Artist in Residence

DeShawn Aaron Jenkins


Deshawn aaron jenkins, nyc artist and musician

Introducing the Luci Line, a stackable obsessible bundle-able line of bracelets made out of the best materials, Czech and Java Glass, Bone, Wood and Sterling Silver. After the grab-bag trend ever popular in Japan, these beautiful bracelets are grouped together as a surprise, a little package of encouragement and positivity.

What will your piece look like?


So what’s your story? Tell us all the things.

I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio. However my desire to travel has lead to me live in quite a few places. After high school (℅ 2001) I moved to Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, and now New York, (not counting a back and forth year or so in Tokyo).

I am an artist in many forms. The way I see it is, if I can learn it then I can do it. That has lead me to explore my creativity in a lot of ways which, like my travel, has been a very rewarding experience.

The most important to thing to me when creating is really getting connected to how I feel and trying to channel that. It’s important to me to connect to how I feel about … well everything.

What feels the most exciting to you when thinking of your near future?

The most exciting thing to me about my future is the idea that there are so many positive possibilities! One of the biggest things I have been really connecting to is this saying “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, BEGIN IT! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” I have this saying as a magnet next to my computer so I see it every day.

Life has taught me that the above is very true, and it’s really in the moments when I let go and just be, that I find the most magic and it’s beautiful. That excites me, that thrills me and inspires me. I have a lot of really big dreams and I believe in each and everyone of them.

Tell us about your grandmother, and why you decided to name a line after her.

My grandmother’s name is Lucille Jenkins and she is EVERYTHING to me. I’ve always been a big dreamer and have had tons of ideas. Both of my grandparents have always been extremely supportive and consistently encouraged me to go after my dreams.

The only time in my life that I can think of my grandparents being concerned was when I first moved to New York City. It wasn’t that they didn’t want me to move, just that having already moved so much, they were concerned that I wasn’t settled (fair enough).

But even then they still in their own way encouraged me to stay focused on my goals and dreams. Everything I do, I dedicate to them. However in this new venture, I solely choose to name this line of bracelets after my grandmother.

She works as a seamstress, and growing up she was always in her sewing room making new creations. Whether it was for someone’s wedding, prom or her own Sunday outfit for church, she hardly ever wore anything twice. That has always been a staple in my mind when it comes to Grandma. So naturally it made sense to name my line of bracelets after my GrandDiva Lucille Jenkins.

You always look so wonderful, what does it mean to you to be colorful, to be joyful?

To me being colorful and being joyful, it’s my freedom, my magic, my peace of mind.

Growing up, while I had the support of my grandparents, I can’t say the same about everyone else. I used to try to cover my own light. I didn’t realize that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I was going to shine anyway.

It took me years to get to place where I started to feel comfortable in my own skin and expression. Once I found it, I swore that I would honor that and treat it with care. I’ve always been different and felt different, so being able to express that outwardly is very important to me. I like to look how I feel thus, I find ways to let that out.

How do you put your Self into your Work, especially the jewelry you’re sharing here?

I try to honor how I feel first and foremost.

Because I am always coming up with new ideas, I get bored doing the same thing over and over again. The way I have learned to work around that is to find ways to make the things I like to do feel new and exciting.

The idea with the Luci line is that each one is a unique and individual one. No bracelet will ever be made the same way twice. So not only do I get to challenge myself by expressing my multitude of feelings, but the new owner gets to get have an exclusive one of a kind piece.

While there will be similar designs, each one is still crafted individually and is special in its own way. Each batch of Luci’s has its own theme, some ethnic, some more stone based, etc. What also makes that exciting is the more you check in, the more variety you will see and can choose from. Its a win/win and I get to give you a little bit of insight to the colors and shapes of mind in the moment.

What started you in your jewelry adorning? Was it hard to step in to the place you’re at right now?

I’ve always been a lover of accessories! Ever since I was a child. I started with just a few bracelets; but then felt like it wasn’t enough, so I started wearing lots of necklaces, it was just something that I felt.

Nowadays I’ve simplified things, as I’ve been feeling that less is more feel. It’s never been hard for me to step into being fashionable. I think it’s more a matter of when I feel lead to do it. I may have an idea, but it may take time to actually bring it into fruition, once I do … it’s a wrap. Then I’m on to the next thing.

What does your daily self care practice look like? What would you say is an absolute necessity for you?

My daily must is having personal time and space. There has to be a part of my day that I can just lounge; read my blogs, watch my shows, whatever I want. It’s important to me to not feel rushed. It’s a way for me to maintain my life, and still be spontaneous when I need to be.

This past summer I started doing Cross-Fit and it has really become something I’m very committed to. So that has become a part of my consistent practice. I’m planning on adding yoga to the list this year, very excited about that. I’ve been wanting to do start for quite some time, so I’m looking forward to making that a daily practice as well.

How do you suggest someone start wearing things if they’re not really a jewelry person, but they want to be?

I would say, if you want to start adding to your jewelry collection, start with connecting to one neutral piece, that you can wear with anything. Be sure to take your time with choosing it, as you want to make sure it’s something that really resonates with you!

We’ve both come from fairly conflict heavy pasts, how do you live in the space right now so fully yourself? How was that journey? How long did it take for you to feel the real permission to just be your damn self?

Living as my Self right now is still a ongoing process. You’re right I have come from a conflict heavy past, and I decided that I no longer want to carry that baggage with me. So I have been teaching myself how to to be present in the moment and working on treating every experience as a brand new one. Its getting easier and I’m sure in time, it will be as simple as blinking an eye.

My journey so far as come in waves. I had to really look within and deal with things I didn’t like. After finding closure then I had to re-learn how to live without that hanging over my head as a thought anymore.

Both of these things are two very different processes and both equally felt. However, this is the journey of life and self discovery. We are ever evolving. As you learn, you grow, so it’s a matter of balance as you move through these lessons. Treating it all as a blessing and doing your best to remain in the spirit of gratitude. It took me a long time to just get to that point where I understood that, and now I’m living my life practicing that to the best of my ability.

What does it mean for you to be an artist?

An Artist to me these days must be open to learn, interpret and create from that space. In music, art, dance, or whatever, tap into your feelings, learn what you can and use that and create from within.

That’s what’s real. It’s all about how you make people feel, and that happens when you are true and honor your own feelings. It can’t be denied.