Jenipher in her workspace
Jenipher's new book, now available online at Leanna Lin's Wonderland!
New York based illustrator Jenipher Lyn has just written and illustrated her very first book, “How Being Stubborn, Depressed, and Unpopular Saved my Life.” The book is full of Jenipher’s doodles and personal trials and tribulations of growing up. It’s the advice book she wishes she had as a tween, and one she hopes will inspire and help tween girls today through their own ups and down. Jenipher is in the middle of a book launch blog party where she has invited fans to create and share their own doodles each week following the themes of the chapters in the book. (This week’s theme is Gratitude if you’d like to doodle along with Jenipher!)
We have “How Being Stubborn, Depressed, and Unpopular Saved my Life” in stock at the store and online, along with some Nightly Doodles greeting cards by Jenipher!
You’re so open in your work and on your blog. Does it ever make you nervous sharing so much about yourself?
It's a weird mix of yes and no actually! It's funny because I went to a dinner the other night and passed around my book at the table, and it was SUPER nerve racking watching people read my book in front of me!! I guess it makes it so much easier that most of my readers are far away.
What gives you the biggest instant confidence boost?
That’s hard! I guess since I spend so much time sending doodles to other people, watching everyone create such amazing doodles for my book launch blog tour has been incredible!
How do you get a tween to actually take your advice, instead of it going in one ear out the other?
Oh my, I wish I had a better answer for this. Since I don't have a tween myself I can't speak from example, but I'm hoping if you truly show that although life is SUPER hard, it DOES get better that you can get through to a teen/tween going through a hard time. I do know that if you're depressed or sad at all, at any age, you're NOT going to read pages and pages of just text. You just don't have the energy! You're also not going to sit and read something that's all sunshine and rainbows either. A lot of the same books are still around from my childhood, and I never found any that seemed to help me... so I remedied this by making the book I WISH existed for the little girl in me (and for every 'little girl' in the world - old and young!).
At what point did you realize other girls could benefit from your experiences?
Over the years, many, many people have told me how much my encouraging doodles have helped me, or inspired them, and it's just amazing! Helping others is the reason I do what I do! Since I'm technically a 9-year-old living in a 30-year-old body, I still struggle with MANY of the same things I did when I was young. This book kind of just poured out of me.
People have a lot of different experiences growing up, is your book for happy, popular girls as well?
My husband just asked me this the other night. It threw me for a loop because I never really thought about it! I truly think that even if you're a 'popular' girl, you'll still feel all of the same feelings in the book. In fact, I think it might be even HARDER for them! To keep up with the popularity, some girls might have to hide these feelings to stay at the top, so I feel like my book could still resonate with them.
What about for the boys?
I thought about that right from the beginning but after drawing and writing the first few weeks, I realized that not only is my style VERY girly, but also since boys and girls are so different, very few boys would be able to truly understand my experiences. Maybe one day there will be someone I could collaborate with to make a boy version!
What’s next for Nightly Doodles?
Omgosh! So many exciting things are happening for Nightly Doodles!! As of today I decided I'm going to participate in the National Stationary Show next year! I'm also in the process of submitting my book, and an accompanying journal I created called "Journal all YO feelings OUT" to publishers!! The journal is super cool and I'm hoping gets picked up soon. It's full of both serious and silly doodle prompts that will hopefully help you doodle out your feelings, which will hopefully get to the point where you'll WANT to journal out the reflections you just learned about yourself!
What have the reactions been to your book so far? Has anything surprised you?
Omgosh I have gotten an INCREDIBLE response! It's such a blessing. A lovely girl even messaged me after buying the book from your shop! Yay! I've also gotten an email from a 13 year old who was babysitting and found my book on the counter, and numerous others, which have made my heart so happy!