Dudes Craft, Too: Jaycee Gaspar

Hello, hello! Today I’m bringing you an interview with one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, Jaycee Gaspar. I’ve greatly enjoyed watching him develop and hone his card making skills. I consider him to be the master of floral cards.

I was lucky enough to receive one of his gorgeous cards for my birthday. I have received a lot of beautiful cards from very talented people but I’ve never gotten anything like the one Jaycee sent me.

I’ll have his links at the end. Make sure you check him out.

What drew you to card making?

My card making journey began back in December 2015. I had just finished my Medical Laboratory Science program and wanted to make ‘thank you’ cards for coworkers, colleagues, teachers, and classmates. I wanted something with a personal touch as I have always been a bit crafty. So I thought, well how hard could this be…just buy a few stamps, a few inks, and a sampler pack of card stock.

After about a dozen YouTube tutorials from the greatest teachers out there, I had my first set of mass produced cards with a personal touch. I remember they were side folding landscape cards with a strip of patterned paper and a “Thank You” stamped right on top. I have always loved that card making and paper crafting encompassed the other realms of art I was already practicing: brush lettering, watercolor painting, graphic design, and die cutting.

Little did I know that card making was going to turn into something so large.

Do you do any other crafts?

Card making has become a part-time passion of mine, so right now with YouTube and my blog it has been impossible to do anything else. I know how to knit and crochet, but I love the instant gratification of finishing a card instead of an afghan. I dip a little in graphic design, photography, and upcycling as well.

Have you always been creative?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, I took piano lessons between age 7 to 11 and I remember always wanting to make things when I was younger. Ever since then it has been a transition from music to fine arts to HTML to graphic arts to card making. However, I am lucky to embrace my creativity in science as well–even though my career is very structured and linear. I do a little web design for my professional organization and maintain their websites.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Oh my gosh so many places. First and foremost, I love floral cards. I am inspired by botanical illustration and hyper real drawings of flowers. I study the symbology and theory of composition and incorporate that into my cards as well.

Street art and graffiti is another realm from which I draw inspiration. You know that feeling of being consumed by the scale of the piece of art? I love shrinking that emotion into card fronts with minute detail.

Another realm is the art of the cosmos, space, galaxies, astronomy and symbolically with the zodiac and astrology.

Is there anything you struggle with in terms of card making?

I struggle with time and creative energy. I am very much a ‘procraftinator’ and some days I am up too late sobbing over a release that is due the next morning. This is a work in progress as I am learning how to manage and balance my time between my full-time job and this–my part-time job.

Some days are particularly stressful at work as you can imagine with health care. I find that if I am impacted by negative energy at work, it does bleed into how I perceive the cards I make that day. As a side note…I have learned that mental health and physical health are important for my creative mindset. While this is not a perfect balance, taking time to work on my health has shown drastic improvement from both my career and card making.

What has been your proudest card making moment or achievement?

My proudest moment has little to do with design teams I am on, follower numbers, subscribers…etc. It actually has to do with the positive perception I have gained from being on social media as a result of card making. When I opened my Instagram account about a year ago, my mind was rotten; full of negative energy, self-doubt, and irritability. Unfortunately, as I increased my workload with card making I amplified these negative emotions.

I had a turning point about a fourth of the way through 2019 and realized, I have been given this amazing opportunity–why do I feel so miserable? I made changes in the form of self-help and motivational speeches and within the span of a few months, my attitude changed. I felt like I could take on anything, in fact I put even more on my plate (training for a half-marathon) but I feel like I have rejuvenated my purpose again.

TLDR; the card making environment has helped change my negative attitude to a positive one and has given me a new purpose. For me this is my greatest achievement.

What, if anything, would you change about the card making community?

This is hard for me to say as most of my interactions happen over social media via Instagram and sometimes on my blog and YouTube channel. I have only had great interactions with members of the online community. Most of my opinion on the community has to deal with the impact of social media itself.

For me, I choose to only speak positively and do things in the way that feels right in relation to my personal values (but don’t get me wrong I’m still sassy AF). However, if someone wants to be negative, I have other things to worry about.

What, if anything, would you change about the card making industry?

This one is also a little difficult to answer as my impact on “the industry” deals more with marketing and my personal brand. I am still learning the ethics and politics of the industry and how much I should be committing or how much I need to be involved. As I have become part of businesses and affiliate with them, my biggest struggle is conflict of interest.

We embrace collaboration but learning about the competition is still taboo. So unfortunately, I am not sure what change I would like to see yet. In my mind, I am still a customer with loyalties, but I know if I am to grow artistically I will have to reach into other brands.

How would you describe your card making style?

Let me put it this way, if I describe my vibe, I love to mash the symbology of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and the alluring quality of botanical illustration. Every element has its place on the cards and every action is deliberate. I can obsess over placement for hours, so I guess I am very methodical. I love incorporating the golden ratio and math into my cards and what is theorized as “healthy and naturally beautiful arrangements.”

What words of wisdom or encouragement do you have for others?

Everyone’s creative journey is different–embrace that. The success of others should never overshadow your own ability. Stay positive, work hard, understand, and make time for the things you’re passionate about.

My favorite quote, “Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood,” Leonardo da Vinci.

My second favorite quote, “Be humble, (b***h) sit down,” Kendrick Lamar.

Jaycee, thank you for taking part in this series. It is truly an honor to get to know you a bit more. I deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness and insight. I’m proud of you for being able to work your way out of that negative head space you were in. I’m grateful that I can call you my friend.

Make sure you check Jaycee out on

Instagram

YouTube

His blog

You will absolutely regret it if you don’t.

Until next time,

Lamp, shade, got it made,

Samantha

5 thoughts on “Dudes Craft, Too: Jaycee Gaspar

  1. Jaycee, I love you unsaid between the lines message of “get rid of the negative” & “ain’t nobody got time for that mess”. I find his postings very encouraging and cards are out of this world beautiful. Great interview Samantha and Jaycee.

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