loading
drag

How to balance multiple projects as a creative freelancer, according to Jasmine Ambarwati

CREATIVE DIRECTION AND GRAPHIC DESIGN BY FERN ARISARA
WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ADIDAS

“It’s important to speak my truth.”

We know that Melbourne has a wildly talented community of next-gen creatives (we’ve met a few on FJ before). For its latest project, the adidas Forum Newsroom, adidas wanted to tap into this talent. The brand recently brought together dozens of these local creators and set them a task, asking each to work on a creative project exploring one of five themes – identity, technology, culture, future world or life control.

Each participant was given creative autonomy over their project and a budget to enable their vision to come to life. They could work with whoever they wanted, however they wanted, creating whatever they wanted – some made baseball cards, others zines, others music videos. The project is inspired by the re-release of the iconic ’80s basketball sneaker and marks a new chapter for the brand, one that stays open to what’s next.


Looking for more thought-provoking reads? Try our Life section.


Over the next week, Fashion Journal will play host to the creative outputs of eight of these makers, like multidisciplinary artist Fern ArisaraFor her project, Fern collaborated with friend, influencer and fellow creative, Jasmine Ambarwati. Heavily influenced by ’90s fashion, bold colour and futuristic design, Fern directed an impromptu Facetime photoshoot capturing Jasmine’s unique approach to street style.

For the multidisciplinary artists of the world, it can sometimes be a little difficult to explain what exactly you ‘do’ for work. Maybe you’re a part-time Woolworths employee, content creator and writer like Ben Ilobuchi, a photographer and broadcast producer like Sarah Lay, or an artist, model and designer like Su Park. For the next generation of creatives, the grind is very much real (never thought I’d use that phrase unironically, but here we are).

When Jasmine Ambarwati isn’t at her part-time social media management gig, she’s creating content, freelance styling or modelling for local brands. As someone who identifies wholeheartedly with an ‘organised chaos’ approach to work, it’s hard to imagine balancing four (!) creative ventures in one inbox.

Is it crazy? A little. But Jasmine wouldn’t trade in her Hannah Montana double life” for anything. I hit her up on Instagram to find out how she got her start (and how she maintains her sanity).

Tell us about yourself. How did you get your start as a content creator?

Oh gosh, where do I start! I’ve always loved fashion. From about the age of 13, I was collecting and selling vintage ’90s deadstock clothing. By the time I moved to Melbourne at 18, I had a massive collection of one-off vintage pieces. I started treating every day in the city as my personal fashion show.

In 2016, I came across a local brand’s post on Instagram looking for models for a new campaign. I remember thinking, ‘Why not? No one knows me here!’ That was my first campaign; my face was plastered on the front window of a store in Fitzroy. I started getting opportunities from other brands and local photographers. I haven’t looked back since.

You worked with the super-talented Fern Arisara on this project. How did you find the collaborative aspect of the adidas Forum Newsroom?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jasmine Ambarwati (@jassyyfizzle)


I loved working with Fern! She’s an angel with a killer work ethic. This project was all Fern’s idea – I was just the model that helped her bring her idea to life. I hit up Fern initially asking if she wanted to work together, and I remember her saying, “I have the perfect concept for you.”

We faced a major hurdle with the snap lockdown announcement. We were due to shoot the following day in a studio, so we took on our project virtually. Instead of meeting IRL, Fern directed a FaceTime photoshoot – a concept that still amazes me.

The post-production was inspired by Japanese fashion magazines from the ’80 and ’90s. Fern’s graphic design abilities are incredible. That’s the coolest part about collaborating, seeing other people in their element.

These photos are all about capturing a day in your life. Can you walk us through what a typical workday looks like for you?

I have a part-time WFH job right now, which normally consists of social media management and assisting with bookings and emails. The other half of the day is where it gets interesting – sometimes I feel like Hannah Montana with two identities [laughs].

In the afternoons and evenings, I’m usually listening to my favourite playlists while shooting content, emailing brands and posting deliverables on social media. I like to call @jassyyfizzle my other part-time job. My workday can be up to 12 hours long on a shoot day, but I love it.

Can you tell us about your creative process when collaborating with a brand like adidas?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jasmine Ambarwati (@jassyyfizzle)


I always take two major things into consideration to keep myself on track. ‘What is the project?’ and ‘What are we paying homage to?’ In this case, we’re paying homage to the iconic ’80s basketball shoe. My style has roots in streetwear, so this collaboration was a perfect fit.  Another important aspect of this campaign was the creative community involved and the collaborative nature of the content – so it felt really natural to work with Fern on this project.

Aside from being a content creator, you’re also a freelance model and fashion stylist. How do you handle time management?

I actually work freelance for all three of these roles in my life. Freelance modelling gigs take priority as they’re normally bigger jobs and I can always be flexible with creating content after business hours. Fashion styling is something I do more occasionally, as I’m more selective with what I take on.

In terms of time management and organisation, I live by four things: the notes app on my iPhone, the reminders function on my iPhone, Asana (shout out to my best friend for showing me this) and Dropbox.

When your job is so intrinsically connected to your personal life and your social media, how do you choose to set boundaries?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jasmine Ambarwati (@jassyyfizzle)


I won’t lie, it can be really difficult for me because the two inevitably intertwine. I like to treat my social media page as a diary and a work portfolio at the same time – brands often approach me because of my authenticity.

I throw myself wholeheartedly into everything I do, so I find I need to make clear time frames for leisure and work. When I close my laptop and log out of my apps for the day, I’m setting a boundary. My friends know that if they need to reach me, they can text or call.

What advice would you extend to those wanting to break into the industry?

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take risks! The first time is always the hardest time. Grow together and not alone, you’ll build lasting connections. Work with your creative friends and take every experience as a learning opportunity.

Shop the reimagined Forum shoes here.

Lazy Loading