J. P. DeNeui, Rita Mock-Pike
In 2021, I (J. P.) had the good fortune of editing a short story by Jinn Zamayla, “Memories from the Past.” This was my first introduction to a talented writer (and jewelry designer!) from the Philippines who has an eye for bringing out the soul of her work. I’m very pleased with how that story turned out, and with Rita I interviewed Jinn for the Roost.
Rita Mock-Pike: What artforms are you most interested in discussing during your interview?
Jinn Zamayla: As an artist, I mainly dabble in writing stories and jewelry making. Aside from that, I also consider the way you present yourself to the world as an art form. I consider the way I dress and the way I do my own hair and makeup as a very integral part of my own art.
Rita: What kind of experience and expertise would you describe yourself as having in these mediums?
Jinn Zamayla: As a writer, I believe that even though I am new to the world of publishing short stories, I have the passion, love, dedication, and desire to bring out the best writing that I have to the world and touch the lives of people through my writing. My main theme is writing that makes other people realize that they are not alone in their struggle in this world.
As a jewelry designer, I try to make beautiful pieces that showcase who I really am as a person. This means that they can be very random and even eccentric pieces. I tend to make jewelry based on what character in my head I would want to portray. This also goes the same for the way I dress and the way I do my hair and makeup. I dress according to how the characters in my brain would like to dress at the moment.
Rita: What are 3-5 interesting or unique facts about yourself that readers would find beneficial for getting a feel for who you are and what kind of artist you are?
Jinn Zamayla: A. I have an overactive imagination so I mainly make my art such as writing and jewelry-making through the characters that I have in my head. They are like people that I have met. Only, they just exist in my head.
B. I make art from a place that is deep. I feel deeply about many things. I feel too intensely and care too much about other people.
C. I have mental illness, which is one of the main reasons why I became an artist in the first place. Art saved my life. It helped me cope with my darkness and release my emotions.
Rita: Of the upcoming themes the MockingOwl Roost is slated for next year, which do you feel most fits the place you’re at in your current journey as an artist? The options are: Exploration, Discovery, Introspection, and Yugen (a Japanese word for a profound awareness of the universe that triggers feelings too deep and mysterious for words).
Jinn Zamayla: I do not know how to answer this question, but I think it is Yugen because the description matches how I feel.
J. P. DeNeui: You mentioned that the way you dress is important to your art. How do you prepare to be creative? Do you have to dress a certain way or set aside a certain time or space?
Jinn Zamayla: As someone who believes that the way I dress is an art form, a crucial step to how I prepare to be creative is to be inspired by the world, especially by the things that I am passionate about. I do not stick to one style of dressing. The way I present myself and my art depends on what character I would like to be that day.
Setting aside a certain time and space for my art is very important for me to be able to fully form my creative ideas.
J. P.: Who do you look up to as an artist?
Jinn Zamayla: There are a lot of artists that I look up to. As of the moment, the artists that I look up to the most are the artists in my hometown who aren’t afraid to find beauty in the mundane and make art out of seemingly ordinary day-to-day life occurrences.
J.P.: What piece of art (writing, jewelry, or something else) are you most proud of?
Jinn Zamayla: As an artist I am very critical of my work. So while I cannot state a single piece of art, the pieces that I am most proud of are those that I have done in the spur of the moment, the pieces that were made very intensely, with no thought beforehand, and in a very short amount of time.
J.P.: What are you working on at the moment?
Jinn Zamayla: I am currently trying to develop ideas for a play.
J.P.: Do you have any advice for other creatives?
Jinn Zamayla: The most important advice that I have been given is to give yourself permission to pursue your dreams.
Thank you for sharing these glimpses of your life, Jinn! Rita and I both wish you nothing but the best and look forward to working with you in the future. Pursue those dreams, and never give up.
Joseph Paul “JP” DeNeui (he/him) is a basketball-loving missionary kid from Thailand transplanted to Chicago, Illinois, where he shivers through winters and writes fantasy and sci-fi. He is the author of the fantasy novel Shadow of Wings.
You can follow Joseph on Facebook, Twitter, his website, or LinkedIn to see what’s going on in the world of fantasy writing, fiction, and general fun. Or, if you happen to love a good epic fantasy novel, check out his book in paperback or Ebook.
Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.