RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - During Black History Month, you typically hear a lot about people who made huge impacts within their communities in the past.
However, there are some people in our area right now who are making tremendous strides in the world of art, music, and so much more.
We want to introduce you to some of these modern changemakers this month, and we begin with artist Jasmine Mills from Petersburg.
Jasmine Mill's wall at Art Works in Richmond is filled with lots of color and creativity.
She says art is her life, and it has been that way ever since she was a six-year-old student at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School in Petersburg.
"We had the young authors contest," said Mills. "I won best illustrations for my first book, and I kind of knew back then. I said, 'I'm going to be an artist.'"
Her dream came true. After graduating from Petersburg High School, she opened her own art business, which is still going strong today.
"Doing t-shirts, artwork, entering gallery shows, and I do illustrations, too," said Mills.
Those illustrations have appeared in books worldwide.
"I'm coming up on 200-plus book illustrations. Mostly digital, but I do like self-publishing. And I help authors, first-time authors, or veterans. They just bring me their books and I illustrate for them," said Mills.
Mills is inspired by the works of artists like Kehinde Wiley and the late Jean-Michel Basquiat.
She hopes her work and lessons inspire a new generation of artists.
"Pick up your pencil, your paper, your crayons, markers, and just keep drawing and keep creating until you can't create any more. Then when your hand falls off, just keep on. Use your foot. Just keep on drawing and creating and you'll become great," said Mills.
By the way, when Jasmine is not busy creating masterpieces for clients all over the world, she teaches homeschool art at the Petersburg Area Art League.
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