With a showbiz lifestyle, a rock star husband and a talent for illustration, enter the quirky, fun (and on occasions a little naughty!) world of Jakki Doodles.
Jakki oozes style and charm and it was a delight to listen to her journey into the greetings and gift industry during Paperfest, London earlier this year.
What’s your story?
I was basically doodling whilst in playlist meetings working at MTV day-dreaming ‘Could I make this a reality?’. People were really loving the illustrations and inspired me to really try and make a go of it.
When was the moment you looked at your doodles and thought ‘I can do something special with these’?
I was showing people the various cards I had drawn and I was getting responses like ‘These are amazing! Where did you get them?’. I would reply ‘I drew them!’ and they would be shocked as they thought they were printed. I could see people were really reacting to them in a positive way and saying that they would buy them if there were in the shops!
Was there ever a point where you questioned if you could do it? How did you get through it?
I thought it was a million miles away. As I work in the entertainment industry, the greetings industry seemed such a far stretch from reality. Then my husband kept saying to me ‘ You can make it happen! You just have to go for it!’. So I researched when the biggest annual greetings card fair was and went along to it in my lunch break (whilst getting my desk buddy at MTV to cover me and say I was at a meeting!). At Progressive Live, I luckily stumbled across the stall ‘ReallyGood‘ – and met the owner David Hicks. This stall took my fancy as I loved all the artists they represented and if I ever went to buy a card – it would have definitely been one of these artists (Brightside and Waldo Pancake). This chance meeting was my lucky foot in the door.
What was the first piece of work you ever sold? What was it and who did you sell it to? How did you feel?
A Beautiful Gift in Fulham called Indian Summer. I went in one day and met the manager Ruth and she took an instant like to my cards and said she would stock them. I couldn’t believe it! Seeing them in her store – which is my favourite local shop, was a wonderful feeling!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My daily life…working in showbiz and PR, friends, family and my hubby…. And general London life. I love watching people and I always carry a little note book with me everywhere I go, to doodle or take notes and inspirations down.
Can you talk us through a ‘typical’ day in your life?
Every week is different. I’m currently working on The Jonathan Ross Show and Russell Howard’s Good News – Guest (Talent) booking. I’ve just returned from the MTV European Awards in Milan, whilst setting up magazine shoots and interviews for our clients.
You’re still working in TV and managing a growing design business. How do you fit everything in?!
Very challenging! There aren’t enough hours in the day –but I do thrive on being busy and actually work better under pressure!!
We see you’re married to the wonderfully talented Kelly from Stereophonics – how did you two meet and what does he think about Jakki Doodles?
We met as we both work in entertainment, many moons ago! He has been awesome, so supportive and ultimately given me the kick up the backside to do it. Less talk, more action! He is my inspirational guru! Looking at all the stuff he has achieved is very motivating. It’s nice to have somebody to turn to for advice and encouragement at the end of a long day! He tells me what ideas are great – but equally when some ideas are crap or if I’m being lazy! Sometimes being told ‘its not quite there yet’ is what I need to create my best work.
What do you think are the key skills (apart from being an awesome designer!) that have helped all these doors open for you?
First thing is self belief. I don’t think I would have got to where I am today without believing I could do it (and have the encouragement from my nearest and dearest) and secondly being friendly and personable. Ultimately as well as your designs – people buy into you. If you give off negative vibes – people aren’t going to work with you.
It certainly looks like it’s a super busy and exciting time for you, what are you working on at the moment and what’s next?
I’m working on new card lines and gift lines for ReallyGood – as well as personally developing an Adult Colouring Book and a Children’s book.
Quick fire question round!
Who’s your favourite designer? For illustation – Quentin Blake
How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Outgoing, loyal and passionate
What’s your favourite social media platform? Instragram
What are your favourite hobbies? Shopping and dining out!
What’s your most treasured possession? My wedding ring! My hubby and I designed it and it’s so treasured! Memories of the best day ever.
My real name is Jakki Jones and I have been working in Showbiz for 10 years in London. I began doodling during MTV playlist meetings, pondering…’Could I make this dream a reality?’ I was always sick of going into shops and having to buy a crap card as that was all that was on offer. I wanted to create designs that my friends and I could relate to. Making lots of special occasions come to life with cheeky humoured doodles.
Jakki Doodles was born and four years on has an ever growing fan base and star following. Despite Jakki Doodles being my passion it’s not actually my day job. I actually work for an amazing entertainment PR and lifestyle agency called PMK*BNC where I am Director of Talent and Influencer Relations. So my day-to-day gives me loads of inspiration. For example anything from covering a red carpet premiere with A-List Hollywood talent, to organising after show parties for the Brit Awards, to booking actors and musicians for prime time televisions shows. Every day is different which is what I love, as there is so much to see and learn. Muchos inspiration for doodling!
I really hope you like what you see and can relate to my designs. For me, doodling is really therapeutic and fun. My main aim is to make you smile. With that in mind I’m going to sign off and get back to the drawing board. I really hope you love my doodles.