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Meet Jasmin Garcia-Verdin of JGV in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmin Garcia-Verdin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in LA but raised mostly in Mexico and New Jersey. After college, I moved to Brooklyn and had the typical NYC-living experience of renting a room that was not really a room, in a house with 12 really friendly roommates—all different nationalities and professions. It was a lot of fun but, much like with the city itself, I felt cramped. So I returned to the West Coast.

This turned out to be a great decision since I live in Hollywood now and met the man of my dreams—-we’re engaged! I’ve literally always wanted to be an artist where I write and illustrate stories taking place in a variety of worlds. In college, I studied history and business. After graduation, I worked for years in business administration, with illustration as a side hustle. Bolstered by the success of my online print store, I finally made the plunge to freelancing full-time.

Has it been a smooth road?
I was raised by my parents to value stability above all. My biggest challenge has been to embrace the uncertainty of an art career, and now that I have passed that epic hurdle, I’m relishing the process! I’m quite lucky to be living in LA, as it has been a great opportunity to explore the entertainment industry’s need for illustrators.

My experience in corporate taught me so much about running a business, being part of a team, met a lot of wonderful people, and developed really useful professional and time management skills. I also think it has made me feel so grateful for where I am now and how I got here; every client and job I land is incredibly sweet and validating.

I’ve pressed “reset” on my career starting from square one, and with a practically empty art resume, this shift has felt a bit scary, but I wouldn’t trade this feeling of purpose for anything now. I’m running my own business, setting my own terms, and devoting all of my passion and energy into what I believe in. It feels surreal in the best way.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the JGV story. Tell us more about the business.
Like many of my peers, my brand is online. I sell prints and adorable sloth-related merchandise on various e-stores such as Etsy and RedBubble. I’m active on Instagram and just started recording content for YouTube. Whenever possible, I like to table at zine festivals, which is a great networking opportunity and helps to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry. Outside of retail and social media, I freelance and illustrate content for magazines and books.

Pulling from my interests in history, nature, and fashion, I collaborate with writers and editors for anything that needs a touch of whimsy. I have a unique style that people have described as dreamy, and optimistic. I strongly believe that a story should be the backbone of every illustration, it’s what gives it a life of its own, and that is how I design characters and settings—even when the assignment doesn’t necessarily come with one. I think what sets me apart from others is my diverse background and interests—they play a big role in how I solve visual problems.

Currently, I’m really proud of my ongoing sci-fi webcomic, “Spacewarriors.” It’s my first fully-developed story that is already five chapters in and I plan to print it into a graphic novel. I have other stories in the works, including “Girl-Knight,” which takes place in medieval France, but Spacewarriors has been a big personal accomplishment for me, and I’m so excited to continue working on it and inviting readers to travel along with them around the universe.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The rise of virtual reality augmented reality, and mainstream gaming has had a tremendous impact on the illustration industry, the extent of which is yet to be determined.

In terms of general visual tastes, the trend towards minimalism and brutalism in web design, led by social media giants like Twitter and Instagram, has, in turn, influenced editorial decisions. We are seeing more flat illustrations alongside articles, and I think the ’90s and early 2000s aesthetics will continue to reign for now. Ultimately, the illustration world is very diverse.

The way publishing companies incorporate illustration is very different from how video games companies use illustrators, but one thing is for sure, the use of illustrators like myself to creatively tell stories and give readers and consumers alike a unique and transportive experience will always be valuable.

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