June 7, 2023

Creators for a Cause is an internal product series that showcases the Company’s pride of creation culture and highlights the incredible design talents of our colleagues. Creators within Centric Brands design limited edition products available for purchase exclusively by Centric Brands’ colleagues. 100% of the proceeds are donated to a non-profit chosen by the designer each month.

In celebration of Pride Month, Jim Sable, Director of Human Resources, Information Systems at Centric Brands selected six of his photographs, inspired by the natural beauty around him, to turn into a Pride flag-inspired stationary set. 100% of the proceeds from the cards will be donated to Prismatic Productions, Inc. Ollom Art, a non-profit with a mission to advance public interest and understanding of issues of diversity through art, and New Alternatives NYC, a non-profit whose mission is to increase the self-sufficiency of LGBTQIA+ homeless youth and young adults in New York. 

We interviewed Jim to learn more about the inspiration behind his artwork and photography.

What was your inspiration behind these photos? 

During the pandemic, my husband and I used to take daily walks in our local park every day after work. During these walks, I noticed the beauty all around me. So I began taking pictures with my iPhone. One day, I saw a splash of red out of the corner of my eye. It was an acorn that had grown a single red root as spring began. From that day, I started to take close-up pictures of nature. Slowing down, I looked closer at my surroundings. Patterns and artistic abstractions of shapes and angles emerged from nature. From a single tulip emerging between sidewalk cracks to a rain-soaked leaf sparkling with a twinkle from a ray of sunshine, the beauty of looking closely at nature was exhilarating. Then, I learned about wabi-sabi, the view or thought of finding beauty in every aspect of natural imperfection. After that, things began to look different. When sharing the photos on social media, people were constantly thanking me for bringing the beauty of nature into their lives while they lived in isolation. My desire now is to share the beauty of life and encourage others to slow down in this crazy busy world and look for beauty each day. The world looks different to me now; I hope it will work for you, also.

What does supporting causes mean to you?

So often, we think of the causes as large organizations with large budgets and many people working for them. Still, many small organizations with highly dedicated people work hard to accomplish their mission. Supporting these groups is also extremely important. Supporting small organizations can also have a significant impact on a single individual. In my early years as a social worker, I learned that helping people change their perceptions or actions is an immeasurable accomplishment that can last a lifetime. 

What do the causes – Prismatic Productions, Inc./ Ollom Art and New Alternatives NYC – benefitting from the product mean to you?

Prismatic Productions, Inc /Ollom Art is an organization that is truly close to my heart. It was Prismatic Productions, Inc /Ollom Art, an organization that is truly close to my heart. It was founded by my husband and me twenty years ago in 2003 with a mission to advance public interest in and understanding of issues of diversity; to educate, instruct and present to the general diverse art forms through performance, educational classes, symposiums, lectures, festivals, and similar activities; and, to provide artists of diverse backgrounds and forms with a forum to expose their works to the public. Our works have helped artists free their creativity and give them a forum to let their works grow. We have grown from presentational pieces to more interdisciplinary and experiential outcomes. Throughout the pandemic, Prismatic Productions, Inc. / Ollom Art was a lifeline to artists nationwide by providing regular group Zoom calls to support artists, creatives, and their work.  

New Alternatives, NYC increases the self-sufficiency of LGBTQIA+ homeless youth and young adults by enabling them to transition from the shelter system to stable adult lives. They do this by providing long-term support, weekly case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self-expression, and programs for HIV+ youth. Our guiding principles are harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment. Ollom Art’s Artistic Director has worked with New Alternatives NYC youth to provide dance classes and workshops on empowerment.

How did you get into photography?

In my youth, my father worked for Kodak and had access to a photo-developing lab. He taught us about focus, lighting, developing film, and techniques to make prints. Even though photography wasn’t my primary artistic focus growing up, my interest took off after taking pictures for our non-profit. I learned more about photography to capture our work. I’ve stretched my comfort zone and experimented with portraits, action photography and specific art projects. The pandemic helped me develop my focus from specific goals to discovering new interests. Thus, my latest works and the cards you see.   

June is Pride Month. How can art help in the storytelling/awareness/celebration of the month?

Art can be compelling. Through tremendously diverse art forms, LGBTQIA+ artists and creatives have focused on sharing our life stories, from joyous to sad, with all emotions in between. At the same time, these artists and creatives raise awareness of the many struggles that the LGBTQIA+ community faces, both similar and different from other communities. And like any community or group’s celebrations, the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates artistically – with color, fashion, and creativity. Art can also be healing. Art can be a powerful release for the person creating the work, and art can also provoke, change perceptions, and create emotional reactions within the viewer. All involved can heal. During Pride month, there is much to celebrate, but there is also much to heal. The hatred that permeates this world needs healing. Whether it’s a drag performance, an art installation about bathroom access for trans and questioning youth, a story about being a two-spirit person, or a parade – art can show what it is like to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Art can help heal wounds, evoke emotions, and celebrate positive change.