quest ultimately (locating a wishing-well somewhere deep in a legendary forest) or rousing a prince or princess from the most deepest sleep with a few drops of magical elixir dropped over their closed mouths. Do you know?

We’re older now, and magic does exist. Perhaps not in the ways that we imagined before, but oh, it is around. You don’t see it, you feel it. Sometimes the good kind, sometimes bad. But it’s the positive particles you believe in, and want desperately to feel. (I totally get that!) Do not stop believing, okay?

And as a little something-something, here’s a virtual, ornate hand mirror for you, inspired by the one from the Harry Potter series, The Mirror of Erised – for you to reflect upon every once in while when times are troubled and everything feels out of place. It not always is. You know that! So, harness all you’ve got to create your own kind of magic. Ooh, and it isn’t magic, unless it makes you smile. I know that better, now. Don’t be scared, okay?

P.S. Do you guys remember which fairy tale had an ornate hand mirror in their Disney animated movie counterpart? (-:


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes