I first saw Kashmir's work via social media. I had to know who made these ridiculously dope pieces of the A Different World cast (my favorite TV show of all time). I quickly discovered the Cleveland, Ohio native has captured some of the most iconic moments of the 1990's in an vibrant and unique fashion that pays homage to what's considered the golden area of black entertainment.
On her start:
I've been a lover and creator of art for as long as I could remember! I started taking my art seriously at about 17, 18. It's just something I've always had a love and passion for. Attending the Cleveland School of the Art helped to foster and develop my creativity.
On her artistic style:
My style is very bright. Very bold. Kind of abstract. Definitely pop art. I'm really big on saturation and color. I also really enjoy shapes and geometrical figures and including them in my art work.
Where she draws inspiration:
I get my inspiration from everywhere! Most of it from the music I listen to, and of course 90's and early 00's black culture.
What was the first artwork you sold?
I used to sell my drawings in church as a kid to help save money for things I wanted. I started selling my "good" artwork around the 11th grade, doing large scale custom portraits for people. Mostly in pencil or charcoal. I wasn’t big into painting back then.
On her most notable projects:
The most fun project for me is coincidentally my most notable...which would be my "You So Craaazy" Martin inspired pieces. The "Just Do It" collection was also very fun. The colors in that collection make me so happy. I always have the most fun when I can use crazy colors.
What has been the most memorable response to your work?
The most memorable is probably one of the most recent for me. I visit the offices of Bossip about a week ago and Tisha Campbell Martin was there. When she walked in the room, she saw all my work before she saw me. She stopped dead in her tracks at the door and looked at the art and said "OH MY GOD! THIS GIRL! IS SHE HERE?" I looked at her and said "Yes! It's me!" She yelled "OH MY GOD ITS YOU! I LOVE YOUR STUFF SO MUCH!" Just knowing that someone I always looked up to not only knew of my work, but owned some and loved it was priceless.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as an artist?
Professionally, the most challenging thing for me is balancing being a creative with being my own business. Sometimes it’s hard for me to create and make the things I want to make because I'm also constantly running my business. Being your own artistic team, production team, shipping team and customer service can be hectic. Another challenge for me is not comparing myself to other people and their art. It's hard not to do when people are always doing it for you. It's easy to get discouraged when there's so much amazing art out there. You constantly feel like yours may not be good enough or that it might not stand in its own light.
On her favorite artists:
I have a few favorite artists. Number one is definitely Keturah Ariel. I've known her for many years, maybe 2009-ish. She's always been like a sister to me and just seeing her art and career take off and become as big as it has is such an inspiration to me. I'm also a fan of Krissi Scribbles. Her work is amazing and very different.
I'm currently working on putting together and art show with Krissi Scribbles! I don’t like to really reveal what collections im working on next, I like it to be a surprise, BUT I can say I have some art coming up that you are going to LOVE if you're a fan of my past works.
My #1 motto is "keep your soul right". I truly believe that the universe watches you and gives to you what you give to it. As long as you keep your soul right and you bestow unto people only what you would hope is bestowed unto you, you'll never go wrong. - Kashmir
For more on Kashmir, please visit www.kashmirviii.com and follow on social media @Kashmirviii