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Meet Yasmin Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yasmin Davis.

Hi Yasmin, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am a visual artist specializing in traditional drawing, illustration, painting, and graphic design. I began drawing at the age of three, and I have always wanted to use my artistic abilities to tell a story. When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching anime and Cartoon Network shows. I would often find myself drawing the characters, hoping to perfect my skills. I even wrote short adventure stories to pair with my artwork and crafted a few comics! Over the past few years, I have been working on a manga-inspired graphic novel.

I attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas for high school, where I learned to draw and paint from observation. I started my high school journey only knowing how to draw cartoons and anime-style artwork but finished my senior year as an established and trained professional who had participated in several local art competitions. Months before graduation, I made my first art sale to a Dallas law firm. The name of this painting is “Illumination” and the style was inspired by cubism. To this day, it is one of my favorite paintings!

I attended the University of Southern California for six years, where I briefly majored in Fine Arts and then Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. Although I did enjoy creating art, I wanted to learn about other subjects that I was interested in, such as health and wellness. During my undergraduate years, I often volunteered with a student-run community service organization called Ansar Service Partnership. I would work alongside other Muslim students to prepare cooked meals for homeless individuals residing in Skid Row. This was one of the most impactful volunteer experiences I had at USC, and I hoped to someday combine my interests in public health, wellness, and art in order to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

At the end of my senior year, I began interning as a graphic designer in USC’s communications department. I was tasked with creating a logo of Hecuba, Queen of Troy for the university map. Initially, I had created the logo in the incorrect format, as I had little knowledge of graphic design. After fixing this mistake, I pushed myself to learn more about graphic design and how to utilize various Adobe programs. I was also able to create an illustration of Hecuba, which was printed on USC’s banner flags for Women’s Month and used as artwork for the USC Women’s Conference and other events. I had the privilege of creating graphics and illustrations for USC News articles, the Daily Trojan, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. I was also inspired by motion graphics and animation projects that other artists shared online and decided to teach myself how to use Adobe After Effects to create my own. Additionally, I helped design page layouts for a student-run arts and health magazine called “The Healing Process.”

As a graduate student at USC, I pursued a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in health communication. My favorite course revolved around social marketing and entertainment education. I learned about how visual media and storytelling could be used to educate and influence people to adopt healthy behaviors. I began to contemplate how I could use art and animation to contribute to this cause and became involved in art-based health projects.

In addition to my previous projects at USC, I have created educational materials for UCLA and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Recently, I have been creating weekly illustrations with Procreate and learning more about traditional animation. Next year, I hope to take animation classes to add more tools into my skillset and contribute artistically to other public health projects.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Although learning new skills and programs is often a challenge, it was pretty difficult to establish myself as a health communication-focused artist, as this is a very niche field!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I produce varies types of artwork, including life drawing, paintings, hand-drawn and digital illustrations, graphic designs, and animations. Aside from my health and design work, I am primarily known for my acrylic landscape paintings! I am proud of a lot of the pieces I have produced, but I have to say that I am most proud of my ability to translate my ideas and observations into a visual format that others can benefit from and enjoy!

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
I would suggest that artists experiment with various programs and mediums and try to incorporate other interests into their practice. I wish that I would have had more graphic design and animation skills when starting out!

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