Meet our winter vendor Finding Eve's Roots, an artist who combines her passion for art with healing and self love. Read our interview with artist Yasmine below.
How did Finding Eve’s Roots come to be?
It initially started as a repost Tumblr page years ago, it was like an open journal. I paired this with images that shared the same sentiment. I’ve always drawn pictures when I felt like I couldn’t verbally express myself or I wasn’t ready to express myself.
After I had my son, I started to feel down about my body image. What I did was use art to fight back by drawing pictures of how I wanted to feel. More and more of me started to feel that way - feeling more love towards myself or connecting to the feminine aspects of myself. Bringing back those parts of me that I felt got lost when I became a mother. Eventually I decided to share it with people that would resonate with it. I fused the images, the art and the open journal aspect on my Instagram page to let others know, those who are going through a self-growth/self-love journey, that they are not alone.
In terms of the name, it initially started as Eve’s Roots. Eve is the first mother, the name given to the first woman who connects us all. The root was getting back to our roots. It’s stripping all the labels and the stuff that is put onto us throughout life. It’s getting back to the root, to the heart, to you, to your essence. Finding Eve’s Roots is all about getting back to you at your core, without the labels.
What is the inspiration behind your artwork? What is the creative process for you?
In terms of the creative process, a lot of the time it starts when I’m listening to music. It’s the feeling I get when I’m listening to music. For me, what I listen to the most is neo-soul, like Erykah Badu and India Arie. The typical ones, I guess! I also used to write poetry so I would use that to bring out what was lying dormant to me. Music evokes an image of what I want to portray or how the song makes me feel. From there, I do my best to compile all of those elements together to make the image.
A few of my pieces, like ‘Bantu Beauty’, were created as a reaction to images. I had seen women with Bantu knots in the media. The women were pictured as being edgy or more masculine. A lot of European hairstyles are portrayed as feminine and anything outside of that is seen as “not lady like”. With that image in particular, I wanted to turn that on its head and show how feminine our hair styles are. It’s the height of femininity.
It [the image] also connected with me. As a mum, you sometimes lose that sensual element to yourself, that soft element to yourself, so it was fusing all of that together to make this one image.
What makes Finding Eve's Roots different from other art brands and studios?
I think what makes it unique is that it’s mine! Every illustrator puts their heart and soul into their artwork. As an artist, you don’t just draw just because. Instead, you find that a lot of people connect to their art. It comes from a feeling for me - it starts with me. In terms of the Instagram page or as a brand itself, the aim is to support other women who are doing the inner work to grow, love themselves and heal. I’m still finding my way but I don’t want Finding Eve’s Roots to be just about the prints because it’s more than that for me.
Greatest accomplishments and challenges as a business so far?
When I first started Finding Eve’s Roots in terms of the artwork and sharing it, I had to close because I ended up going back to work. I was also a new mum so I needed to find balance first before juggling three things (creating art; working and being a mum). I came back last year and started selling again. The reception that I have received and the feedback, I really appreciate it. That sits with me now and it’s meant the most to be since I’ve re-opened.
The biggest challenge was probably last year as well. With everything that happened in terms of lockdowns and the changes in what we’re able to do, I think that was really hard. For example, I had gotten some of my work into a store. Just as it went into the store, all the retail shops had to close. That was so frustrating! It was hard to maneuver with the new normal.
What does it mean to you to be Black owned business?
What we’ve been through as Black people, and in particular last year, so many people showed their support. As a Black business owner, it means increasing the opportunity for people to access images that look like them and are made by people who look like them.
How are you adapting your business to COVID-19 environment?
The biggest change has been to slow down and take my time. And also finding balance between work life and home life, seeing as it is all starting to merge now because we’re all at home. The pace has changed and I’ve been concentrating on finding balance.
I’ve found balance by not being judgmental towards myself to make time for self-care. If I need to come off social media for a minute to find some balance, then that’s what I need to do. It’s also not feeling like I’m letting myself down for doing that. This lockdown has shown us how important our mental health is. Sometimes we don’t realise that because we’re always on the go. When we start slowing down, we realise how important it is to slow down and how much we really needed it. It’s not being hard on yourself for needing a break.
Any advice for Black creatives or entrepreneurs?
I would say for creatives, focus on the parts of business that you don’t enjoy first. As creatives, we want to do what our passion is. But when you’re doing it solo, you’re everything. You’re marketing, you’re human resources, you’re finance - everything. I would say focus on those parts first because your talent is your talent. No one can take that away. Your people will find you.