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Meet Jasmine Colgan of Tough Skin in Westminster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Colgan.

Jasmine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My photographic journey began a little before I was diagnosed with vitiligo. This skin condition became the best thing that could have ever happened to me. When I graduated undergrad, I took a few years off to figure out what I am doing. I created a vitiligo empowerment organization, Tough Skin. And later developed a natural skincare company with Fair Trade Shea from Ghana. After I applied to graduate school, I focused on the academic portion of my artistic practices and less on the entrepreneurial side. During graduate school, I was funded a few grants to go to Ghana and create a few bodies of work. One of them, The Ghanatype is a photographic solution using gold. The gold is a material which was more valuable than the human body, The Ghanatype solution was used to print images of cowrie shells, the currency used to trade human freedom for a lifetime of servitude. Approximately 6,370 cowrie shells were equivalent to the average person and their worth.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think anyone’s road has been smooth. I think that bumps made it worth the ride. One of my main struggles in life is dealing with my voice not being heard. As a woman of colors, being half black-half white, half Irish-half African, half Ghanaian-half American. Often it has been difficult to vocalize the injustices in the world. Through .my art, I have power. And, every flat tire that forced me to pause and care more for the things in my work, certainly has allowed my mind to flourish in a manner that in could never imagine. Studying simple however very complex topics has been something that I wouldn’t; trade for the world.

Tough Skin – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Tough Skin is a vitiligo empowerment organization and I also developed Skin which is a natural skincare company which Fair Trade sources our Shea from Ghana. Our products have 100% organic ingredients and are handcrafted with natural UV protection. Made for all skin types.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I think that everyone needs to find a therapeutic ritual to the qualities that contribute to our success. The repetition becomes serene and the work allows the create to release any and all tensions. It can get funky, the world, you know? Allow people to help guide you, teach you, even help you. Remember that you are only human, and it is alright to be gentle with yourself.


  • The 5×7 Ghanatype prints of the cowrie shells are $500 a piece
  • There are small prints $50 and $100

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Headshot by Fred Langer

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