Jessie Cave has gone from acting in Harry Potter (as Lavender Brown) to internet stardom with her website Pindippy, where she showcases her talents as a actress and illustrator, and sells her designs. She talks to IdeasMag about her entrepreneurial approach...
Full name/age/job title:
Jessie Cave, 24, actress/writer/illustrator.
Please give us an overview of your average day.
I start very early most days of the week, at 6am, and work on emails people send to Pindippy, and orders and packing for the online store. On days when I am not filming for Pindippy or working on non-Pindippy projects, I spend a chunk of the day writing, having coffee with people to discuss ideas or buying props or sitting next to my editor and telling him what to delete. I draw in the evenings usually, and do admin for the site. Posting content for the website is constant, now, with blogs, new sketchbooks, Twitter, Facebook... And I spend too much time waiting for things to upload.
What is the most common misconception about your job?
That the “fun” videos are easy to write and shoot and edit – each video takes quite a lot of time and energy and organisation. Or that I have a lot of people helping me. It’s just me! Alone!
What is the hardest thing about your role?
Probably the technical side of things. I have had to go way out of my comfort zone in computer land. And when the technical stuff goes wrong, I can’t do anything about it. I can’t rub the mistake out.
When did you decide what you wanted to do with your life and how did you set out to achieve it?
Pindippy, for me, is about being happy with being a bit different, or a bit frustrated, and making fun out of the situation you are in. I was fed up of waiting around for a call between jobs as an actress. I had gone to art school and have always written, so I felt I was putting some skills to waste. I was so lucky to be able to set up a website, which does cost, because of jobs I have got in the past. But I really feel like I was always going to do something like Pindippy. I like working hard, and am patient, so hopefully good things will happen in the long run. (Or short run. Some kind of run.)
What can you do to get a head start?
Be up to date with social networking, be on the ball with people in your field, know what is going on and if there is a place for you or a gap you can fill with what you have to offer. And get up earlier!
Could you describe the creative element to your job?
Writing the words and then drawing the words that become ideas, and then the ideas become videos, which [create] the photos that can go back into a drawing or words, and then the whole thing starts again.
What’s the one thing you wish you had known at the start of your career that you know now?
That you must put money into an account before you spend money on the card. And that not everything (in fact, most things are not) 100% compatible with a Mac.
Which organisations/websites/resources do you think would be useful for people entering your industry?
A site to explain exactly what “terms and conditions” are, and why you need them. It would have been nice to have been able to have a bit more information (that was easier for me to understand) when I was starting up the store. I found it all so complicated, and was terrified I kept making huge mistakes, which I did (see above).
Fancy winning £30,000 to fund your creative career for a year? Apply for Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund.
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