Across the worlds of art, entertainment, fashion, business and technology we’ve seen first hand the power of creative thinking to define the future.

Throughout our work with industry leading minds we’ve noticed three key themes have formed the basis of our approach to every partnership — culture, curation & collaboration.

This series explores these themes with the people we admire most through a set of playful exercises.

For our sixth volume of Creative Counts, we spoke to Jasmine Mans. Jasmine is an author, creative, and designer from Newark, New Jersey. Through visual, auditory, performance, and written poetry, Mans embarks on a journey of healing and acceptance as she explores what it means to be a young, queer Black woman in America. Mans is the author of Black Girl Call Home and Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels, as well as the founder of the online shop, Buy Weed from Women. She was a member of The Strivers Row Collective and is the current resident poet at the Newark Public Library.


After sending us the Creative Counts worksheets, we had a few follow up questions for Jasmine:

What about the exercise did you enjoy?

I loved the freedom of the questions since they allowed me to be playful. I enjoyed the space that allowed me to draw out my ideas, unstructured. The project allowed room for individualism, to share (how) my mind works, which was exciting.

Can you tell us a bit more about the collaboration ecosystem that you illustrated?

We need people and we need each other in order to build. The ability to rely on the brilliance of others creates a cycle of trust, innovation, and output. 

What do you look for in a collaborator?

I look for a boundless thinker and innovator. Someone with the courage to not only find the answer but the willingness to find more questions. A good collaborator is willing to explore in their medium. A good collaborator is a good communicator, who also knows their weaknesses, and finds joy in their medium.

Can you share more about the three creative qualities you admire most (play, thoughtfulness, innovation) and how you implement these qualities in your own work as an author, creative, and designer?

I find play when I explore, and enter new spaces. I search for new ways to play with art. I once spent a year painting poetry on canvas. Typing poetry and painting poetry felt like two very different experiences. Painting felt meditative and peaceful, something I didn’t feel in my [typed] poetry. It allowed me to use more of my body. I play with legos — playing with legos gives me new color palettes for design, it challenges me to think differently in order to build, something that seems rather simple, but isn’t.  I’ve also started writing down jokes, so I can orate moments that are funny, and not just the trauma so often found in my work. 

Anything else you’d like to share? (anything you’re excited about, working on, parting words, etc.)

I’m excited to grow and create things. I’m excited to work on my second book of poetry. I’m excited for my writing to grow, and very excited to write funny things. I’m excited to be a better student of the arts.

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