Cocoa Twins Image

Introducing Cocoa Twins artist: Jamesha Bazemore

September 8, 2020 | Contributor: Jamesha Bazemore

After an exhaustive school supply hunt to find notebooks that personally matched the style of my 9-year-old identical twin daughters, it became obvious that there was an absence of brown boy and girl images. Instead of becoming sad or angry, my girls, Brittney and Brianna, turned to me and asked, “Can you draw pictures for us and put them on our notebooks?”

My immediate response was to use my artistry to create relatable images so that my daughters could be proud and confident about displaying their items. This was how Cocoa Twins was born.

Brittney and Brianna, the inspiration behind how Cocoa Twins was born

Hello, my name is Jamesha Bazemore. I am a mom of 4, grandma of 1, wife with over 20 years of experience, a veteran, and an artist. I have been drawing since I was a kid, but I sat my pencil down after high school because I stopped believing in myself.

My counselor in college suggested that I pick another area of study because girls who look like me do not do well as artists. Do not feel bad for me, though. This became part of the journey that led me to serve my country for eight years.

Jamesha Bazemore while stations in Iwakuni, Japan using an Autolevel, an antique surveying tool.
Jamesha in the Marines surveying a small area of land

It’s hard to believe but I actually started gaining digital art skills while on active duty in the Marine Corps as an Engineering Specialist. I learned how to design construction documents, or “blueprints” as they are more commonly known.

One of the many projects that I was fortunate enough to work on was the design of the Crucible, an integral part of the Marine Corps boot camp. As a non-commissioned officer, I was in charge of leading the stakeout of the construction sites for one of the obstacle courses. This was my first opportunity to lead my own team after earning my stripes as a Corporal.

After being honorably discharged from the Marines, I worked as a CAD Designer at a civil engineering firm in my hometown of Detroit, MI. Then, as a CAD Manager, I took part in designing Campus Martius, Ford Field, and Comerica Park as part of the initiative to redevelop downtown Detroit. The responsibility of having to manage the completeness and correctness of documents for construction allows me to forever be a part of revitalizing my hometown. This is where I learned how to manage design projects.

It was only in 2016 that I picked my pencil back up to draw characters similar to those that I drew when I was younger. Inspired by my daughters desire to see characters representative of themselves, I began to draw again.

Jamesha Bazemore illustrating on her tablet device for Cocoa Twins artwork

The skills I learned over the years, coupled with my artistic ability made it possible for me to give Brittney and Brianna what they were looking for… And, in turn, give so many others what they were looking for as well – quality images that better represented our community.

After going back to creating the art I was discouraged from doing in college, I have received multiple messages, photos, and videos of appreciation. Parents tell me about their children who are excited to see images that like them. Seeing their little faces light up is the best thing ever for me. Moreover, the outpour of support encourages me to make more. It has also helped me understand my purpose.

Jamesha Bazmore showing off her artwork

Although my dream was realized later in life, it does not diminish that fact that I am here. Like how I was discouraged from art to then join the Marines and learn design management… The journey I took to get here was all designed for what I can do today, which is to partner with Cricut.

Cocoa Twins artwork

I was extremely excited when I received the call from Cricut. Being able to work with Cricut not only appealed to my technical and artistic side, but it also allows me the opportunity to take my dream further by reaching even more people. Not to mention, all their products and services are the BEST.

At Cocoa Twins, I do what I love with a purpose. I share my love of art with others and create positive, reaffirming, fun-loving, and beautiful images of people of color. I could not be more ecstatic to share my work with everyone in the Cricut community.

I hope you all enjoy my work, and thank you, Cricut, for creating the tools that let me create my happiness projects. Most importantly, thank you for giving me the space to share my happiness with your Cricut family.

Cocoa Twins – For the Culture (30 Images)

Cocoa Twins - For the Culture image set from Cricut Design Space

12 thoughts on “Introducing Cocoa Twins artist: Jamesha Bazemore

  1. I have been a fan of Mrs. Bazemore’s art for several years and am ecstatic that Cricut bought her onboard to offer more diverse art its users.

  2. I am so pleased to see a woman like this designing for Cricut. I stopped looking for images of Black women in design space so I always went to Etsy. But it’s nice to know that I can now find some lovely images that look like me! I hope she is the first of many Black artists that can capture the essence of how dope Black women are!

  3. Major congratulations to you!!! Representation is extremely vital for the Black the community, but its also imperative for non-minorities to be welcoming and learn the importance of our existence and capabilities. I love Cricut products and this makes my investment more worthwhile and longterm. Cricut please continue being intentional with diversity and inclusiveness!

  4. As an elderly white woman, this story gives me HOPE. I am full of admiration. I don’t have an artistic talent anywhere, so I am also jealous!! LOL. Please keep hope alive.

  5. I have been following this artist for a couple of years now and I’m so pleased that some of her work as been added to design space! I hope to see some of this kind of inclusion from Cricut in the future. This is awesome!

  6. This was everything! I could almost cry! I am so grateful for your journey, for your artistic contributions, and for this opportunity you have with Cricut. Grateful we all get to enjoy your work in a multitude of ways.

  7. Congratulations!! I can an now make things for my granddaughters that look like them. I am so glad you are blessed with this opportunity with Cricut to bring this beautiful artwork to everyone!

  8. I absolutely love Cocoa Twins! Me’sha Bazemore’s designs opened a whole new world to me with artwork that looks like me. Thank you Cricut for showcasing Cocoa Twins.

Comments are closed.