We had the good fortune of connecting with Jade Stevenson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jade, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
I found an internal love for storytelling. There isn’t anything in the world that stirs my mind and spirit more than the process and art of storytelling. I’m a writer for a living, and initially, I was on track to be an engineer. Despite a small enjoyment in those classes, nothing about engineering really sparked anything in me. Engineering classes are challenging, but I didn’t feel invested in the classes or the process. However, it was different when it came to my English classes. I was completely in awe of stories and fiction; I would even get in trouble reading in other classes. I was willing to risk it all to read and experience diverse storytelling. In every medium, I find myself enjoying this art form. I don’t regret choosing to pursue a career as a writer; it’s the one choice I believe that my entire being will never regret. If I’m willing to risk everything and write, I know that this is what my passion is. I choose to be a storyteller because I believe in its way of art. It’s a collective experience, documentation of history and humanity, and a wish to the universe. A story can range from whimsical to harrowing, and I love how complex a narrative can be. As much as I want to talk shop, all I can say is pursuing my art is the one thing I did for myself that keeps me going and motivated through thick and thin.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a writer, storyteller, and literary artist. Using mixed mediums and digital expression, I tell my story and share my love of writing on social media and online. I use the duality of fashion and prose to weave a compelling narrative about being a Black femme, exploring life, and finding self-love. I’m the proudest of how much I blend my two niches into a successful career, and I bring my love of storytelling and colorful fashion into a brilliant space and creative community. In May of 2021, my first poetry chapbooks will be available, showcasing the vision of my work as a poet and alternative fashionista. It’s a scary but thrilling experience to write and share my voice so intimately with the public. I’m using my platform to bring light to several issues alongside my personal story. I’m anticipating having the chance to really show what Black femmes in alternative spaces can do, and even more so as a writer and artist. It wasn’t easy getting to where I am now. I’m still surprised I made it this far, from publishing my work to working with Facebook. I didn’t grow up in an easy environment, and with each barrier, I encounter I feel like I’m meeting another five more after. I often wonder how I can keep going as an artist and whether this commitment is selfish on my part, but then moments of creative success happen, and my imposter syndrome gets beaten down again. I’ve learned that often my biggest adversary to my career is just myself and mental limitations. I need to challenge my personal doubts and keep pushing forward. As someone who has survived and is still surviving, I should know better than anyone that nothing in life is easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or unobtainable for me. I can keep being a writer and overcome these barriers one day at a time and still.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Local bookstores and a cafe are my go-to! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout to the Kawaii and Alternative Fashion community for always supporting my literary voice, Much love to DC Web Fest, Kawaii Riot, and Sovereign Noir