JadePurpleBrown

Jade_Hero2_resized.png

Q&A

L+A: What is it that you do and how did you get into it?

I’m a graphic designer, I paint, I do art direction, anything design and art related. I actually went to school for fashion marketing (I know something completely different) I wanted to be a stylist and I really didn’t need to go to school for that but I needed to make my parents happy. So I went through all the courses of marketing and I realized how much I loved graphic design, and pretty much taught myself by watching youtube tutorials (yeah, marketing just wasn’t my shit).

L+A: Tell us about some of the projects you worked on in the past?

While I was In college I worked with Sonia Kashuk (beauty products) doing their social media and graphics for new beauty roll outs and collections. I’ve also done art direction for Jim Beam (I know super random) and Justin Timberlake’s tequila brand, but it wasn’t really my jam so I got out of that.

But right now I am working at Moroccan Oil doing digital design for their social media and website.

L+A: What was your most challenging or least favorite project?

Jim Beam was probably my least favorite because it was predominantly men and frat house white boys, and it wasn’t really my aesthetic. It was out of my comfort zone but it was a great experience in the end because I learned how to work with things I didn’t connect with and spin it to my style.

L+A: What have been your favorite projects?

I would say it’s my own projects – where I can get crazy and have fun. I love my paintings, I love creating cool shapes. I’d describe my style as minimal abstract, I use a lot of color and geometric shapes to make contrasting pieces.

L+A: How does social media help your work?

That’s something that I’ve actually been thinking about a lot. Social media is a great tool but it’s also a huge distraction. So it’s helped in people seeing my work and getting followers but I use it lightly; because at the end of the day this platform isn’t going to be here forever so it’s important to connect with other people through it, but also connect in real life.

L + A: How do you curate your social media handle as to what’s the thought process behind your post?

I organize it so the colors flow and it’s not too repetitive. I always make sure it’s my aesthetic and it represents my illustrations, my digital or graphic design work. I like to invite people to my world and post things that represent me, who I want to be, and what I want to create in the future.

L+A: Do you ever get in your head about your work?

Yes, when I started posting my work on the internet, I would get more and more followers but then slowly you start comparing yourself to others. I would think to myself “how come I’m not working on projects like this person is” There’s so many artist and creatives out there it’s so important to be true to yourself and create things that you truly love.

L+A: Where do you get your inspiration from?

A lot of it comes from 70’s textiles and interior design, I love the colors and radical use of patterns from that time period. I like modern art and abstract pieces, things that are unique, and I study different artist and their techniques - Right now I’m studying Frank Stella a lot.

L+A: How do you stay focused?

[Laughs] STAYING OFF SOCIAL MEDIA! I do have a full time job but I would like to pursue my passion so I take time to myself to sit on my computer and draw and I watch interviews on artist that I like.

"I ALSO LISTEN TO MYSELF AND NOT LET OUTSIDE INFLUENCES AFFECT ME IN A NEGATIVE WAY"

L+A:What advice would you give young girls pursuing the same thing?

Practice is key! Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, stay consistent and document your work to see your progress.

L+A: Being a woman of color have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation at a workplace?

I’ve been in situations where people think I’m not smart because I am a woman and I am black on top of that. I try not to let that get to me and just prove them with my work and then they can’t really say anything because I am always giving it 100%.

If anyone is ever being disrespectful, I always call them out on it with a smile and usually that leaves them shook as fuck [laughs]! Because they don’t want to be perceived as being prejudice.

L+A: Is there a dream project that you would eventually like to work on?

I would love to eventually work on a mural or do a collaboration with a label like Emilio Pucci, where it’s known for its colors and patterns, that would be amazing!

I want to get to the point where my aesthetic is clear and artists want to work and collaborate with me just based on my style alone. And right now i’m actually trying to approach this pizza shop in my neighborhood and get them to let me design their pizza boxes(Let me make them poppin!).

"I’VE ONLY BEEN IN THE BRONX FOR A YEAR BUT I WOULD LOVE TO BETTER THE COMMUNITY WITH MY ART."

L+A: Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would hope that I am completely independent and not have a 9 – 5. I hope that I would have a strong enough platform where I can help up and coming artist, especially black women artist.

L+A: When’s the last time you’ve felt vulnerable?

Recently my parents actually got a divorce, but it wasn’t a sad thing. They’ve been together all of my life but they weren’t really together, if that makes sense. We’ve all lived in the same house but there was no affection ever shown. But when they finally split that’s when it really hit me and I had to re-think a lot of different things because so much of it was really finally changing.

L+A: What’s one thing you love about yourself?

I honestly love my corniness and sense of humor, I’m wild and goofy.

L+A: What’s something that you would still like to work on or improve?

I think it would be my own self talk, not speaking negative on myself. Expressing to myself you’re awesome, you’re amazing, look at you! Not comparing myself to others because everyone has a journey that I have no clue about.

L+A: What’s something that you’ve accepted or made peace with?

(That’s a hard one! I have to get real deep with it) I think my body and being comfortable in my skin. Since middle school I’ve dealt with stretch marks and having them that young was tough for me. But as I got older I realized it doesn’t matter, he’s still gonna hit on me anyways [laughs].

L+A: With so many upsetting and shitty things in the world how do you stay sane?

Honestly it’s hard, I try and not to look at the news. I like to keep informed but to the point where it consumes me, because a lot of the media is skewed, fake news [laughs].

L+A: If you weren’t doing graphic design what would you like to be doing?

Interior design for restaurants – making restaurants an experience where it’s a weird and fun environment. Maybe where you don’t necessarily go there for the food but you go there to see the space.

L+A: What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received from a woman?

(My best friend gives me so many jewels) To live in my own truth and do what makes me happy. Not worry about the unknown and that the best things in life don’t happen quickly. So don’t rush because things that actually mean something and are special are going to take time.

Photo Credit: Jade Purple Brown

jadepurplebrown.com