DROPS OF JUPITER – PART DEUX

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?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

Funny Face

182 Funny Face

Okay, so there’s a special place in my heart reserved for handcrafted lovelies and their creators)! And the particular label I’m about to talk about, today – it’s called And Smile, by the way – is plenty adorable, equal parts colourful, dreamy and just overall, fantastic-al. I know I usually gush about everything I write about, here – you know, I can tell some of you might be like – Who’s to trust her, and her silly stories? But I love to write about all the labels and people I feel passionate about, and And Smile is another one of them!

A little London-based label brought to life by a sweet, whimsical girl by the name of Viktorija Semjonova; she crafts dainty jewellery, postcards (these are made on paper, d-uh) and other such accessories out of… SHRINK PLASTIC! Honestly, I never knew what it was, I had to look it up – From what I gathered over the interwebz, it’s somewhat of a durable plastic sheet that can be cut out and shaped into + painted over, et cetera. Because Viktorija’s illustrations primarily are of the water-colour variety, she uses the ones she makes originally and gets them replicated/printed over the shrink plastic, and such. I’ll have to ask her more about how she does what she does, one day! It’s all very exciting, and I love that her work consists of such colourful characters, they seem like they’re out of some great, big imaginary fairy tale book inside her head –  I wish I could take a stroll through her mind sometime, hehe.

Anyway, I was to write a little feature on her sometime last year but I got lazy, and lacked considerable motivation generally, forgot about it and then never wrote back to her again (ooh, and I discovered her through Instagram, if you must know – she used to be yellowfi but she calls herself by her shop’s name now – andsmilestudio, look her up!). But blah, blah, whatever… Fast-forward to a couple of months later, and I see all these deliciously, adorable pretty-people type LIMITED EDITION brooch pins she started selling on Etsy, and I knew then! I had to own one. They were just soooo me, so I chose Laura (she has got pink hair – and I’ve been wanting to get some highlights done for a long time now!) and Nika (she’s practically me but with beautiful teal hair and she likes Game of Thrones – which I sadly do not dig, as yet but she’s ME, I can totally see the resemblance.)!

This also marks my first order through Etsy (which reminds me, I ought to get an account sorted out for myself so that I can sell Rosecraft, there), and I should receive my order from Vik, soon. Okay, how much, right? Well, I paid $17.30 for each brooch pin (slightly expensive, but definitely not crazy) and it worked out to about Rs. 2,586.29 for both (including the shipping charges). All I have to do now, is wait for them to come home. They’re so cute, and I do hope they reach me safely. (I’m crossing my fingers!)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes & Picture by Viktorija Semjonova

One of a Tribe

Mzuri, Africa, Kenya, NGO, Namrata Patel, Brass Jewellery

When it comes to new labels with beautiful products in the offering (not to mention their interesting background stories), the creators and curators of such lines can find a loyalist patron in me! I’m not joking about that, you know how I am when it comes to most artists and their hand-crafted wares. But here I am again, spilling more than I intend to in the first few lines of every new post that I write!

Let me start here. As you can see in the picture above, I’ve already talked a little bit about Mzuri. Inspired by the tribes of Africa, and particularly the state of Kenya (which is where Namrata was born and brought up in; she grew up in Mombasa), Mzuri came to be. It’s already a couple of weeks old, but I really what I see – beautiful, rustic designs; brass accessories; stories that come attached with each piece; and of course, the packaging (there’s a story there!)There are a select few pieces that are up on her website – it’s live but I think you can e-mail her if you’re having trouble with placing of an order. I have a few favourites already: the Jani earrings, the Mara Mara bracelet and a pair of elegant hoop earrings I spotted on the Welcome page. I suspect that I will definitely be adding a few Mzuri wares to my ever-growing jewellery collection (pocket-friendly prices, yougaiz!).

For now, I’ll leave you to explore the world of Mzuri! Regarding the packaging, Namrata wrote about it on her blog how it stems from the basic liking of the whole concept of brown paper packages tied up with string! I know this is definitely something Magali will find appealing (both of us share a common liking for well-executed designs and pretty packaging).  I’m sure that you will have noticed the little giraffe on the website, this fellow essentially makes up the label crest for Mzuri. And hey, expect a proper feature on her line, here, soon enough! ^.^

{ Namrata Patel is a fashion and lifestyle blogger who lives in Bangalore as of now, I know her through her Instagram feed! We’ve been following each other for a while, and that’s how I learnt of her blog, Namrata-Noted and most recently, Mzuri. }

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Picture by Namrata Patel