Funding Friday - Help a Washington D.C. artist finish her schooling at Parsons!
My name is Jamilla Okubo. I am an Kenyan-American artist from Washington, D.C. Currently residing in New York City attending Parsons the New School for Design. I am currently a rising senior at Parsons studying Integrated Fashion Design (undergraduate), with a background in Fine Arts, and a focus on textiles and fashion design.
I have been attending Parsons for three years now and I am getting ready to graduate this year as well as complete my senior thesis. I am currently $72,000 in debt to Parsons the New School for Design. For the past three years my mother has assisted me by paying the remainder of my tuition with the Parent Plus Loan. My mother has borrowed $43,000 of the Direct Parent Plus loan. I still owe $12,000 for my last (senior) year at Parsons and mother and I can no longer take out Direct Plus Loans.
I hope to be that minority student of color at Parsons, who represents the school, and inspires my younger siblings, and other minority/low-income students globally, to have the ambition and drive that I have, and not let financial issues get in the way of it.
As a minority student of color, I wholeheartedly appreciate and have taken full advantage of the amazing opportunities that I have received while being at Parsons, learning from amazing professors and peers.
I need $10, 787 to pay for the rest of my tuition for my last year at Parsons.
USAGE OF FUNDS:
-School Supplies (Fabric, muslin, pattern paper, designing tools, paint, canvases, lab fees, books, fieldtrip fees)
My Senior Year Schedule
Fall 2014 (19 credits)
Design, Self & Society
Futurism & Fashion
Fashion, Illustration & Performance
Art After Apartheid
Winter: Strategies of Selling (course at FIT, 3 credits)
Spring 2015 (18 credits)
4000 Level lecture course
Couture Design: Techniques
ABOUT ME & MY PURPOSE AS AN ARTIST:
As a multidisciplinary artist I am able to combine my skills and knowledge to create and express myself. My artwork mainly focuses on people of the Diaspora (people of color), whom I consider my community. I use my artistic disciplines as tools to challenge myself in ways to give back to my community, educate, and empower them as well as the rest of the world.
It is my duty to remind people of color that we have such a rich culture, and that we should love ourselves and one another. I create artwork for my community, because I believe that my purpose as an artist of color is to empower and educate my community.
My artistic discipline connects me to my community by allowing me to create artwork that my community is able to enjoy, embrace, and share with others. I not only create my artwork for myself but what I express through the medium that I use, is a story that many in my community can relate to. When it comes to creating, I strongly believe in the fact that,
“Black art controls the “Negro’s” reality, negates negative influences, and creates positive images,”
A quote by Sonia Sanchez. As an artist of color coming from a low-income, single-mother household background, I am able to speak for many in my community from both my experiences growing up as well as express the beauty and hardships of my community’s culture and history. Being able to paint allows me to create for myself but also allows my work to connect to so many from my community. That is the beauty of being an artist, being able to express shared feelings and experiences with your community, where they can also can all take something from what you create.
There is so much to learn, and from that form of inspiration and influence, I create.
Portfolio Website: www.jamillaokubo.com
Shop my art prints here: http://aadatart.com/product-category/art-prints/jamilla-okubo/
SPREAD THE WORD TUMBLR FAMILY! I LOVE YALL!
*SIGNAL BOOST THIS PLEASEEEEE*
#TrueStoryTuesday - Make It Till You Make It
Last week’s #TrueStoryTuesday was about art feeling pointless, this week is about overcoming that feeling and taking action.
The quote above is by Ira Glass (I’ll share the story of how I met him and got inspired to do radio some other time) and the poster is by designer Sawyer Hollenshead. Glad to finally put a name to this piece that has inspired me so much.
I used this quote to try to inspire someone else and remembered there were a lot of projects of my own that I hadn’t gotten going because of some combination of fear + excuses. We both need to keep working - Keep making stuff till we make it.
This summer has been productive though. By the end of the month I will have completed my first gig in my new photography job. I’ll have studio time booked for a film & photo project in early September. I’ll be all set to teach at the 2nd round of graphic design workshops for DC area youth as a part of the Self Identities project in the DC area, for which I’ve also been serving as a creative consultant. Things are happening… just have to keep working.
In light of everything going on, I also read this quote thinking of all of us who are frustrated with the state of things in the world when it comes to equality & justice. There are people participating in fight to make things better doing everything from providing medical care to protesters to raising money to creating political strategy. Yes, this quote was originally meant for artists, but can be for anyone who is in that challenging place between the way things are and the way they want things to be. We just gotta fight our way through.
Bonus - Here’s this quote in kinetic typography form - http://vimeo.com/24715531
Sometimes, caring about art feels frivolous in light of all the troubles that happen in the world. Just in the past couple weeks, serious issues like injustice, war and suicide have been the primary topic everywhere from family conversations, Twitter, and on the headline news. It can leave us feeling powerless.
Many things can be done to try to spur change in many of these situations. Petitioning to political leaders, volunteering time and money, protests, prayers, are all things we try to influence the situation at hand.
Creating art feels pointless, but sometimes it serves to help the situation in less direct ways.
People rarely think of protest signs as art, but these too serve as creative expression with a goal - Hear me. Hear me and change.
Protest music has long existed as a way to have marginalized voices heard when nothing else was listened to.
And yes, photography & visual art - not only of the journalistic kind by people who are on the scene of events as they happen - but also in works done after the fact, capture the emotion of a situation, the pain of injustice, frustration at dealing with the same struggle over and over again.
The greatest benefit of this art is not for the people in the outside of these situations - it’s for the people creating it themselves, for the people living it. It’s healing. It’s being active when it feels like every other method of making change isn’t working. It’s reaffirming humanity - we are here. We exist. We are human - and this is not the state in which we want to live.
So we write, and we march, and we vote, and we volunteer, and we speak, and we act, and we create. All for the hope of change.
Sometimes, creating something beautiful is the only way to make sense out of the senseless.
The Djerbahood project gathers 100 artists from 30 countries to paint the streets and walls of Erriadh, a village in Djerba, Tunisia. The aim of this project is to transform the village into an open-air gallery of art, during July and August. Here are some of our favorite graffitis.
Random Words of Kindness #7: Never Ever Give Up [WIP]
This is the seventh #randomwordsofkindness print in it’s WIP stage! A daily reminder to never, ever give up on your dreams!
If you’d like to be the lucky owner of the finished print simply like or reblog this post!