Issaka: ‘art is an amazing thing, with the right opportunity, the right timing you can do so much’ sense of an openhearted artist Jasmin Issaka


I’ve always been interested in how our actions can change things for the better. If you want to do something seriously good that has long term value for everyone you need to combine eye, heart, hand and spirit. You need to care deeply.

Jasmin Issaka: reinventions of the ordinary

I noticed the work of Jasmin Issaka on Facebook, she is a graphics graduate who’s an artist, musician and communicator, she volunteers at Surface Gallery and has just had an exhibition there which was very well received. Freelance journalist, historian and environmentalist Mark Patterson suggests Issaka is one to watch for 2017. I agree.

Spirit of an opencity, Jasmin has the courage to look again at the local.


Jasmin’s entry for the @theaoi #illustration find more of her work by following her #artistic alter ego @theartfuljasmin on twitter and instagram

Jasmin’s spirit reminded me of the excitement I saw as a volunteer and co-opted governor at my daughter’s school. When creating tickets for a fashion show for the leaving Year 6s, the babies in reception and Class 1 drew the images, while the very oldest organised and designed the tickets around the little ones images.

Collaboration and value. Where does that go?

Jasmin’s work reminds me of the hand drawn tiles in the Broad Marsh loos:

Above images of Nottingham pavements and children’s hand drawn tiles in Broad Marsh loos

And some companies have ‘got it’ Manpower have tried to bring playfulness into ‘going up’ ……..

Manpower Lift Manpower Group 


opencity: How would you describe yourself?

Issaka:  As a creative person with a variety of skills that likes to express herself through visual arts and music!

opencity: and you do, where are you taking your work?

Issaka Using  illustration as  a marketing tool, kind of reinventing areas you see every day emphasising the beauty

opencity:  I could see your work expressing a child’s viewa teenagers view, and older person’s view. You could change the perspective, encourage communication …..

What inspires you?

Issaka I like boldness: people, ideas, out of the box. Where  people  have the courage to go against the grain  to express different perspectives.

Why can’t we have more colour in the city? Why can’t the city be more aesthetically pleasing? I have always drawn as a way to express the vibrancy of what I see. My grandad was a painter and I used to make a painting for him as a gift when we used to visit him in Ghana…

opencity: What needs to happen between us and the world?

Issaka:  There’s a  sense that there’s a class system that sets your future…a feeling that things won’t get better..It’s jading it leads to a feeling of ‘what’s the point?’

Well I think the point is meaning. Artists have a responsibility to take us all beyond that.

We need to be able to switch off all of that, forget it

What I’m trying to do, I’m not content with the way things are but I refuse to believe that where I’m from should affect what I do, what I achieve. I think  you need to work with the system, but it should evolve with the people. Freedom comes at a price, with freedom comes responsibility.

opencity: We’re all interconnected…but we shouldn’t get in each other’s way….

Issaka: Yes

opencity: we’re helping each other on that journey…

Issaka: So for me it’s exhibitions, honing my style understanding what the messages are that I want to convey: the right messages, the right theme, collaboration is really important right now but I  want to make sure that it’s striking enough so that people are mesmerised,

I’m taking my time…

opencity: Your way of seeing  could change the way we think about the streets, pavements and buildings of Nottingham, I think.

The world Jasmin creates is just around the corner on a street near you: spirit ofanopencity









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