We had the good fortune of connecting with Jae Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jae, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
That question is always so hard to answer simply because my life is beyond intricate. I was born in Inglewood, CA and at 2 months I was taken away from my biological parents and put in the foster care system. I was raised most of my life in Carson, CA with my two older sisters, and from there I moved between South Central, Wilmington, Harbor City, Whittier, La Verne, Pomona and DTLA. I guess you could say I’m from everywhere. Growing up in the foster care system exposed me to various life experiences, some good, some terrible but all of which I am grateful for. One of the experiences that shaped me the most is my background in sex trafficking/abuse/work. Three separate moments in my life but they all led me to where I’m at now. Having those life experiences caused me to shut down emotionally, socially, mentally, and cause extreme harm to myself and in my journey to heal those wounds, I found solace in the arts. The arts being photography, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, acting, writing. They gave a voice to my pain. They allowed me to tell my story. They allowed me to heal, speak up and to inspire others. My goal in life is to combine the arts, psychology and spirituality into a self-healing based curriculum that targets the mind, body and soul bringing people from survival to living. This work is important to me because it saved my life and now i dedicate my life to helping others save theirs too. I want people to know that their past does not dictate their future and anything is possible. I want them to know that when the world says no, you say yes and you keep pursuing your goals, no matter how wild. Do not give up on your dreams, I am living proof, that anything is possible. Had I not had my past, this wouldn’t be my future.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a creative entrepreneur. I have three brands under my creativity: MysticalJae which is my personal artist name, Creativisionariez; my photography brand and Spiritual Wellfare; my blog that provides resources on how to heal your mind, body and soul holistically. I started on this journey about 4 years ago in my senior year of undergrad after a messy breakup with an ex. I channeled the pain from that relationship and my upbringing into a way that I could release my hurt but also inspire others to heal and come back home to their inner child. This journey was not an easy one and I wanted to quit from day 1 to now because there are so many people rooting on your failure, people who you considered friends and family. It’s hard because you want to compare your journey to someone else’s, you beat yourself up at every chance you get, you lose motivation, you get caught up in external validation from social media. Its a constant uphill battle but seeing the light emit from people when I take their picture, or help them heal gives me the strength to keep going. I use photography to help people heal from insecurities, low self esteem, bullying, trauma by showing them the beauty I see inside of them. I want people to know their scars are what makes them beautiful, so wear them boldly and proudly. I have learned that the only person who you are competing with is yourself, the only person whose voice matters is your own, it does not matter how many likes or comments you get, you do it for you and don’t compare yourself to other people’s journeys because you are not seeing the full picture. I want people to know that I believe in them, I see the beauty in them, they are worthy, they are loved, and to never give up hope. My brand is inspiration.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would first wake them up to do yoga and mediation/mindfulness practices, grounding our energies and setting our intentions for the day. I would then cook a holistic meal for them and from here I would take them to my favorite hiking trail Joatnga Trailhead in Upland, where there is a beautiful river and view of Mt. Baldy. Here we would do some healing rituals, inner child play, and release trauma through physical exercise. Then from here we would go to my favorite vegan restaurant Earthtone Natural Kitchen and Market in Glendora to have them try the vegan spicy chipotle chicken sandwich. Heavenly!! After we are nice and full, I would take them to Santa Monica Beach to relax and bask in the sun, then to La Louisanne for drinks, live jazz and some good old soul food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I don’t think this series is long enough for all the angels who have helped me along. I would not be here had it not been for my 7th grade health teacher Ms. Robinson, my 10th English teacher Ms. Fortune (Michelle), my previous therapists Dr. Young, Sarah, Rasheeda, Irene, and Ms. Cooper, my wraparound teams, my mentors Lili, Erica Eddings (from career services), Zandra, my undergraduate housing directors Eugene and Lisa, the president of University of La Verne : Devorah Lieberman, my undergraduate RA Megan, my rehab: Freehab: The Teen Project; more specifically Amy, Cynthia, Megan, Katie, Taylor, my sisters Jasmine and Jalonda, my friends Chey, Kenn, Nadi, Alicia, Ty, Kheanna, Jelly, Dez, Jassmin, Nices, Nas, Max, my coworkers Maria, Sandy, Jordan, Lil Martha, Chris my supervisor, and Kathleen ( the person who hired me). I want to do a special shout-out to my mindfulness coach Dr. Niki Elliott, my mentor Dr. Kimberly White-Smith and my mentor Rachel Thomas. These women have made such a huge impact on my life that there’s not enough love in the world to express my gratitude. These women have shown me your past does not dictate your future and you can achieve anything you desire. They have shown me how to push past my setbacks, to remain humble, grateful, loving and live. They have shown me that I am worthy of life and to never give up on myself. They have helped me to heal my wounds, learn how to love, reach out for help, embrace my story and most importantly how to show up for myself. I would not be here literally without all of these angels and I am forever humbled, honored and grateful that I have crossed paths with them all.
Instagram: @creativisionariez @mysticaljae @spiritualwellfare
Linkedin: Jae Carter
Facebook: Jae Carter
Personal photo taken by @nadira.psd