Welcome back to #INTERVIEWED, a series of interviews with people from all over the internet + creative world.
Today we’re joined by one of the current pioneers in the blogging world,creator of the #GirlGang, Jemma of Dorkface.
DG: Could you tell me a bit about what you do online?
DF: I’m little bit of a ‘Jack of all trades’ type of girl; I write both freelance for various brands and websites, and for my own blog. I also run my own Etsy store where I sell my illustrations as prints and other cute merch, and also designing custom illustrations for people. I have my own YouTube channel and podcast, where I try to regularly put out content too! It’s fair to say I’m kept busy!
DG: You are indeed kept busy!
DF: It’s definitely hard sometimes! But I’ve found that I thrive within it all. I actually don’t do well with having nothing to do – it makes me feel uncomfortable!
DG: Could you tell me about your offline life?
DF: I’m from Liverpool and apart from a year spent living in Bolton, I’ve been here all my life (although I am moving to Plymouth in May!). I’m 28 years old (sob) and I’m the youngest child to a small pile of brothers.
After leaving school I studied Art and Design at College, and then went onto continue at University. I did drop out before getting my degree though, as I hated the place! I’ve never regretted it since. I live in a cute little flat with my fiance Gary (who I met on Tumblr actually, haha!) and our cat Luna, and we’re both very creative people. I like playing video games, reading, cycling, planning trips, and dying my hair different colourful shades
DG: I never knew you and Gary met on Tumblr!
DF: By sheer accident we just happened to get talking, and soon we spoke everyday, eventually swapped numbers!
DG: What a story!
DF: It was weird meeting up especially when we lived so far apart.
DG: You’re the first full time creator/artist/writer I’ve interviewed, how do you find managing your time?
DF: It can be really hard, but the key is planning ahead! That way even if I’m burning out a little, I know I can take a break and I still have content ready to go. Plus Gary is a great help with the Etsy orders!
But admittedly the downside is switching off. So much of my life is online, it can be hard to cut myself off even for a day.
DG: Do you ever find yourself putting a lot of pressure on yourself? I’m finding this is a common trait within content creators.
DF: Absolutely. You’re not working in a vacuum; you might be able to tell yourself it’s fine that you haven’t succeeded yet, or that you need a break – and then you see all these people around you who are pushing themselves and doing amazingly well.
It’s hard to be ‘chill’ with that. You can’t help but compare. All your flaws seem maximised and your accomplishments are never enough, because someone else has always done something better. It’s harsh, and sucks a lot – but I do think it usually makes people stronger as creators.
DG: Such an eloquent summary of how it can feel. I’m glad that you can conquer that and give yourself deserved breaks.
When did the #girlgang come about, and what inspired you to create it?
DF: I just really wanted to create a space online for everyone to feel welcome within the community. A place they could ask for help, chat, make friends, encourage real interaction rather than just ‘likes’ and comments. It’s turned into a huge amazing collective of positive vibes and I love it!
DG: You really have started something huge! It’s incredible.
You’ve built up one of the biggest blogging communities in the UK, how does it feel to know that through your hard work and dedication, you’ve forged friendships and blossoming online careers?
DF: It feels amazing to know that people have formed great friendships and gotten to know each other through The Girl Gang. However, I can’t take credit from that! The GG relies on people getting involved and wanting to make it a real community – and they’re the ones who make it what it is! It’s wonderful. I am so grateful for that.
DG: Very modest! But also very true, the community we’re in is so amazing and full of energy.
From one wool (someone who is from very close to Liverpool, but not Liverpool itself) to a Scouser, do you have a favourite spot in Liverpool?
DF: I don’t know really?! Gosh I’m a crap Scouser aren’t I?
DG: Hahaha no it just means there are too many amazing places in the city!
Is there a standout moment within your career, whether that’s blogging, artistry, vlogging or something else entirely?
DF: A few I think! Going full time working for myself was obviously a huge thing, I’m so grateful. I also felt on cloud nine winning blog awards/being nominated so far in my short time blogging. And finally; selling my artwork!
Especially my canvas paintings. It feels like a dream come true; something I always hoped to do, but never thought I’d be able to!
DG: You’re crushing it, well done to you!
One of my friends was over the moon with your nasty woman stickers, she gave me one and I’m planning what to stick it on for maximum impact.
DF: Oh my god thats so awesome haha! I was SO SO SO SO happy with that, because it raised a good amount for Planned Parenthood, and actually inspired my family to get involved too! Between them they donated just over £120 – which doesn’t seem like much, but I was genuinely so so happy.
And together with the donations from purchases people made – it was a total of over £290.
Small things, but they make a huge difference.
DG: That’s incredible! That was such an awesome campaign you put on.
So this type of career isn’t one that really existed when we were growing up, did you have a dream job as a kid?
DF: As a kid I ALWAYS wanted to be a writer. Always, always, always. I dreamed of writing books, working for magazines, sharing my work in whatever way possible. I’m still hoping to push my writing in my career, so fingers crossed!
DG: You’re at the cutting edge of writing, on the newest frontier of it!
DF: Do you have 5 people you can say have influenced you and your content the most?
1. My parents
2. Zoe London
3. My fiance
4. My old college tutor
5. Cindy Sherman
DG: Do you have a favourite film of all time?
DF: Absolutely! Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
DG: What’s your Hogwarts House?
DF: Ravenclaw! ALWAYS.
Although I was officially named a Slytherin, NOOOO! Im ignoring this completely. Ravenclaws are my jam!
DG: Be what you think you are!!
DF: Eminem & Placebo! Ultimately Eminem overall more than anything! But Placebo are my fave band in the world.
Thank you so much to Jemma for joining us today! Make sure to check out her blog, her Etsy (she’s mega talented), YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram
Catch up on all other interviews:
MY TAKE ON LIFE