Artist Feature: Jazmine
To meet anyone, can cause a spark in your life that you never really anticipated. It can be a change that really inspires you to be a difference in a world that is constantly afflicted with cruelty and loss. Today we have a feature on a friend, I’ve yet to meet in person but will one day. Originally, we met in the land of Skype and monochromatic Tumblr. In our youth, we played league of legends and had a sort of gaming community that we came to be friends in. This story is about Jazmine, a young artist whose voice and kindness I think should reach people.
Artist Feature: Jazmine
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What was it like growing up you?
The path that leads Jazmine to where she is now is woven together through experiences that go beyond her social media presence. In order to piece together her story, it's best to start at the beginning of it all. You can't rush the history that shapes a person into who they are and made them stronger.
Jazmine's family dynamic created a complex youth, that contributed to self-hate, and blame. Thus, forcing her to unlearn toxic behaviors as she lived on her own, making it better for her to succeed in what she wants to do. She looks at her family differently than how others would perceive them to be. Thus, seeing her mother, as the result of dark abusive history with men, mentally and maturely stagnate. As the oldest in her family, Jazmine needed to mature faster and work to parent in the absence of her mother's maturity and parenting capabilities. With sisters who learned to parrot the emotional abuse from her grandmother towards her mother, Jazmine was left to take care of her mother’s mental health and nourish her sister’s emotional development.
During her school years, Jazmine moved from California to South Carolina. A huge jump in area, culture, and types of people to interact with for her and her family. She met the unusual experience of being a white student in an area populated primarily by students of color. Unlike many people who share that experienced she used this experience to advocate for the rights of minorities and constantly checks her place as a white woman in America.
What is an experience in your life that gave you perspective?
For Jazmine, losing friends was the experience that gave her strongest dose of perspective. While it’s a common occurrence in the day to day lives of many, she took these experiences and allowed them to be seeds for growth. She learned about the different ways in which one can lose friends. Trusting herself to persevere through these experiences and take time to self-reflect. In these experiences, she learned to monitor her growth and gain the insight she needed to see who she was becoming both as a person, a friend, and an artist. She suggested, and advised to "gage who you are by considering the people around you, surround yourself with people who are successful, they are the people who encourage you to grow"
What is the aesthetic of you?
Chuckling through this question Jazmine came to realize her aesthetic isn't as simple as one or two things. Perhaps the colorfulness of her past contributed to how she views expressing herself. She considered her aesthetic diverse. A little bit of everything as she supports a multicultural lifestyle in her everyday interactions. Loving art as a whole, it’s difficult to really pinpoint a look for Jazmine. A big heart will do that. So, if blessed to see Jazmine you'll find her one day sporting a 50's vibe, and the next living a weeb wet dream. She adores pastel aesthetics tremendously. Yet, the real thrill for her is seeing the businesswoman or professional look. One that's ready to risk it all, and maybe more.
If money favored her closet she dreams of doing lolita, but as short hair is her trademark her fashion can be a bit low effort. Comfort, peace, and acceptance are the aesthetic and energy she presents in her day to day looks.
Who changed your life in a fundamental way?
One day, Jazmine’s mom met the remarkable Kate Morales at church. After meeting her two daughters and granddaughters she began babysitting for this soon to be a second home. The blend of two cultures within one family delighted her, as she learned about the Black and Filipino experience. With the Morales family, she experienced so much. Alongside them she went on salsa trips, they took her to the beach and the movies, and got to experience things she couldn't afford. There she fell in love with the family and Kate Morales. Ms. Morales is a dynamic woman being a project manager, owning a dance company, and once was a college professor. “She’s amazing, she is what I would describe as black excellence, her and her family,” Jazmine said passionately. Kate Morales is a pillar in her life. In Jazmine’s world, she is “strong emotionally, confident, funny, and she’s a single parent. She's empowering. Her home was an escape, saved her from herself, support system” All things that inspire the woman Jazmine is today.
What is something you want to leave the world?
"Art, because it can be interpreted in different ways. My first open mic, a woman told me “Anything you write there will be someone in this room that needs to hear it.” My poetry and art, it has an impact...some people can take something and change their whole perspective. Art shaped me and I believe it can shape others too"
Working with Jazmine
So, if you think I covered Jazmine well enough, you're wrong. When I met Jazmine, she was a young buttercup of sass with a singular worldview. Now, she has matured into more than a flower like her namesake, but instead the complexity of an entire arboretum. I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was that changed and going through her life story in a brief interview I realized what a gift it is to watch someone grow. I'm often teasingly referring to her as my child, but in reality, she is more of a sister. One who walked a different path but, yet still reached mine yet again. My hope for the future is that people who meet her or see her myriad of memes and art understand that there is a gift in complexity and genuineness with her. She challenges herself to fight systematic racism and privilege. She is not afraid to push herself for her art. She fights. That's something I will always admire, is how much of a fighter she is. We came from a long time of monochromatic Tumblr mentalities to turn into who we are today. Seeing that growth reminded me, to not rush the process of healing and understanding. People change and grow. From a single flower into an arboretum, that is Jazmine, who I fondly call Jazmuse.
I want to give a big footnote thank you to the people who are willing to give me and my writing a chance to share their story. All my articles are shared via Medium & Jadedisland. As I am sharing one story I hope to hear another. Please, email:Jadedisland@gmail.com if you're interested in sharing your story as an artist and creative on my platform. Get more stories by subscribing and following my blog! Shares, Comments & Questions are welcome, tell me thoughts about anything! Follow the visuals and get updates on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram for more Jadedisland things.