Interview with the Founder of Just Breast: Boob Prints & Self-Checks
© Just Breast
Advocating for breast cancer awareness through art.
Romina is the founder of Just Breast and believes there is a choice in everything we do, and her choice is to leave a mark. With her art she is hoping to inspire others to do the same.
In a creative and playful way, Romina reflects the unique and complex difference between breasts. She defuses the predetermined perception of the body and presents her artwork for exactly what it is. This has brought her art into more than 200 homes around the world. And it doesn’t end there. 10% of her profit goes straight to the Pink Ribbon Organization for Breast Cancer awareness and prevention.
Please could you tell me a little more about how & why you set up Just Breast?
The idea for Just Breast was created in late 2014, when I was in a situation I was not aware of myself. I was supporting my ex-boyfriend with going through a dramatic happening in his life. Without knowing, I lost 10 kg and had no period and was in need of expressing everything going on inside of me.
I bought canvas and paint and was about to start creating something but then realised I have no clue how to paint or what to paint... So I thought maybe it's easier to do it with my breasts. The closest thing to my heart.
For a couple of years I did these prints for myself and realised it became like healing for me, art healing. But I knew I could expand this idea and maybe also help others.
In 2017, I was one of 20 creators chosen for Wall of Art's launch and my art was exposed publicly. And from there it just grew and I knew I had to connect it to something bigger than "you just buy art" so I started to donate 10% of the profit to Breast Cancer organisations.
Can you tell me more about the workshops? What are some of the things you say to the people who participate?
The workshops were added in a later stage because I felt it could be nice to let people go through the same process as I did. I took a couple of courses in Art Healing to have a better understanding of how you work with colors, meaning of colors and the process of how you can heal. It really helped me to have a better understanding of why I choose my color in the beginning and the pattern I see from others too.
The workshop is set up by Past, Present and Future and how to check your breasts, to just be aware and comfortable with your body. As it is Just Breast. But as it's more complex than that due to background, culture and society - we open up the conversation and invite everyone to share their thoughts.
Your website mentions that you want to highlight the differences between breasts, what do you mean by this?
Our breasts are like fingerprints, everyone is unique and there are so many stories behind each and every one. Some don't even have breasts due to breast cancer and some add breasts.
How do you advocate for breast cancer awareness, and do you offer resources and information through your media or in your workshops?
In every workshop we go through how you can check your breasts, we also donate to breast cancer organisations and we do try to communicate as often as we can in our social media. We focus mostly on word of mouth, as I see that it is the most effective way to get through social media due to the huge amount of content people see every day.
What do you see in store for the future of JUST BREAST? Would you expand it to have more workshops internationally?
As I have realized it's quite hard for me to be at several places at the same time, it is to have more ambassadors helping me out in some countries and do this through digital channels.
But we do exist in London and in Stockholm at the moment. Before it was London, Amsterdam and Stockholm due to me living in both countries.
I do see bigger collaborations in the future but I might also become a professional therapist because it would really help me due to all the emotions that are shared during the art healing workshops.
© Just Breast
Any other comments you would like to include? - on business, the art process, body positivity, or breast cancer awareness?
I got connected to a person, Ambar. Who I instantly felt a connection with. I asked her to join me on my journey with Just Breast and become my ‘other boob.’ Just a couple of months later she asked me to touch her breast, and I was a bit confused why she would ask me. So I did, and she said she had felt this thing in her breast for a short while. And as you do, you answer, NOOO, it's fine, just a swollen tissue or something.
Shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and this changed everything, for her and for me. I could not believe this was happening and she was already on her way to fight for her life.
She found her tumour during our preparations for our workshops and its faith that we were connected and that she would find it in time.
After this happens we are more in contact with our bodies and being aware and spreading the word.
know what's normal for you
look at your breasts and feel them
know what changes to look for
report any changes to a GP without delay
attend routine screening if you're aged 50 to 70
Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit.
You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.
Feel around the breast in a circular motion. Then, feel under the arm. Finally, feel beneath/ around the nipple. Know what’s normal for you and be sure to self-check frequently!