Tell us about yourself.
Jasmine: My name is Jasmine and I am a college student majoring in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts. I’m also a photographer and collagist. I am a black woman, and I am really passionate about including people of color in the art world, whether that be as makers, viewers, subjects or administrators. My post-grad goal is to find work in a museum or in another realm of community-based art activism. I do freelance copy editing and sell prints and commissioned shoots as a side hustle.
What are your beauty struggles?
Jasmine: I have not yet perfected sleeping on my hair. I am still learning how to keep my curls fresh without having to redo it every morning. I always have to do a whole new wash and go. When I was younger, I used to look up homemade skin lightening methods. I already have light skin, but it just goes to show the internalized anti-blackness I experienced in school. My weight fluctuates a lot; I was never super skinny like the other girls. My closest friends used to be so mean to me about how I looked and it made me insecure. I go through periods where I am losing weight, and then when I’m stressed I gain weight. I need to learn how to change my outlook on working out. I want to work out for myself, not to attain a certain image. It is so hard for young women who are told their body image is more important than how they are feeling. Being healthy is way more than just looking in the mirror and seeing a toned body.
Are there things you encounter that your counterparts do not?
Jasmine: Being an artist is hard in general because of the influx of people into art and photography. Being a black woman as an artist is extremely difficult because people expect you to make art about your identity. It’s hard to step outside of that box, because people will be confused and say that your work isn’t authentically “you.” Sometimes, I feel confined by that. Being a black woman is multifaceted, so my art can do and be so many things, but people try and tell me what my art should look like. It feels like I can never win. It’s also difficult to be successful as an artist of color because people in higher positions rarely invest in black artists. Recently, it has become trendy to buy from black artists, but in the grand scheme of things, no one is funding black artists.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Jasmine: My dad has always told me to make good choices. I always act like I’m mad when he says that because obviously that’s what I should do, but it’s easy to get caught up in things that don’t feel right to you in order to rise to the top or please other people. Never do something that doesn’t feel right to you. If you feel uncomfortable or hesitant, it will always put you in bad position.
What is your self-care routine?
Jasmine: I watch a lot of TV to distract myself. That’s the #1 way I detach myself from any sort of stress I’m experiencing. I have recently found that working out makes me feel good about myself, so I use that as a form of self-care as well. It makes me get out of bed when I’m feeling lazy or don’t have anything to do. I also edit photos as a way of calming myself down or making myself feel creative. I try not to work in libraries. I love working in cafes and lounges; it allows my creativity to flow better. The library at my school is an overly stressful environment because other people are stressing out all around you. I like creating spaces that remove all the stress of the outside world. I burn incense, light a candle, or play music while I’m working. It’s important that you get stuff done, but you should also enjoy yourself. I’ve been listening to a lot of Afro-Harping by Dorothy Ashby, a jazz harpist, when I study. My favorite songs right now are Cyber Stockholm Syndrome by Rina Sawayama and Lemon by N.E.R.D. and Rihanna.
Keep up with Jasmine on her journey:
Buy Prints: www.etsy.com/shop/jasmineweberphoto