We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmin Manning and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jasmin, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by everyday life, my family, my friends, our culture, other artists (past and present), music and even my students. I have so many amazingly talented people around me. I see them winning and that inspires me to keep going and keep creating art. My mom, dad, sister, my nephew, cousins, and aunts inspire me as well. They are great inspirations in my life. I see them working hard everyday and just enjoying life. You see a lot of these inspirations in my paintings whether I’m painting an important icon of the African diaspora or someone close to me who has a great impact on my life. Everything is literally an inspiration an inspiration. I could be walking down the street, see something and an idea will pop in my head lol.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an artist and graphic designer. I create paintings, logos and marketing material such as Flyers. Most of my paintings are portraits of people of the African Diaspora. This is important to me because when I was in school I didn’t see or learn about a lot of black fine artists and designers. We had to go search for them. They weren’t really written about in our textbooks. I believe it’s my job and my friends job to create art that represents our community and culture, so the kids and generations coming up can have relatable content to look at, study and enjoy. They’ll see that painting of that person that looks like them or that black icon and get excited. Baltimore is having a renaissance period. There are so many successful black artists and organizations coming out of the city and I am proud to say I’m one of them. It has not been easy. There have been failures or as I like to call them now, “lessons learned.” From these lessons, I’ve learned to enjoy life and slow down. When another door closes and an opportunity falls through, another opportunity always comes. I’ve learned so much about the art business and how to navigate through it. I’m still learning. You have to continue to be yourself and walk in these rooms like you belong there. I used to be so shy, timid and soft spoken. I learned to continue to be myself and just walk confidently with my head high. I hope people can see the confidence, growth and joy through my paintings, designs and creations. I just painted a large mural for Preakness in May. Shoutout to Thomas, Derrick Adams and the Last Resort Art Garden. That was one of my best accomplishments so far and my largest mural to date. It was a lot of fun and was actually the second mural I’ve done. The first mural I painted was a painting of Angela Davis. I’m just excited to keep creating and collaborating with my friends and their organizations! We’ve all been doing amazing things. I’m extremely proud of all of us.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well if anybody is visiting Baltimore they definitely have to visit one of the various art galleries and museums. Eubie Blake Center, Waller Gallery, Creative Alliance, A Gallery about Nothing, The Last Resort Art Garden, Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Museum, to name a few. There’s so many more. A lot of these places have become a staple in our community. One coffee shop I love and like to visit to chill and do work is Good Neighbor. I would recommend trying to attend Artscape, Afram, Brilliance in Black Black Wall Street Festival, Alpha Female Festival and of course the BLK Ass Flea Market festival during the summer. It’s just a great fun vibe for everyone. There’s lots of vendors, art and dancing. I would also recommend attending one of Creatively Mindful Events, My Classic Production Events and Wvrdrobe Events. They curate amazing events as well that include art, vendors, music and live painting. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of these events. We have amazing poets here. I would definitely hit up a poetry event too. Apoetnamednate hosts great poetry events weekly. Fells point and Federal Hill are good starting points for eating and drinking. If you need to know where to drink and eat check out CharmcityTable on Instagram lol.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to Thank God and the universe first for Blessing me with the artistic talent and skills that I have. I definitely have to shoutout my parents for always being supportive. My Mom and Dad are my biggest cheerleaders. They have continuously poured into me and encouraged me to do whatever I want to do. You know we change our minds and directions so much, but they’ve always supported me. Sometimes parents discourage their kids taking on visual art as a career, but they’ve never done that. They understand my vision and what I’m trying to build. I also want to thank my little sister, Jayla. She definitely rides for me, also understands my visions and is also my biggest cheerleader. She literally used to cheer in the stands at my basketball games lol! Our conversations about dance and art mean the world to me! Daja, Akeal, Jeff, Kevin, Jordan, Keva, Mikea, and Janae: I appreciate our long convos about our careers and what we’re trying to achieve. I also want to the thank all 100 of my aunts, uncles lol, cousins, family members, my creative friends, coworkers and of course Baltimore. These people are an intricate part of my story and we are all trying to build together. They all mean alot to me so I thank you and I love y’all!

Website: JasminManning.com

Instagram: @jasminmanningart

Twitter: @jasmin__art

Image Credits
Shawn Hubbard Boogie Madison Jacob Marley

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