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My Bristol: Jasmine Thompson

We meet illustrator and designer Jasmine Thompson…

What’s your connection to Bristol?

I moved to Bristol in 2012 for university, and after graduation I just stuck around. I studied illustration, and as an artist looking to start working in the creative industry, Bristol offered a lot. There was a sense of community, support, opportunities for growth and place to explore my creative identity. I still feel that way today.

What is so special about the city in your opinion?

I love Bristol because there is literally something for everyone here. Regardless of your interests and hobbies it caters to a lot of people. And it’s small, so everyone is so connected! It definitely made it easier to settle in and find other people doing the things I like to do.

Tell us about your mural on display in the front hall of the museum.

My mural in Bristol Museum and Art Gallery was created in June in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the events of the past year. It’s a huge drawing on a wall in the foyer and touches upon the BLM movement as a whole, and the context behind what we saw last year with George Floyd, which sadly wasn’t an isolated incident. I wanted to draw attention to the underlying issues and use illustration as a platform to start a conversation in a part of the city where those conversations might not be had enough. Google Arts and Culture have also done a feature on it for Black History Month which can be found under “A Movement Not A Moment”, where the cultural references within the artwork are explained and explored. The mural will be on display at least until the end of this year, and hopefully beyond!

Tell us about what other projects you’re currently working on…

It’s been a busy summer of mural installs, so I’m trying to get back to smaller projects over the autumn months, which is nice. I’m currently working on some tour posters for a UK Comedian which are yet to be released, and some live illustration work with arts organisations across Bristol. I’m also hoping to do an exhibition this winter of my own work, as it’s been six years since I last exhibited.

What are your ambitions for 2022?

I hope to continue being able to do projects that I love in 2022, and collaborate with more incredible artists and creatives in this city. After a long 18 months of being quite disconnected through the pandemic, reconnecting with people and working in collectives is something I want to be a focus next year. I also want to work with more brands.

Who in Bristol deserves a special shout out for their work/achievements recently?

There are so many people that deserve a shout-out this year! First of all fellow illustrators Lucy Turner and Parys Gardener, who have taken their work to a whole new level this last year, the trajectory has been incredible. Khali Ackford is a talented photographer who is using his work to not only showcase the black community in Bristol and our voices, but runs workshops and creates spaces for conversation and the community to come together. Sophia Harari is a producer and musician, and has been working on some incredible events within the creative scene here, giving so much back to the people of Bristol.

What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment? Any local artists?

I’m reading a book called Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown, which explores community and culture predominantly through the lens of ‘belonging’, and what that means. It’s shifting my outlook on all of these things, and forcing me to reevaluate how they play out in my own life in a really positive way. She does some great Ted Talks too.

Where are your favourite places to eat, drink and be entertained/inspired in Bristol?

Caribbean Croft will always get a shout-out! They’re a rum bar too and big VIBES always. Souk Kitchen is also an amazing place to dine, they don’t ever miss the mark. In terms of culture and entertainment, there’s some really cool spots here. Strange Brew is one to check out, they only came onto my radar recently and have hosted some great gigs and events for creatives here.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

If I could have dinner with anyone it would be Anderson Paak! I love that guy and his whole energy. I’ve seen him live a few times and he always delivers, so having the chance to sit down with him and see what he’s all about would be amazing. Lewis Hamilton would also be up there, I’m a big F1 fan and what he’s doing within the sport this last year has been incredible. He’s the goat, literally.

What is your philosophy in life?

I’m not particularly philosophical, I just try to live my life authentically and do the things that serve me well. If something brings you joy, follow it.

Follow Jasmine on Instagram: @jasmineshaniceart and see more of her work here: jsthompson.wixsite.com/jasminethompson

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