Jasmine Thomas

We spoke on 23rd September 2020

Hi Jasmine, You studied Graphic Design at the University of Salford graduating with a First BA Honours. Was graphic design something you had always wanted to do?

 

Graphic Design was always something of interest to me! I love art and making anything physical. I originally wanted to go down the route of art but was worried that I wasn't going to make it as an artist so I felt that Graphic Design was the safer route for a more secure income for the future. Which in hindsight was a blessing as my course gave me a skillset that has set me up for life whether it being art, graphics and/or web design.

 

Since then you have worked as a freelance graphic designer designing logos as well as traveling around Thailand, teaching children, monks and looking after elephants. You then had the chance to design Camp Thailand’s logo. How did you get the opportunity to do this? And how much have you learned from this experience?

 

Gosh, this was over 3 years ago now - I feel old! When I was out in Thailand we made our own paper, which was made out of elephant poo, yum! From there we were allowed to draw on our own paper. The Camp Thailand organiser had picked up that I was a designer and asked If I was interested in designing some work for them when I got back from traveling. At the time it sounded like an amazing opportunity as it's what I would class as my first paid design job, "enhancing/updating their current logo", however it was a massive learning curve. I was lucky enough to have a mentor at the time to talk to because the organiser wanted to set up their own camp with the logos I had designed but by taking away the custom from Camp Thailand. It all seemed very dodgy!!! I also felt guilty taking the money as the organiser had fired all the Thai staff that looked after us whilst I was out traveling. The people I went traveling with set up a go fund me page. So yes, it sounded amazing but I didn't get any pleasure out of it in the long run as it impacted so many people.

 

In 2018 you interned for TransPennine Express. What did you learn from this experience?

 

This was another learning curve experience!!! TransPennine Express was a game changer for me and my career. There were pro's and con's doing work for TransPennine Express. The pro's being it was one of the best work I had achieved to that date. Work that I was proud of and allowed me to experiment more with my illustration styles. It also set me up for getting another internship for an amazing company called e3creative which is now part of Dept. I developed my animation skills too! The con's were that I realised that being an inhouse designer wasn't for me. The branding was already set and I struggled to work in that environment.

 

Never the less, it really was afoot in the door to the design industry, so I can't overly complain. Lastly, my biggest grip. It was an unpaid internship, If only I had been informed about how payment of internships work as I would have been able to justify why I should have got paid. Here's a link that I love to share for anyone who is unsure whether they are entitled to payment or not during an internship: https://targetjobs.co.uk/internships/advice/275017-the-law-on-unpaid-internships-know-your-rights

You have stated that you wanted to inform students and the industry of the obstacles you personally faced trying to get into the industry. Is there anything you want to say to other young creatives/ students who might be reading this blog?

 

Stand up to unpaid internships. If they don't pay it's probably not a company you want to work for anyway. Read the article link attached above. Don't take any job you can get straight out of university. This sounds ridiculous especially during these uncertain times through the pandemic, but I worked for Dept (which is an amazing company and I learned so much), but it wasn't the right company for me. I've been building up a portfolio in digital design when really I wanted to go down a more illustrative route. If anything, now is the perfect time to find YOU, what YOU want to do, where YOU want to be. My mentor at Dept helped me set goals... the horizon plan - What do I want to achieve next week, what do I want to achieve in 2 weeks time, what do I want to achieve in 6 months time, what do I want to achieve in 5 years time. This really puts things into perspective.

 

You were working for DEPT going into the lockdown period in early 2020. At this time you also started ‘Jasminite’. What influenced you to start this venture? 

 

I was working for Dept (initially e3creative) for 2 years. The pandemic happened and I was furloughed from April to June. During my time being furloughed, that's when I started my new Jasminite venture. It came about when I attended a workshop by Katie Gillies in December 2019 and I fell in love with the material and the process. It was a hands-on craft that involved, patterns colour, and making something physical. It was a blessing that I had started this venture during furlough because not long after, I got made redundant from my job.

 

Looking to the future what is next for you and Jasminite?

 

The future is looking scary haha! I feel mad for setting up my own business during a pandemic then getting made redundant. I have no secure income so I'm actually bricking it - but that doesn't mean I'm giving up. I have many ideas that I would like to do such as holding workshops, creating kits, doing personal party packages for groups but with this pandemic, it's all a little uncertain at the moment. All I can say is that it doesn't feel wrong, everything feels like it's going to work out and we are all riding this wave together!