Keepers of Our Craft: Jess Molina, Storyteller

As part of our Mixed Six Cider and Mixed Six Seltzer launch celebration, we’ve teamed up with six creators across a range of industries who inspire us every day. We wanted to know more about each of them and their craft, what inspires them and how they make space in their busy lives to connect with the people who matter most in their lives. Next up in our series is Jess Molina, a skilled storyteller who works across mediums, including writing, acting and blogging, to name just a few.

We chatted with Jess (an avid Apple Crumble fan!) about how she sees innovation shaping a traditional craft or artform like storytelling and got some thought-provoking advice for anyone wanting to dip their toes into the world of storytelling themselves. Jess also shared her thoughts on how she finds moments to connect with those who matter most in her life - and you won't want to miss her response!

Read on below to hear more from Jess herself and check out her work online too. We love following along on Instagram at @jessmolina where she shares parts of her life, from deep conversations to observations, poetry, fashion and more. We're inspired just thinking about it!

Can you tell us more about what being a storyteller means to you?

Being a storyteller to me means being able to translate everyday life into words, to capture an emotion and mirror that back to the world. It is my favourite form of art but also the very thing that inspires and saves me time and time again. Being a storyteller is one of the best parts of being me – I feel lucky to be able to tell stories in a way that resonates.

Do you have any favourite / preferred mediums?

It’s funny because I landed on the word ‘storyteller’ to describe myself back in 2012 when I was at university. I have been struggling to find a word that described me when people asked what I do or what I wanted to do after graduating. The word ‘storyteller’ encompassed everything I was passionate about and what I was doing – blogging, writing, acting, and sharing my life online. All those are mediums that I still love now (maybe even more than I have then!) but I think writing is the one I do the most just because I write every day, even if it’s just in my journal.

The online space is one that’s constantly changing and where innovation abounds, and yet storytelling is one of the world’s oldest art forms. Do you find yourself drawn more towards the opportunity to innovate, or do you enjoy some of the more traditional elements of storytelling? Or some mix of the two?

When I first started thinking about myself as a storyteller, social media didn’t exist like it does now. Instagram had just launched and we were using it as a way to share raw, unfiltered photos of our days. I would post so many photos in day, just getting creative or capturing a moment that I wanted to remember forever. It’s been so interesting to see the shift over the years and it’s brought in a lot of innovation. I think the principle of storytelling or its essence has remained the same, and I still feel like I tell stories in the same genuine way as I used to, it just so happens that it takes a different form now i.e. 15 second clips on an IG story instead of a long form article etc. I love to mix the traditional and the new. I think it depends on the story, audience etc. I will say though that I think there’s always going to be a space for these longer form content and more considered, thoughtful storytelling.

In what seems like a very busy and exciting life, how do you find moments to connect with those who matter most to you?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately actually! It’s interesting because reading this question just made me reflect on how lucky I am to have the most incredible people in my life. The funny thing is when I thought about the person who I’ve been really wanting to connect with lately is, I actually thought about myself! Because living a fast-paced, busy life is exciting and I do love it, but I can’t remember the last time I had a day just to myself. I love going on solo dates/adventures alone. I usually like to go out for brunch, browse a few bookstores, and maybe even go see a movie. I like to sit in busy cafes alone with my journal but I’m equally happy spending time at home writing and listening to music – that’s when I feel most relaxed. So this is a really great reminder for me (and I hope to anyone who reads it too) that we should also include ourselves in that list of people who matter to us.

Do you have any words of wisdom you’d share with other budding storytellers?

Honour your truth. That’s where the most important stories come from. Also don’t worry about your audience – which is honestly the most conflicting advice ever because we are taught to create with an audience in mind, whether that’s explicitly said or not i.e. creating content for followers, writing an article with a target demographic in mind. But I think if you speak your truth and you tell the stories that you are passionate about and really want to tell, the right audience will find it and connect with it. Even if it’s just a handful of them. So tell those stories that only you can! I promise it’s okay if the only person moved by it is you.

Do you have a favourite cider/seltzer from Zeffer?

APPLE CRUMBLE CIDER HANDS DOWN. Yes, all caps. I love it that much!