Meet the Artist: Jacky Wasserman

We sat down with Jacky Wasserman, vegan, DJ and designer of our Pride capsule graphics, to chat about her inspiration. Here’s what we learned.

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What inspires you?

Art, people, music, fashion, travel.

You were able to find the intersection between your two passions: design and veganism. How important would you say it is for people to discover their calling?

I think I’m very lucky to be able to do something I am passionate about. I’m a big believer in spirituality and creating your own path. Ultimately, it is up to you to make things happen. We have to show up for ourselves. But, I believe timing plays a role as well. I’ve gotten to where I am now by going through experiences that gave me the necessary knowledge and tools. If you had told me what my life would look like now 5 years ago, I probably would have thought you were crazy. 

We have to truly listen to ourselves and acknowledge how we are impacting the world and our lives with our daily choices. Ask yourself how you feel about your life and what you would change about it if you could. Being honest with ourselves is important. It’s all about taking it one step at a time. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have the right mindset and determination, you are on the right track.

If you think you are struggling to find the thing you are passionate about, then I would say, there are some things you have yet to learn that will show you what that is. Or, you might need to start trying new things. Don’t be afraid to break out of your shell and knock off a bucket list item, or start smaller and try a yoga class for the first time. It could spark something. 

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What was your inspiration behind the Alternative pride graphics?

To be honest, I was thinking of my best friend Drew. We always say to each other “Stay Gay” and “Cheers Queers”. I was thinking of funny sayings and coupling them with my past experiences of being at Pride. Thinking of those emotions and feelings you get when you are surrounded by people who are there to celebrate who they are freely in a loving environment is pretty powerful. There’s a great sense of understanding and unity between complete strangers. Then, on the other hand, there are plenty of straight folks who come out to support and join in on the fun, which I think is great! 

Was it challenging to create designs that were inclusive rather than focusing on one community?

I think what’s great about the LGBT community is that we are a community that is inclusive. We know what it’s like to be cast as an outsider, judged or discriminated against. This was a way to open things up on a broader scale and show people that it doesn’t matter what you identify as; you can support if you believe in equality…and glitter. 

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Some of the tees are a little tongue-in-cheek; were you nervous about any negative backlash?

Not at all, that’s kind of my shtick. Running my own clothing company that’s known to push the envelope with those types of designs, I’m used to it. It’s a very serious subject matter but has a humorous tone. Not that any of the subject matter is something to laugh about, but it makes for a more gentle delivery on subjects that are difficult for some to talk about. Everyone agrees on humor, so it’s a good icebreaker. 

How effective do you think apparel can be in sparking conversation and igniting change?

It’s very effective. You are a walking advertisement, essentially. You are wearing your beliefs for everyone to see. It’s pretty powerful to put that tool in the hands of so many who have the ability to speak about important issues that need a voice. That is what I do with my company BEETxBEET. We help by providing fun, fashionable apparel that makes you a soundboard to spread awareness around veganism and the environment. It’s a chance for to spark conversation and educate. We need to get more people talking about these issues and doing things about them. Taking action, making the first step towards positive change. 

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How much of a role do you think apparel can make in terms of self-expression?

Our appearance is everything. It tells you a lot about a person just by what they are wearing. And it is a tool to express yourself and show the world who you are to some extent. I’ve always used clothing as a way of self-expression. I’ve been a skater, a raver, a punk rocker, died my my hair many colors, etc. I think people identify with certain brands more than others because they may fit an interest or personality trait. Apparel is so much fun, because you can be who you want to be and change that from one day to the next if you want to. It’s flexible and lets you be creative.  

What’s next for you?

I don’t like to think too far ahead because you never know what life will throw your way, but for now, I’m focusing on continuing to grow my brand and continuing to spread awareness and educate the masses. And of course…have fun doing it!

WRITTEN BY NURAIN ALICHARAN

JACKY’S PHOTOS BY @SAPLING_VEGAN

GRAPHIC TEE PHOTOS BY CHRIS BURDEN

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