Meet Phoebe and Joshua, the creators of Bobblejot! Phoebe oversees the illustrations while Joshua develops the character stories. Their mission is to spread “joy and positivity” to all their readers. We are extremely excited to have them join the jellybeet family. To get to know them better, we asked them to answer a few questions about their process and influences.
In your own words, who or what is Bobblejot? Where did the name come from?
Bobblejot was a platform created quite a few years before our webcomic, Tori (https://jellybeet.com/bobblejot-tori-sitting-plush/) and Samuel (https://jellybeet.com/bobblejot-sam-sitting-plush/) was started up. “Bobble” was chosen because it felt like it captured the cuter nature of the illustrations that would be going up on the platform. While “jot” came from me jotting down random ideas for designs and stories, almost always in the middle of the night.
When was Bobblejot “born”?
Bobblejot was started up officially in 2018 with the release of the first few Tori and Samuel webcomic episodes.
Why did you decide to create Bobblejot? What was the inspiration?
Initially, it was just to create cute illustrations as a form of relaxation after work. Still, we soon realized how passionate we both were to tell stories and added a narrative aspect to our illustrations, which gave birth to Tori and Samuel.
Which character was the first Bobblejot creation?
Tori, the corgi, is the official first character of Bobblejot with a fleshed-out backstory and personality. Shortly after, followed by Samuel, the munchkin cat!
What part of Bobblejot does each of you handle? What are you both responsible for?
Joshua does the writing for all the Tori and Samuel episodes, while I work on all the illustrations once the script has been firmed up. When creating merchandise, I usually take on the more design aspects of the creation process, while Joshua handles all the logistics that come with releasing the designs on our online store.
What makes Tori and Sam so unique, and are they based on some pieces of both your personalities?
Tori was initially based on me, while Samuel was mostly inspired by Joshua. As the comics were further developed, we realized that Tori and Samuel both resembled Joshua, just different aspects of him. We eventually created a character, Cleo, the bunny, that was inspired by my personal experiences. All three of our main characters come from very different stages of life with very different personalities. Still, they slowly learn how to best live with and support one another and become the best of friends and family even.
Do you have a favorite fan interaction?
We love reading about how a particular comic came at the right time to cheer someone up after a long day. This is ultimately our biggest motivation to keep creating comics. If we’re able to make even one person’s day brighter through our comics, it just inspires us to keep doing what we’re doing.
What/Who are your biggest artistic inspirations?
I grew up watching a lot of Disney and Cartoon Network animations. I think it was being exposed to all of these (influences) throughout my childhood that inspired me to tell stories visually. Of course, it really helps to have a husband who loves creating stories that further inspire me to want to see them become webcomic episodes!
What are your favorite Tori and Sam comic moments?
Out of all the episodes I’ve drawn, the one I felt most inspired to draw was one where Samuel was reflecting on the loss of his owner but came to the realization that he was able to find joy and fulfilment with his newfound family once he reached out and opened up to them. While it usually takes me at most a week to create our weekly comics, this one took about three (weeks) because of how many times I’ve tried to redraw the scenes to make them more impactful and fit with the emotions of the narrative.
Tori and Sam are such comforting, feel-good characters; what would be Tori & Sam’s message to their fans who are maybe having a tough day?
Keep moving forward. It is difficult now, but it won’t last forever. One day, you’ll be able to look back and truly appreciate how much you’ve overcome and how much stronger of a person you are because of all you’ve been through.
What would their ideal self-care/lazy day in look like?
Tori would sit around with a spa towel and cucumber eye masks (the only time she’ll willingly be anywhere near a vegetable). While Samuel would be reading a newspaper by the fireplace or a book on the sofa.
What is your best advice to those creating their own comics?
Draw what inspires and makes you happy, not what others want to see. Only if you really enjoy what you’re doing and find meaning in it will you be able to find the motivation to push through any blocks or obstacles you encounter along the way.