My name is Jasmine Baker and I am a colored pencil artist from Arizona. I enjoy skydiving and taking long walks. Just kidding. I avoid people and eat food like it’s my job. Had you going there for a second, huh? Wait, don’t leave.
Here’s a little more background info on me as an artist and human. Imagine me as a smaller human (like 6 years old) drinking a juice box and sitting at the kitchen table drawing The Powerpuff Girls with crayons. I have been drawing since I was a small human, obviously, my work has changed over the years. I’m also taller. In school, I was still drawing a lot, but I didn’t take it very seriously until high school. During my freshman year of high school, I took 2 drawing classes, art and drawing. Yes, that’s right, 2 art classes in the same day, that’s twice the homework. One was for learning different medias and the other one taught things like shadowing, point of view, manipulating shapes & lighting.
In sophomore year, I took Advanced Art class which involved weekly sketching homework, observation drawings, examining objects under different lighting, drawing people/objects in motion, learning proportions of the human body, experimenting with mixed media and learning how to critique my own work and my peers’ work. This is also the class where I learned how to draw upside down, thanks to my patient teacher. That’s right, every single piece of artwork you see on this website was drawn out upside down. There is no tracing or use of grids. I simply draw it upside down and use the pencil as measurement. People often ask me how and why I do that. WHY WHY WHY? If you are looking upside down at a face, you can see more shapes and differences in someone’s face. It also makes it easier to judge the difference between their features. It’s not because I’m crazy. I promise.
Let’s move onto junior year, the last year of high school where I had art class in my schedule. It’s also the year that required the most work and it's when I had the most procrastination and self-doubt. That’s right I said it. This was the year I took AP art. I had to do work before the school year even started, so my summer involved art homework, which I then had to bring to school for review. During the school year, I completed 24 pieces, Breadth (12 in-class assignments) and Concentration
(12 personal projects with a cohesive idea). Out of all of that work,
I disliked most of the things I created, with the exception of 3 or 4 pieces.
After getting out of high school, I took a break from drawing. I was completely dissatisfied with my work and didn’t draw for about 2 years. Isn’t that sad, being discouraged from doing something that you love? Drawing has been one of my distractions from having anxiety, keeps me concentrated on something, while being productive. I didn’t like school or most of the people there, so immersing myself in my work just seemed to help me.
Let’s fast forward to me as a grown up (I use the term very loosely). The last 4 years I have been drawing and experimenting with mixed media. I like challenging myself with detailed realistic work. There is no special process you need to go through to be a decent artist. Just practice. Pretend there’s a philosophical quote here about working hard/ putting in actual effort to achieve results blah blah blah. I always tell people that it’s not a gift or a talent, I don’t believe anyone is born with it. It’s a skill that has to be sharpened. As artists, we need to challenge ourselves to try different things or no progress is being made. One of the things I always struggled with was dealing with people who felt the need to compare my work to other to that of other artists. Good thing I’m not offended too easily anymore, I simply remind them that I do the type of work that I like to do and leave it at that.
Over the years, my work has consisted of just about every media: colored pencil, oil & acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal, ink, scratchboard, chalk & oil pastels, graphite, even glow-in-the-dark paint, but my favorite media is colored pencil. It took a long time to grasp color mixing and creating texture with these. My work can take anywhere from 10-80 hours. The last couple of years I have been completing commission work from co-workers and family members, I hope that soon I will be able to earn a living doing what I love.
Other than visual art, I like practicing special effects makeup, cooking, spending time with my dogs and cats, making YouTube videos and exploring other artists’ work.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, now you know a little more about me!