We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Morse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my own business was actually not something I ever really planned on, but was more of something I stumbled into. Growing up, I was always a bit on the entrepreneurial side, trying to find ways to earn money because I was still too young to begin applying for traditional “jobs.” Like most 13 year olds, this started with babysitting on weekends and during summers, and then during the school year I began teaching piano to neighborhood kids after school. I eventually did get a traditional job when I was old enough, but kept my side hustles going through high school to earn some extra cash. Once I started college, my then-boyfriend (now husband!) was starting his own film company and needed a logo. Him and his brother couldn’t come up with anything that was quite right, and so I decided to try my hand at designing something just for kicks, even though I had never used Adobe Illustrator or done anything like it before. They loved it, and when people started asking who designed their logo, others began coming to me for logo design, branding, and even help designing invitations and custom flyers. All of a sudden, I was a self-taught graphic designer who was earning extra cash again! As I kept going, I realized how much I loved playing with colors and shapes and fonts, as well as the puzzle of figuring out what kind of audience a specific brand should cater to. I loved the idea of getting to work on my own schedule as opposed to having scheduled shifts, and also loved that I could pick up more business or slow down depending on the season of life. The freedom and flexibility of owning my own business was incredibly appealing, and thus, Jasmine Morse Branding & Photography officially began.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For the most part, the logos and brands I design are simple, modern, and elegant. I try to incorporate unique qualities about the brand into each logo: for example, the very first logo I designed for Twinim (my husband’s previous film company) incorporated letters of both his and his twin brother’s names, had a hidden cross to represent their faith, and the logo mirrored itself since they are twins. Yet if you look at it straight on, it looks edgy and simple. It’s sort of like having hidden treasure within the logos themselves, which I think is so fun! I love using bold colors; I remember feeling at one point like almost every graphic designer I knew of was using nothing but muted tones and shades of beige, and thinking how boring that is to me! I love darker, more muted tones with pops of bright color to help brands really stand out. I also love incorporating metallic textures whenever possible; they add such a sense of elegance. Although I started my business partway through college, I rebranded and relaunched my business this past fall after needing to stop for over a year so that I could finish college- senior year was insanely busy for me! The word is starting to get out again, and I’m so thankful for the chances I’ve had even these last few months to help small businesses and ministries visually brand themselves, but am also dreaming big for the future. Like I mentioned previously, I sort of stumbled into graphic design on accident. It started with me trying to design the logo for Twinim one day on a whim (having no previous experience other than art classes in high school), and then picking up more and more side jobs over time as the word began to spread. I offered design services free of charge to the church I was attending at the time as a way to continue practicing and gaining experience. I also volunteered my design and photography services to a few local nonprofits, such as Hope’s Promise Adoption & Orphan Care and Covered. I knew that it would be foolish to expect to grow as an artist and creative if I didn’t have opportunities to hone my skills and be challenged, and also didn’t feel right charging for services that I had little to no experience in. Being self-taught was a challenge in itself; there were so many times that a client would want something changed ever so slightly, but my lack of knowledge of either Illustrator or Photoshop made what should have been a five-minute job into a two-hour long job. One of the most helpful things I ever heard was, “Sometimes you have to learn the long and tedious way to do something before you can master the shortcut.” YouTube was my teacher, Isaac (my now-husband, then-boyfriend) was a tutor since he went to art school learning the programs inside and out, and volunteer work was my client. It’s been a slow growing process, and I’m still learning more each day, but I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. What used to take me 8-10 hours because of my lack of know-how now only takes me about 3 hours. Illustrator, which used to make me want to pull my hair out in frustration, has become one of my favorite programs. I’ve learned over the years that collaboration and community triumphs over competition. In other words, while it would be incredibly easy and even natural to not want to work with other creatives because they are “competitors” in a sense, community is an incredible gift, and creatives are able to sharpen each other. It’s so much fun to bounce ideas off of other designers, creatives, and entrepreneurs because we are able to make each other’s artwork better. My goal through my design work is to help others feel proud of their brand, story, and identity, and help them learn how to communicate who they are visually with beauty and excellence. Your story matters, and there is unique beauty to be found in it that no one else has, and being able to capture that and incorporate it into someone’s photos or brand identity is what makes design work so fulfilling for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I grew up here in Colorado Springs, and feel incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place! I’d start by taking them to breakfast at the Denver Biscuit Co for the best brunch in town. We’d take a day to visit Manitou Springs and explore all the ins and outs of the unique shops and restaurants there, and probably finish with dinner at 503W. We would definitely have to spend a day at Garden of the Gods, and visit the Heart of Jerusalem cafe for a delicious middle eastern meal. We’d go to a movie at Kimball’s theater, and get Josh & John’s ice cream right next door. And being a coffee lover, we’d have to take a day just hopping around to my favorite coffee shops: Wayfinder Coffee, Switchback Roasters, the Principal’s Office, and Wild Goose. No trip to the Springs is complete without a visit to the Broadmoor, which is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon or evening winding down. Finally, we’d find a way to fit in visits to Panino’s Restaurant, Bambino’s Pizzeria and the Skirted Heifer. Colorado Springs is bigger than it seems, but is bursting with local restaurants and natural beauty. I love living here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s impossible to choose just one person who has helped me in my journey; I’ve been blessed to have so many people support me over the years. First and foremost, I believe my faith in Jesus Christ is why I am where I am. Without His friendship and salvation in my life, I would be completely lost. My husband, who is the reason I accidentally got into graphic design in the first place, is my best friend, biggest encourager, and fellow creative who has brilliant ideas. Working alongside him is one of the greatest gifts. And lastly, my parents Jeff and Lane Morrell, sister Brittin Lane, and mentor Colleen Briggs have been trustworthy, safe places for me to come through every up and down growing up. They have pointed me forward when I couldn’t see anything but my failures and insecurities, have given me personal guidance, friendship, and love when I most needed it. I’m so thankful for my community.
Linkedin: Jasmine Morse