We all know the true beauty is only skin deep. While looking great may be important to many, beauty can be defined by your knowledge, intellect, how you treat others, your passions, your creativity, and so much more. We sat down with artist Kashmir VIII to get her take on how she defines beauty, and where her inspirations of beauty come from.
Kashmir is a passionate artist and designer that has been shaking up the industry with her unique artistic creations. Her artwork and designs have caught the eyes of groundbreaking celebrities such as Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, Spike Lee, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tasha Smith, and more. Kashmir hails from Cleveland, Ohio and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Camille’s Corner: You’re as outspoken as your merchandise, how did your upbringing in Cleveland, Ohio inspire that?
Kashmir VIII: My husband and I always talk about how gritty the Midwest is. We're just a different breed over there! Cleveland girls have always been bold, outspoken, and opinionated. It's a tough city that surely played a big part in my personality and creativity.
Camille’s Corner: You’ve always had a knack for painting and art. How did you transfer that passion into your career?
Kashmir VIII: I attended the Cleveland School of the Arts from 8th grade until when I graduated high school. In high school I was always selling my work, taking orders for custom drawings from classmates, and my Mom's co-workers. I've always used the internet and social media as platforms, and even as a teenager, I was selling custom Black Planet and MySpace layouts to people who wanted them. I ended up doing some graphic work for Raz-B from B2K my freshman year of high school!
After I graduated, I kind of let my art go and was focusing on working, acquiring a number of retail management jobs throughout my early adult years. When I first moved to Atlanta, Georgia from Ohio I was looking for jobs down here and selling my art was a way for me to make money while I continued the search. With my extensive retail management and business skills and my creativity, it was a no-brainer that I should try to turn my passion into an actual career. Through the power of social media, I was able to build my brand, find my “tribe”, and successfully market my art.
Camille’s Corner: Tell us more about the journey to creating your tribe?
Kashmir VIII:When I first started KashmirVIII, I had a pretty decent following on Twitter, mostly for my re-tweets. So when I started promoting my artwork that's mostly influenced by TV shows, people, and movies that we all love, many of the supporters I already had were able to easily support my creative side, too. The journey has been amazing so far! People feel such a deep connection with my art because they have deep connections to the subject matters already, and it's fun to be able to reminisce with them.
Camille’s Corner: Wow. Your following is amazing! You’ve been vocal about being bullied when you were younger and overcoming it. How do you now define your own kind if beauty? What advice can you give to those experiencing similar traumas?
Kashmir VIII: It took me such a long time to define what is truly beautiful to me. It's easy to get wrapped up in society's definition of "beautiful" and allow it to influence how you feel about yourself and others. Existence itself is beautiful. We all exist. Therefore, we are beautiful in that way. Why stress what everyone else thinks? For people who are being bullied for how they look or don't look, realize that your opinion of you is the ONLY one that matters. Do what make you feel beautiful. Wear what makes you feel beautiful. Actively work on affirming your beauty and loving yourself. Change what you don't like, and if you can't change it? Learn to love it. It's you. And it's the only you that you got.
Camille’s Corner: Thank you for that inspiration. You are amazing. And so is your skin and hair! What are your must – haves that you cannot live without for healthy hair and smooth skin?
Kashmir VIII: This is a tough question for a product junkie like myself, because there are so many products that I LOVE! For my hair, I really love the Camille Rose Curl Maker! I literally didn't even think I could ever achieve a wash and go or cute finger coils on my hair until I tried it. I have every curling cream/smoothie/milk that you can think of but NOTHING works like the Curl Maker. It gives me shine, slip, definition, hold, everything all in one product. Aside from being an artist, I'm also an esthetician, so skin care is very important to me. I currently mostly use products from my own line, Delish Condish. Both are staples in my routine.
Camille’s Corner welcomes all of our Rosettes to find the beauty in their own uniqueness. Share with us how you define your own beauty standards from the inside out.