Tour Jasmine Dowling's Sun-Soaked Brisbane Home and Studio
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, creative Jasmine Dowling welcomes us into her home.
If you’ve a fondness for fonts or a penchant for pink, allow us to introduce you—if you’re not acquainted already—to the inimitable Jasmine Dowling.
Based in Brisbane, the letterer, graphic designer, photographer, stylist and all-round creative is always up to something—be it creating her colourful, distinctive artworks or styling and directing shoots for the likes of Marloe Marloe, Mecca or Clinique.
A quick scroll through her feed reveals her eye for aesthetics—and an afternoon stroll through her home confirms as much. As with her work, Jasmine’s sun-soaked oasis is set to a palette of muted tones—shades of rose, terracotta and nude—with accents in olive, mustard and Matisse blue. The two-bedroom house—from the bedroom to the lounge and office—is an ode to tranquillity—stepping in feels like a walk through your Dream Home board on Pinterest.
A pastel wonderland filled with hand-crafted wares—think a Sarah Ellison side table, Maison Balzac glassware and our dream vase from ABS Objects—and a myriad of spaces to be creative, Jasmine’s dreamy sanctuary is a perfect match with its maker.
Hi Jasmine! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I spend my days making many things, whether it’s graphic design for clients, styling and photographing, or personal projects.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I have always been quite impulsive when it comes to creating. As soon as I get an idea or a thought, I have to act on it right away and start creating. That personality trait helps a lot in my work because it means I skip the whole ‘fear’ step in the creating process, (but don’t worry, it comes later!) and also stops me from procrastinating, which I don’t often do. I’ve also always been really specific around what I like visually and what I don’t. Not being able to find something that is already out there that is ‘just right’ has led me to create it myself.
When did you start designing and creating content? And what inspired you to go down this route with your career?
The combination of designing and creating content really started around mid-2013 for me. Instagram was still relatively new, I was at university studying my bachelor in Design, and I was spending every spare moment experimenting and creating little personal creative projects on the side. It was when I started posting those personal projects to Instagram and noticed that community and connection building that it really snowballed. I never planned to make this my career path and had full intentions of going into a studio as a designer when I graduated. However, by the time graduation came around I was already having so much fun working full time as a freelance designer and hand letterer that I just ran with it.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start, whether it’s photography, lettering, or branding?
Whether it is client work or personal projects, I start with a brief or an initial idea. With that, I always like to think about who is interacting with the final outcome, who is the customer, who is the viewer, what is their life like? I start to build up a muse or personality that can represent that project. Then there’s a whole lot of mess—physical mess. Lastly, there is the edit and refinement.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
For me, the most crucial thing is creating personal work and sharing it. Personal work allows me to experiment and share what truly speaks to me. While for my audience or clients, it shows them who I am, what I am passionate about, and what I can do. It allows me to show skills or projects that they may not have expected from me and can open up new opportunities.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
That everything isn’t a personal attack. I am quite a sensitive person so I would take everything to heart, from a copyright infringement case to a stranger saying something mean. I would like to think that I am getting better at that.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
Confidence in my eye. As a young designer you can easily get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing, but sharing my work online and building my business has given me trust and confidence in my own creativity.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to start their own business?
Don’t get blinded by the fun stuff. It is very easy to start a business and focus on the branding or the beautiful workspace, but your time and money is much better spent just doing the work.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We have been renting this house for about 18 months now.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
We had to move out of our previous home due to it being demolished for units (story of my renting life) and we had skipped over this house for about a month when we were finally like, ‘Let’s just see it, so we can cross it off!’ When we went inside, we noticed the light and the view. For an older house, it had quite a bit of natural light which is a huge tick for me. It also has an outlook up to a mountain that makes you feel like you are in nature while only being 15 minutes from the city.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Add slowly with intention and personality. As a perfectionist, it can be hard because I want the perfect magazine-worthy house now, but that isn’t realistic and it probably wouldn’t end up being very ‘me’ either. For us, it has been about living in a space and paying attention to how we interact with the space. Slowly adding pieces that feel like us and add to the small parts of our everyday life.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love my glassware and ceramics. Firstly, because they hold my favourite things; coffee, margaritas, flowers, and incense. Secondly, because they are pieces that usually have a story behind them.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
Always. Next up, I really want to switch out all of the hanging light pendants in our house. They are horrible at the moment so I have been keeping an eye out for some that feel just right. I also want to invest in some paintings by Australian artists. Some that I love are from Esther Eckley, Melanie Vugich & Lucy Roleff.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I love our living room. It is where there is often music playing, incense burning and a breeze coming from the doors to the deck—pure bliss.
Tell us about your bedroom.
Our bedroom is one of the smaller rooms, so it is all about creating a little sanctuary for sleeping. We have kept it simple with a low-lying bedframe that my brother made custom so that we could use the underneath for storage to avoid any clutter. On the bedsides, there is always a book or magazines, leftover jewellery from the day and incense—again, sorry I am into smells!
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
- Think about your daily rituals and how your space can encourage and enrich those.
- Create your space slowly with items that inspire or bring you joy.
- Mix! Mix textures and mix old with new.
- Add life. Whether that is plants, flowers or smells.
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