Jathselle embodies the less-is-more philosophy. She embraces the pared-down aesthetic approach and intentionally puts into practice the idea that you can be more—and do more—with less.
In her work, Jathselle (pronounced Jat-sel) likes to refer to herself as a sustainable product designer. It's a good perspective since the very nature of her goals is to help organizations make successful products and keep them sustainable for the long term. At Theorem, Jathselle is the associate brand designer. Her role is to maintain and evolve Theorem's visual identity for internal and external communication using multiple art mediums.
A different approach to design
"I design with the intention to solve a challenging problem, communicate complex information, or reinforce a message,” Jathselle says.
Design, to me, isn’t just about making things look pretty—It’s about thinking critically and acknowledging the simple power of less is more.”
To that end, she created a sustainable approach to her process—a checklist of sorts to help her stay aware of how she uses natural resources, time, and other project materials.
"When I’m designing something, I look to see if the design assets can be reused or repurposed. If it’s a physical product, I make sure it’s made out of recyclable materials, and if not, I’ll see if there are alternative materials that could be used instead. If it’s a digital asset, like a slide deck, I’ll make sure the message is detailed, clear, and transparent, and that the content and design are easy to understand.”
Intentional design is an integral consideration for the success of Jathselle’s work. She ensures the layout of a product is accessible for everyone—including those who may be hearing or vision impaired—so they can read or listen to the content.
As part of her diverse skill set, she can be technical and creative simultaneously to simplify and streamline the experience. Simple design helps break down communication and language barriers because art is a language anyone can speak.
Living a creative and sustainable life
At home, Jathselle does her best to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. She tries to always be aware of the life cycles of everyday items she uses and ways to be less wasteful.
Her internal motor never quits, either; she has a strong drive to stay busy and loves learning new things. Life in lock-down during the pandemic underscored that. Jathselle picked up an old favorite pastime—roller skating—for the exercise and as a way to meet new people while staying socially distant outside. She began watercolor painting, illustrating, and cooking as a way to get back to the basics, dabble in analog art mediums, and create with her hands. Looking to strengthen her skills, she enrolled in some online classes with Skillshare and Coursera. And she also worked with small businesses to help them build their online presence.
I love trying new things, and I feel like life is a series of experiences, some experiences might be more challenging than others, but, in the end, I feel like I always come out wiser. Instead of letting the pandemic bring me down, I focused on gaining every experience possible.”
A love of learning
Whether focused on consumerism, hobbies, personal wellness, or her design work, Jathselle’s essence is rooted in sustainable and intentional living. She grew up in a West Indies and Caribbean-culture household where both of her parents practiced farming and understood the benefits of herbs and natural remedies. They passed their love of learning, growing, caring for the land and animals, and healthy living on to her and her siblings.
Jathselle, who recently graduated with a degree in digital media and web technology, found inspiration for a sustainable lifestyle through her work experiences, too. Early in her career, she worked mostly with vegan-friendly or plant-based organizations, as well as the group Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), a national nonprofit that’s advocated for animal rights and veganism since the ’70s. This taught her a lot about the human impact on our natural environment.
My time there got me thinking about my family, where I came from—my culture and other cultures around me—and how we're different and how sustainability might look different for all of us. I realized that there is no one answer to making the world more prosperous, fair, and environmentally sustainable.”
Jathselle’s vegan lifestyle is a key part of her version of a sustainable life. She enjoys trying out new plant-based dishes with her family; they make several charcuterie boards and try different legumes, herbs, and fruits to make chopped salads. “I love eating vegetables and I can see the health benefits of a vegan diet. I just feel lighter, healthier, and happier,” she says.
Seeking growth and purpose
She now has her sights set on furthering her education, still with an eye toward sustainability, studying herbal product design and manufacturing at the Maryland University of Integrative Health online. She’s continuing her education to understand processes related to medicine making, botanicals, and quality assurance. Upon graduation, Jathselle hopes to take her approach to the next level when it comes to sustainability and design.
We overrun the physical planet itself. We must make better efforts to build a kinder world for all of us. I want to design sustainable products and practices to help achieve this.”
Work that imitates life
With such an internal drive for methodology and processes and her passion for creativity and design using a sustainable approach, Jathselle found the perfect match working at Theorem.
“At Theorem, we identify the most effective solution to transform the way businesses think and solve problems from the inside out. I get to come up with creative approaches that empower sustainable teams and practices, so I feel like my personal life, and my core values can shine through in my work.”