We had the good fortune of connecting with Daija Jenkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daija, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose this career because it helps me stay in tune with my childhood, as well as staying true to who I am. I create a lot of art that is nostalgic and somewhat resembles television characters from my childhood. In a world full of chaos, art helps me express what I can’t necessarily verbalize. I have always been extremely passionate about anything involving art whether it was acting, dancing, singing, creating paintings or drawings etc. Art one-hundred percent makes me happy and I don’t know what I’d do without it!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My name is Daija Jenkins. I am twenty-four years old and I am very passionate about art. Before I graduated from high school, I always wondered how I would stay in touch with my artistic side. I also always wanted to do something involving social media and creating some type of content. In October of 2016, I started my makeup career on social media as “Sista Swatcha”. The name, “Sista Swatcha” came from me – a sista, who loved swatching makeup. I created this platform in order for me to express myself artistically through makeup. My art is nostalgic, colorful, and unique. I love every single category of makeup! On my platforms, expect to see me perform these types of makeup: Glam, Avant garde, SFX, Drag, Cosplay, and Body Painting. What sets me apart from others is that I take risks with my art. I do not care how foolish I look when I get into character, I am a perfectionist (I spend so many hours on my work and will literally redo a look if I’m not pleased), and sometimes I get political with my makeup if it is heavy on my heart no matter how people react to it.
I got to where I am today in the makeup industry due to hard work and perseverance. As cliche as that sounds, it is very true. Makeup has always held a special place in my heart. Once I had the opportunity to start creating an online presence where I could express myself freely, I took it and I took it very seriously at that. This process has been far from easy. There were times where I worked two jobs and still kept up with my craft because I believed in it so much. I’ve had family members and friends speak fear into my life about my plans, but I never let that stop me. Yes, it hurt in the moment, but I decided to keep going. Many people who have worked with me can say that I have sacrificed a lot of sleep due to my drive to get better at makeup. Heck, there were times where I would literally sketch out a drawing on my chest, wear it to work, and at the of the day, finish it. To this day, I still have not broken some of those bad habits, but I definitely am working on it. I overcame a lot of the adversities that I’ve faced by always remembering who I do it for – my family. A lot of prayer has helped me get through it, kind words, and my drive to not work a nine to five for the rest of my life.
The lessons that I’ve learned along the way are: 1. Self -care is very important
2. Never compare yourself to others 3. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to grow 4. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things within your career. Lastly, I would like the world to know that I am a very diligent, passionate, kind- hearted creative who just wants to make it in the makeup industry!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Places to eat throughout the week: Places to drink & Club: Places to visit & hang out: Smith & Canon Tracks Nightclub 80’s & 90’s stores on Broadway
Denver Biscuit Company Bar Louie Meininger’s Art Store
Bon Chon Happy Camper Bar The Wizard’s Chest Costume Store
La Casa Del Rey City ‘O City Pikes Peak Highway in Co Springs
TK’S Surf & Turf Honey Elixir Bar The Selfie Museum
Cinzzettis Nola Voodoo Tavern The Black Girl Museum
Native Foods Cafe Dorchester Club The Art Museum
The Crawling Crab The Purple Martini Cave of the Winds in Co Springs
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Firstly, I’d like to give all the praise, glory, and honor to God. Without Him, I am nothing and wouldn’t be where I am today. Sometimes, I look back and wonder how I have made it thus far without completely throwing in the towel. Secondly, I’d like to thank my parents, my family, friends and supporters. They are the TRUTH and have seriously helped me get through a lot of mental and creative blocks that I’ve had and still currently go through. I also want to give a HUGE shout out to my parents for not forcing me to go to college right after high school, for encouraging me to follow my dreams and constantly pushing me to do my best in all things. I truly do it to be able to take care of them worry-free one day. Thirdly, I want to give a shout-out to my high school tech teacher Mr. Boyd for giving me a “Most likely to become a YouTuber” award my senior year of high school because that has motivated me for years. He also took time out of his day to re-teach me tips and tricks on how to edit videos. Lastly, my favorite Math teacher and basketball coach in the whole world, Mr. Dick Katte. I have always struggled with Math and without this man, I most likely wouldn’t have graduated high school. When I was a freshman, Mr. Katte had retired. Every single day, he came to teach myself and other kids who weren’t the best at Math. That meant everything to me for him to willingly come teach, while retired at that!
Other: Website coming soon! Tik Tok : https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeCccxT4/
For the SistaSwatcha logo, I give the credit to @MartaIllustration (Marta Efremova). That’s it lol.