Tag Archives: artist and writer Jasmine McGee

The Writer…

I told myself I was going to hit the bed early and attempt to rise at an appropriate time, yet I find myself laying here torn between the pen and the keyboard. I’ve had this lingering desire all day to write down my thoughts and analyze these intricate revelations. I could have easily grabbed my lovely journal, but I’d rather write down my thoughts in a blog format.

When I write I feel absolute. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing a proposal, an article on some rapper I could care less about, a editorial on my blog, or an academic essay; I enjoy the the writing process. Ever since I was young I always had this intrinsic passion for the art of words. I may have had issues when it came to determining the grammatical structure of a sentence, but I would ignore the serious grammar issues and let the words possess me.

I didn’t want to sit around and study the defining qualities of conjunctions, prepositions, adverbs, and such. I just wanted to write. I was the kid in the classroom that got excited when a teacher would assign the class a written assignment longer than 2 pages. Any subject you can name, I’d write a paper on it in a heartbeat. I will write about anything, as long as I’m able to construct a well written piece and have it reach an audience. Even if that audience is a professor, at least someone will be reading it and will provide adequate feedback. Most of the papers I’ve written in school have received an A or A+ grade. There have been only at the most 8 papers throughout my entire academic history I have received a lower grade on. I could sit here and actually tell you the context of each of those papers, but that would be frivolous.

My point is, I’m a writer. I wouldn’t even be Jasmine McGee if I didn’t write. I couldn’t imagine being Jasmine “the dancer” or Jasmine “the scientist.” I may have a fascination with other subjects and fields of exploration in life, but writing is my preferred element of exploration. Writing gives me the ability to explore a range of topics. From the abstract theories to the basic essentials of life; I write about anything my mind intercepts and perceives of great importance.

The past few days the topic of writing has been weighing heavy on my mind. As I’m reaching the final year of college, I’m beginning to realize that I don’t have a dream job as a writer. I used to have this passion to be the next best pop culture writer of our Nation, but as glamorous as it sounds, it’s vague. It would be somewhat difficult to ascertain a job as just a “pop culture writer.” I’d need to narrow it down to a specific category within pop culture and that is something I can’t won’t do. I don’t want to just write about hip-hop all day or pinpoint the downfalls and benefits of dating/relationships; that isn’t a dream job.I’ve written for free and have paid my dues to the point where my resume is quite impressive, but I’m exhausted. I don’t have a dream of getting a job at a hotshot magazine or being on staff at a newspaper.

My dream job, well…I don’t necessarily have a specific title in mind. I do however, want to continue my pursuit of happiness in the writing process. I want the words I write to make a difference on some level, which is why I’m beginning to fall in love with proposal writing. The Technical writing class I’ve taken this semester and the Business writing class I took last semester, have tapped into the true power of my writing. I have this wonderful ability to write about important social issues, government projects, and other topics that benefit society.

An excellent writer shouldn’t be confined to one topic. I may have an expertise in expressing my opinions on the arts, but I’m also skilled in writing about science, health, social issues, world causes, and topics surrounding government. As a writer you have this amazing ability to research an array of topics and wear many hats, but you have to pick one that will at least feed the beast and pay the bills. When I say “feed the beast,” I’m referring to that untamed frustration writers experience when they are estranged from the pen, keyboard, or perhaps both.

As I daydream about my future goals as a writer, only a few things come to mind. I will always write my opinions down in my journal and my blog. That is an aspect of my voice as a writer that can’t be taken away from me. My blog and my journal are the creative outlets in which I explore the thoughts in my noggin. Once I graduate and hopefully go to graduate school at George Mason University, I will utilize my writing skills for the greater good of society. After spending time with my dad (he guided me on a proposal for class), a Senior Proposal Writer, I’ve began to see how cool it is to work for a technological company and the government. My dad took his degree in Comparative Literature from Princeton and used it to write award winning proposals that help the government and humanity; very cool!

I don’t know where I will end up as a writer, but I do know that I would like to potentially work for the federal government and use my writing skills to make a difference. I may not change the world, but if I worked for an agency in the federal government that improved/sustained society, then I’d feel like I’m doing my part as a writer. The journey of a writer is one that requires willingness and commitment. As I writer I’m not afraid to make mistakes. I’ve written about a wide range of subjects, but every word I’ve ever typed has pushed me closer towards finding my niche. In the same way I write articles, my life is a collection of words being organized into sentences and paragraphs. The only difference is, my life isn’t always grammatically correct…

Candid thoughts from ThinkSoul25.

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

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Late Nights, House Music, and Pop Art

This week so far has been a quiet accumulation of artistic inspiration. In between working out and juggling all my school work, I’ve taken the time to begin working on some new art projects. Anyone who somewhat knows me and my lifestyle, knows that I’m prone to late nights. The latest I’ve gone to bed this week was around 5 am. I went to bed that late on Monday morning because one of my friends called me at 4am and decided to chat.

I don’t get mad when people call me after midnight, because most likely I’m up writing, listening to house, or working on some artwork. I’ll talk time out to chat it up with friends I haven’t talked to in awhile and since they are artistic, they are inclined to late nights as well. My whole family is filled with a bunch of night owls, except for my dad. He’s the one who actually has a corporate 9 to 5 and loves to wake up early. I’ve got a little less than a year before I graduate and hop into the corporate world, so I’m going to have as many late nights as I can until my college days end.

Last night this morning I finally went to bed around 3am. I was up jamming to some house music and getting acrylic paint all over my fingers. A few days ago I had painted over a self portrait I started and was left with a canvas screaming for attention. For those of you who read my blog regular, you know that art and writing rule my life. I couldn’t be a writer if I wasn’t an artist and I wouldn’t be an artist if I wasn’t a writer. Both of them are essential in my life.I plan on writing full time once I graduate and then saving up money and getting funding to start a community art gallery/center. I want to make sure I keep the arts a live in my life and was well in the hearts of the next generation.

The creative process is something that is fascinating to experience and it’s a form of therapy. Aside from occasionally going downstairs and asking my mom for advice at 3am (she’s always up working on a book, her website, or art), I’m up in my room with my headphones on and paint brush in hand. I like to get into my own world and not be bothered when I’m working on a painting or a drawing. Last month I stayed up till 6am working on this Marilyn Monroe drawing. It had been over a year since I had done a full blown potrait of someone. By “full blown”, I mean a portrait in which I completely shade all the details. I sometimes leave a drawing flat and don’t go back to shade in every essential detail, but Monroe required a lot of detail.

It’s fun drawing, but I get a great sense of joy from painting. I’ve always been a huge fan of Roy Lichtenstein and the pop art movement of the 60s. Even though a lot of the pop art was done by screen-printing process (Andy Warhol,) I still appreciate that style of art. The simplicity of design is effective due to the bright colors and techniques. I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of seeing Liechtenstein’s original pieces at the National Smithsonian Museum of Art; a breathtaking experience!

My style of art is often described as contemporary pop art, but I want to work on perfecting my own spiLichtenstein Inspired by Jasmine McGeen on Lichtenstein. So last night I grabbed that piece of canvas, some paints, popped on my headphones, turned up the house music, and got lost for a few hours in the world of art and house. I started out listening to Deeper Shades of House podcast and then ended the night listening to classical opera. I had to go back and outline everything in black, so concentration was a necessity at 2am in the morning. I found serenity in the classical music channel and the opera vocals dancing in my ear.

Being a night owl payed off. I finished my painting and was pleased with the contrast of vibrant colors. The picture has this sassy attitude and in the word bubble I wrote “I like you…but, I like myself better.” That’s a statement I use quite a bit, especially when I like a guy and don’t want to spend my time on trying to be with him.  It took me a few mock trial and errors before I committed to a phrase for this piece, but I think it turned out well.

I’m finding my style as an artist and after 16 years of creating artwork on a professional level, I found my niche. I’m a contemporary pop artist, writer, and house junkie. I’ve learned that house inspires me to create and keeps the paint brush flowing, but the sounds of classical (jazz as well) calm me down and help me finish a painting. I plan on painting later on today, so hopefully I will come up with some more catchy sayings. It’s going to be another late night. That’s the life of an artist: late nights, house music, and pop art.

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

Workspace of an Artist & Writer

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I’ve been in a really creative space lately, probably because the humid heat of Maryland is disgusting and I’d rather stay inside where it’s nicely chilled.  I was out in Denver for three years and was spoiled by the dry weather, even though it was hard to maintain natural hair. I don’t miss the people out in Colorado but I do miss the weather and the mountains. I love being outdoors and being active, so naturally Denver was a happy medium.

In DMV there are a bunch of parks and places to be active, but you have to deal with that nasty humid weather. Luckily I have a fitness bike in my room and usually can just do that or go downstairs and dance my ass off! I just got home from helping my mom buy a suit for my dad at Burlingtons, so I’m probably going to chill the rest of the day inside. This Burlington I went to over here in Gaithersburg was so nice! It has two floors and it’s huge, while not in an overwhelming matter. I love helping my mom pick out suits for my dad and professional clothes, I read GQ every now and then and www.theurbangent.com . That blog is great for men’s fashion and style, especially for those men who are lack in the fashion department.

SAM_2159Now that I have this new workspace in my room (that’s my room to the left and the picture above), I might actually pick up illustrating some fashion designs again. I have so many sketch tablets laying around the house, but they are all filled with drawings I’ve forgotten to shade in or put on display. For many years I’ve been completing a lot of my paintings and articles from one spot on the floor. I usually grab my materials and lay down on my rug, then I put on my headphones and some house music to get lost in the painting.

I was up till 4am last night working on this painting someone paid me to do. It isn’t quite finished yet, but I did finish the background details. I always paint the background first and then the foreground last, it saves the mental hassle of trying to envision what color scheme to use.  I enjoy painting but I want to work on perfecting a contemporary pop art style, which is why I’m going to the Smithsonian tomorrow for some much needed inspiration. I will blog about that experience tomorrow, so I’m going to blog more about that and my favorite painters tomorrow.

It feels good to have this new desk and the option to write without always laying on my bed or the floor. I think every artist and writer should have there very own unique workspace. Mine is simple for the time being, but in the next few weeks I plan on adding more pictures and knick knacks that make it say “Jazzy”. I spend a lot of time in my room and just off in my own little creative world listening to music and expressing my emotions through a combination of hues and words.

I go through these phases where I love being surrounded by people and then I get exhausted and just want to be by myself. More and more everyday I’m realizing how much time I spend by myself, but I’m accomplishing so many things in this time. I devote so much time to my school work, my writing, and my art, but in the end it will all pay off. I have a big dream that I want to make come true, but I have to put some things in place. My goal involves a lot of creativity and it’s something I don’t talk about much, especially because in the past people have just shot it down or didn’t really care. So I keep my real dream to myself. It’s never been a dream of mine to be some big shot writer, but more along the lines of a dream involving the arts.

Red-SonjaI write because I love it and apparently people enjoy reading my writing, so I don’t plan on ever quitting. If I happen to get some big shot job as a writer, then great! But I’ve got a lot of goals to accomplish, which is why I’m glad I finally have this workspace. I plan on doing some more video blogs really soon and I’m also beginning to get off into these female superheroes. I love drawing strong women who can kick some serious butt! I need to keep drawing and cultivate my artistic ability.  One day I’d love to do a painting of some serious chick doing major damage with swords and mighty fists….that would be cool! Ms. Marvel 042

I’m going to grab some pencils and go draw for awhile, I’m feeling inspired and it’s not like I’ve got a lot to do right now. As usual I’m in my own world of creativity and pure imagination, which is a marvelous place to be!

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

Pure Imagination: A World of My Creation

Jasmine McGee Mos Def Painting

I’m not a connoisseur of words, yet I know how to use them to my advantage. Utilizing proper grammatical equations, I treat the keyboard as though it were a canvas and my fingers are individual paint brushes conducting every stroke. There are many analogies to describe the emotions that  writers experience, yet I prefer to rely on an analogy that is second nature to me. Art. A three letter word, an eccentric philosophy student whose legal name is Art, a painting, a song, a film, and the application of human creativity and imagination.

I’m known as a writer, a student, a young black female, a girl gamer, a tall woman, a former musician (ah the days of playing the flute in band), and a bold spirit. Yet many people are always blown away by my artistic passion. My blog has become a creative corner in which I’ve expressed my view points on life through the conventions of language and media, which in it self is a language of it’s own, but my artistic side has remained a photo album on Facebook.  After juggling through random videos on my wall and my different style choices within every photo I take, people usually run across my “Art is Lyfe” album on Facebook and are shocked.

It’s no secret that those with avant-garde approaches to life tend to have an array of interests. A true visionary doesn’t limit themselves to one aesthetic, yet opting to combine different elements in order to let the madness in their mind escape. My imagination, in it’s purest form, is a terrain resembling Little Big Planet.  Similar to the game, my imagination combines childhood ambitions with adult realities and futuristic concepts. I’m constantly thinking about about formulating a new spin on basic topics and creating paintings that express the song in my head or the words I want to evoke in the minds of the viewer.

By no means am I a professional artist or the next Edward Hopper( in my dreams I paint that well), but I have earned the title of an artist and writer. Growing up with a mother, professional African-American fine artist Janie McGee, I was exposed to the picturesque world of visual art. I loved studying her intricate brush strokes and her combination of colors that exemplified radiant brown skin. I never had a mother who fed my promises in order to satisfy my childhood attention span. Instead of scattering toys in front of me (even though I had some great toys, including a huge Barbie collection) my mom would hand me a cup, a few paint brushes, paper, and set up a little station for me to sit next to her while she crafted a masterpiece.

We would spend hours watching classic movies on TCM, laughing, and working on our paintings. I always looked forward to those summers when school was out and my mom would give me creative art projects to complete. Ever since the age of four, which is when my mom began teaching me how to draw and paint, I had knew that art was going to be a permanent part of my life. I had sold my first painting around that same age to her mentor and friend Thomas Blacksheare, who is another successful African-American artist. I grew up going to art shows and arts/entertainment events that my parent’s would host at whatever studio space my mom was renting or at our house. I grew up surrounded by the arts and I grew up understanding that the most important things I had been blessed with in life would always be family, a loving God, house music, and my imagination.

My imagination became my support system in the happiest and darkest moments in my life. When I was homeless in 2004 and living in an old barn house on a campground in St. Mary’s county Maryland, I relied on my sketch pad from Michaels,a few pencils, and a small diary to get through that time. I had been promoting and showcasing my art in shows with my mom since a very young age, but selling paintings and always having my work on display was facing competition with a desire to write. After publishing my first article in a national teen magazine earlier that year, I had began to understand my voice was worthy of being heard.

Writing and art fed both parts of my soul, but I began to focus on writing as a career. Since elementary school, I’ve always been in art classes and theatre classes every year in school. Theatre became a passion of mine because it touched another part of my soul, that desire to be heard and seen while evoking an emotional response in an engaged audience. Creating characters has always been something I was fond of, especially when I faced rejection at school from the “popular” crowd. Even now, I still find myself holding onto these passions that got me through the good and the bad days, those days when you wished the sun really did have a smile.

The arts have always been a voice in my life and I continue to satisfy my artistic cravings. When my imagination is speaking to me in the form of a painting or drawing, then I go gather my materials, put on some house music, and I create. When I have essays swirling around my brain, I grab my laptop, put on some jazz or house, and I write. The process typically involves some musical stimulation, but I also enjoy the moments of creation in pure silence. Silence allows my imagination and my hands to have a conversation that isn’t influenced by other human innovation.

When it comes to describing who I am as a writer and a visual artist, the only thing that comes to mind is “Pure Imagination.” As a child Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies due to the creative elements. The original scene from the movie with Gene Wilder and his sassy attitude left an imprint on my mind. The concept of a room filled with so many chocolate delights, colorful creations, and the pleasure of freedom being fulfilled, topped with a beautiful song, created a majestic idea. The original movie with Gene Wilder is superior to the Johnny Depp remake and the song is one that pays homage to imagination.

The song “Pure Imagination”, originally written by Lou Rawls, also has a modern upbeat version by the Stylophonics. Over the weekend I went through my Ipod and began playing the Stylophonicssong over and over again in my head. I hadn’t listened to it in a few months, but it served it’s purpose in refreshing my imagination. My mom always told me that the most beautiful thing about my personality was my imagination. Ever since I was young I never understood the concept of the word no and would embark on a new journey every day to satisfy a creative itch. Nothing seemed impossible at that age. But as an adult it’s harder to commit to pure imagination and separate ourselves from the daily stress and harsh reality of society.

But imagination shouldn’t be a task as daunting as filing your taxes. As the song says, “If you want to be in paradise, simply look around and view it/ Anything you want to do it/Want to change the world, there’s nothing to it.” Those may seem like simple phrases but they hold complex meanings that can free your mind. Being creative is about releasing your inhibitions and taking a chance on your mind. It’s not a calculated process that requires approval from society, but it’s more so a spiritual awakening that begins with the childhood lessons we learn concerning getting acquainted with our imagination.

Remember those days when you drew doodles and stick figures with dinosaurs crawling out of their heads? That’s what imagination is all about, yet creativity amongst adults tends to get lost in the politics of the arts. Don’t worry whether your going to be the next best selling author or the next world class artist. Imagination isn’t based upon merits and social acceptance. Imagination thrives off the experiences of the world and the experiences yet to be discovered. If you want to be in paradise, then simply look around and view it. Pure imagination is right in front of you, it’s just waiting for you to open your eyes and create a world of your own creation. So what are you waiting for?

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com