February Spotlight: Yazmin Monet Butcher

"I HOPE THAT I AM HELPING TO FILL IN POTHOLES AND PAVE WIDER ROADS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF YOUNG BLACK WOMEN WHO WANT TO DIVE INTO THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. I DIDN'T HAVE ANYONE TO LOOK UP TO - OTHER THAN MY INCREDIBLY TALENTED MOTHER - IN REGARDS TO DESIGN AND FINDING MY 'PLACE.'"

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background both personally & professionally.

My name is Yazmin Monet Butcher and I am a graphic designer/creative director/comedian in the making. One thing about me...I love art! Why? because I love to express myself. It's always been hard for me to do that verbally, and so discovering art was magic for me. Whether it was expressing myself through fashion or dance or visuals, I wanted to do it. Still do. I have this insane drive to try everything once, twice if I like it haha but seriously, I love to learn and try new things. Who says you can't do it all?! Recently, I've started learning card tricks... watch out Penn & Teller.

How does your experience as a Black woman inform (or affect) the work that you do?

I hope that I am helping to fill in potholes and pave wider roads for the next generation of young Black women who want to dive into the creative industries. I didn't have anyone to look up to - other than my INCREDIBLY talented mother - in regards to design and finding my 'place.' I didn't have a mentor even though I searched endlessly for one. I do not take for granted the amazing work I've been able to do and the amazing people I've been able to work with, and I thank my Ancestors every day. I love the quote by Darius Simpson, that 'we are our ancestors' wildest dreams.' That pushes me to continue to work hard and chase MY dreams so that other Black girls and boys can do the same.

What's one thing that you've seen, read, or heard that has given you hope for the future?

Honestly, when the sky is blue it brings me all of the joy and hope for the future. Or when the sun peaks out for just a moment on a cloudy day. I don't know if that makes sense, but it does to me. It reminds me that nothing is permanent.

What impact do you want to leave on others?

Oh! wow. I want people to feel loved and joyful and light and powerful and like they can be authentically themselves around me. That's the energy I bring and I want others to feel comfortable doing the same. I've felt so uncomfortable for such a long time and it's awful. I never want to feel like that again and I don't want others to feel like that either. Life is hard enough. Also, I hope I make people laugh!!

How are you celebrating joy for yourself in today's current climate?

Going for walks! Taking pictures! Dancing to the 'Thong Song'! Having great sex! Working out... only when I want to ;)

We’re passing the mic to you now… rather than this being a question that we’re asking you we want to leave this as a spot for you to say anything, whether you want to open up a conversation around your personal experiences, Black History Month, etc or if you want to leave a community with a question or questions. Anything that is meaningful to you and that you want to share.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching (quarantine AM I RIGHT) and mindfulness practices. One thing I've been asking myself is 'Where are you spending your time?' This can be physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Where are you spending your time? Is it to your benefit? If not, where can you make a shift? Doesn't mean you have to make the shift or even know where to go... but just asking yourself the question might lead you somewhere. Be kind everyone! You never know what someone's going through :)

Connect with Yazmin here.