Chin talks the importance of having confidence as a freelance and creating playful characters that break the mold
Jasmine Chin’s journey as a freelancer started nearly 20 years ago back in 2003. After a mid-career break, Chin picked up some freelance illustration work last year and fell back in love with the hustle.
Chin had always had a penchant for printmaking, but it wasn’t until she took a course at the East London Printmakers that she really found her niche in screen printing. “Since then, I’ve been improving and developing my technique at their open studio.” She tells me. What she loves most about screen printing is the process, “It feels like a bit of a puzzle,” says Chin, “you have to work out to achieve what you want. Then you see the final piece at the end and it feels very satisfying.”
There’s something cheeky and fun about Chin’s work. Her characters are quirky, colourful misfits unapologetically lounging in the sun or flexing their biceps. “I try to make a conscious effort to draw people that won’t necessarily fit in the mould of what is deemed as perfect,” she tells me, “they might have saggy boobs or a bit of flab, but I think it’s important to show. I think a few qualities in the characters are often bits of my personality. I can be a bit silly and childish sometimes, and it’s often reflected in the types of characters I want to create.”
For Chin, the creative process has to start with a strong idea. “Coming up with an exciting idea is the hardest part and might often involve a lot of rubbish and scribblings first. I would spend time researching at this point, whether it’s visual research to kickstart an idea, or research into the subject matter itself. I end up knowing a lot of useless facts about random things because of illustrating!” Then the idea gets drawn up on Illustrator and Photoshop – for a screen printing commission this step is key to working out any kinks on the technical side.
According to Chin one of the most challenging aspects of freelancing is building confidence, especially in the age of social media. “It’s easy to become uncertain of your skills when you are working on your own,” she says. As far as advice goes, Chin insists that we shouldn’t be afraid of slip ups. “Work on being business savvy,” she tells me, “whether you need to get a mentor or take a course in business. Build yourself something that has a strong identity and don’t worry if you make mistakes, just learn from it and grow.”