Sometimes the world shouts at you to take life in a different direction – even if that means you are supposed to have a crippling panic attack so intense, that all you can do is take shelter under your desk in the middle of your shift at work. For artist and illustrator, Jenipher Lyn this is exactly where she found herself at her lowest point – hiding out of sight after becoming so overwhelmed by the negativity that had taken over.
Meeting her today, it is almost incomprehensible to think that this effervescent and inspiring woman could have ever experienced something so extreme. The reality is, Jenipher’s creative journey is an amazing reminder of how just how powerful the creative process really is. And without it, any one of us could find ourselves hiding under our own desks at one point or another.
With one look at Jenipher's work, it’s pretty obvious that she possesses a bubbly and ‘glass-half-full’ outlook. That’s why it’s so interesting to learn that the catalyst for her current business and lighthearted illustrative style began shortly after that day at the the call center where she worked part-time. After noticing a change, one of Jen’s close friends suggested that she should go home and start drawing things to relax and take her mind off of her worries. At the time, Jenipher was balancing multiple jobs and the idea of drawing at night “just felt like a dream because things had become so bad that I wasn’t really a human at that point in my life- things were so heavy that just the thought of taking out the garbage was so big – so big that...I just couldn’t.”
Although she can’t remember what she chose to draw that first night, Jenipher wanted to make herself accountable by posting all her work online. Never thinking much of her Nightly Doodles, the clever title that turned into the name of her business, Jen kept up her habit by drawing “something I was looking at in my bedroom, or something really weird from my brain – looking back, I realized I actually drew a lot of stick figures holding cupcakes in the air. But then, it kinda turned into encouraging things – stuff I needed to hear or stuff that I wish someone had reminded me of that day.”
"Life is too short to put yourself in a mold.”
The truth is, Jenipher exudes positivity in everything she does. One look at her website - full of her cheery, hand-drawn illustrations and positive affirmations - and you can see that she’s developed her own unique voice by creating things that helped her overcome many of the obstacles in her early years. With illustrations that encourage kindness, or fun greeting cards that display light hearted messages like -‘You are oh, so Brave - #Truestory’ and ‘Hope your day is FILLED with sprinkled cheesecake, smiles & red balloons – Oh, and unicorns. ALWAYS unicorns’- it’s pretty easy to understand why she has built an impressive online following of fans who appreciate her work for it's light hearted take on the vulnerable moments we all experience.
As a self-described ‘sad-kid’ it’s interesting to see her distinct style as a tool to promote positivity, not just to her fans, but to herself. A firm believer that ‘we’re the same people we were as kids and we all have the same stuff, but if you’re lucky, the older you become the more you learn how to handle it’. As an adult, Jenipher is happily creating what speaks to her, creating products that are truly aligned to her own beliefs and using her work to figure out the perfect way to handle it and highlights the power of creative expression as a transformational tool and catalyst for healing.
Her story is living proof that the simple act of creating, however small or insignificant, can resonate with someone else, and when we create, we are allowing ourselves to refocus our attention- highlighting the good while gently obscuring the negatives that don’t really serve us. By owning the cards she was dealt, Jenipher continues to spread her message of self-acceptance and positivity - one doodle at a time.