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Daily Inspiration: Meet Ashiara Freeman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashiara Freeman.

Hi Ashiara, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I participated in a lot of visual and performing arts programs when I was younger via camp, school and church programs. Two of the camps are Youth Arts Institute and Y.A.T.T.A.S performing arts camp located in Baltimore. Those same programs that I attended, I was able to work for in the future.

The arts were my escape and the form in which I felt most comfortable expressing myself because it was not easy to talk about my feelings and emotions when I was younger especially because it was hard to understand certain things at such a young age. Beyond the arts, I spent time writing poetry and journal entries when I had thoughts that I was not comfortable speaking about.

While still pursuing art outside of school, during my time in high school is when I could integrate the two disciplines and further explore my love of the arts. Baltimore Design School is where I was introduced to photography and is still my primary medium for creating today among other things. In addition, I was also introduced to the world of fashion as a fashion major in high school as well.

I had many amazing experiences during all 3 years at BDS including designing for the Hippodrome with classmates, exploring New York City, photographing a Pyer Moss tribute, and having the opportunity to be a part of MICA’s ADCAP program.

After graduation, I moved to New York to attend Parsons The New School for photography but transferred to currently pursue Art Therapy. As far as working, I currently work for Elev8 Baltimore, a community school, teaching grade school scholars character development.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road has not been easy.

First, I was born to teen parents who love me dearly, However, in school learning about family was hard. I was convinced that how my family looked was not the right way to be seen as a family and that meant something was wrong with me as an individual.

The standard of what a family looked like was presented to me in school at a young age did not fit my own and there was no way for me to change it.

Secondly, it was hard to identify with what love was. My mother when married during the time I was in Elementary school, she was in a domestic violent relationship, but that became my norm because we never left and if we did, we went back.

What happens in this house stays in this house was the way of being that I didn’t even question or present it to other loved ones. When I was told, I love you, I responded often with okay and it had no value or substance.

I was also bullied because of my small stature, but now understanding of my living space at home, I didn’t tell anyone. I learned to conceal well and disguise it through art or writing, but most things I didn’t know were wrong until I got older.

I was also a perfectionist because I felt the need to prove that nothing was wrong with me and it showed in my work academically and when I performed.

Next, generational curses and as the oldest, I was held to a standard to break those things that presented themselves in my family, and although I have it has just been recently that I had to learn to live for myself and do such things because I desired to in my own life as well.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I don’t like to limit myself so, I simply consider myself as a creative.

As an artist, I focus on creating what I consider a “living journal”. Taking my personal experiences and making them visual in any way that I possibly can and document them to share with others. I express myself primarily through photography, writing, and fashion.

However, I love to explore different mediums just to expand my creativity and perspective in order to integrate them into my work.

What I love most about what I do is the amazing and eye-opening conversation that my work has produced. Sharing my story enables me to be able to listen to and help with the stories of others and those individuals have done the same for me in return.

I refer to this creative space of mine as INTRLDSGRDN which is the abbreviation for Interlude’s Garden.

My space is where I take a moment or moments rather express messages that I’ve grown to develop or transition from and through my work I am able to watch what I’ve done continue to grow with me and support the growth of others.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
If nothing else is retained from this interview I just hope that readers “Remember to Love Always”.

These situations and many others have influenced me to better understand and engage creatively in mental health / wellness because it’s where I found my healing.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Ashiara Freeman, Chrystyan Freeman, Look2c Photography, Jadah Dunyoh, and Ebony Trice

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