Chatting to China
We recently began our #WeSeeYou campaign at Women Connect. It was initially aimed at trailblazers within the Tech industry but upon speaking to so many women doing groundbreaking work in their respective fields, we thought it was only right to shine a much needed light on them too.
Meet China Jordan, a 29 year old artist from Grimsby currently living in London, who has volunteered to cycle medical supplies to GPs in Islington (a 9-mile commute) to help with the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
"I have started using my bike and loading it up with boxes and bags in order to deliver key items such as medical supplies and food to those in need. I recently worked with Bikeworks who have been delivering on bikes since the pandemic hit, they really deserve a lot of credit."
How did you find your passion?
I have always been an artist, ever since I was a young child. I would ask my dad, "what should I draw now?" and he showed me how to draw a chair in 3D. This amazed me so much and I must have only been around 5. Once, I accidentally stumbled across the shape of an eye without being shown prior and I couldn't wait to show everyone (even though it was just an outline of an almond shape). These shapes were so instinctive to me and I was naturally drawn towards replicating nature and learning the truth about how our eyes see form and shapes and how we can then translate that onto paper. It's just always been there.
What social customs do you wish would disappear?
As I mentioned before, I wish men were able to express emotion in a healthy and safe way, and I also wish women were not seen as 'emotional'. These two elements are linked with one another. To be emotional in the workplace for example is seen as a weakness but the weakness is not being able to express yourself and bottling things up. *TRIGGER WARNING* You can see by suicide rates in both genders where the weakness is and we should work to improve this as a society and make emotions normal to have. An ex once said to me, "emotions are for stupid people," and I felt so offended and angry that he thought that way but in hindsight, I feel bad for him not feeling like it's ok to have them. We should encourage each other to express them in safe and productive channels and tell people it is ok to feel sad. We are 'allowed' to feel happy, so why shouldn't we feel sad?
China runs her own creative art company called ArtistAnd which uses drawing and painting as an out of gallery experience to bring art back to the people.
Since COVID-19 hit, China lost all of her work and had to reinvent herself in order to survive this pandemic. She started hosting virtual drawing classes including Friday Night Drink & Draw and more mindful workshops for birthday parties and team building. China told us "I have realised the power of drawing and the positive effects it can have on people, especially stuck in isolation. Drawing has always been a form of escapism for myself throughout the years and my goal is to make it attainable for many others. My classes are free to those who are also struggling and I encourage anyone and everyone to join, the more the merrier as we host 3 classes a week."
We asked, what is it about the industry that ignites you?
I work as an Artist and the thing that keeps me going is creation. Making something, sharing it with others makes people feel like they are looking at something beautiful too. Sharing beauty through simple means and timeless artwork is priceless. I paint in oils and I have always had the desire to paint realistically because it has always moved and amazed me. Nothing else has come close to that feeling. To be able to now paint in this way means that I am contributing to the experience of other people's lives and making artwork that makes other people happy too. To hopefully inspire others to start drawing again and start reconnecting with themselves is a reward greater than my own work. This is what ignites me.
If you've been following Women Connect for a while, you'll know we are all about creating opportunities for Women, Non-binary/gender variant people, so it was only right that we asked China to speak on her own womanly experience.
What is your favourite thing about being a woman?
My favourite thing about being a woman is being with other women. Talking through our emotions, understanding one enough with sympathy and empathy and supporting each other because we know what these feelings mean and we have all experienced them at some point. Being a woman means it's ok to be emotional and I really appreciate that aspect that is socially unacceptable for some men and they, unfortunately, are not encouraged to be emotional and share these struggles. Society allows us to feel sad, feel happy, and without these two feelings, we are unable to appreciate the good when it is good without feeling the bad when it hits us. Having women around us can help us through the hard times and are there to celebrate in the good.
Who are the top three women who have influenced you the most?
My mother is a great inspiration to me. She has overcome many challenges in her life from one of the worst starts a child should ever have to endure, to getting her degree after raising three children. This past year I have seen incredible growth in her for her own sake and to show that change at her age is amazing. It shows that you do not have to be stuck in your ways and you can always better yourself and get help if you put the work in.
The other two women are two close friends of mine who inspire me every day. One works in HR and one works in insurance. The advice they give, the experiences they share and the support that they constantly shower me with are incredible. I watch how they deal with situations with strength, intelligence and fearlessness are so inspiring and they both have successfully climbed up the career ladder and fought hard and fairly to get there. I respect the work that they do, their work ethics and the results they achieve. Every woman should have ladies like these in their lives.