Art x Chayla

Name: Chayla Young (Art x Chayla) | Age: 19       

Declared Profession: Student at Indiana University/Human Development & Family Studies Major

Where can we find you?,,

Twitter: artbychayla

Instagram: artbychayla

Who are you and what do you stand for?

I am a Sophomore at IU. I’ve grown up in Indiana my whole life. As I’ve gotten older and acquired more education, I’ve realized that Black individuals, especially Black women, are unique beings. Our magic is threatening and intimidating to others. This is why I create art because I want to uplift women who look like me so that they don’t believe the narrative that they aren’t special or won’t amount to anything because of the color of their skin.

Who in your life was the most influential in leading you to become the person you are today?

My mother, definitely! My mom has supported every decision I’ve made 100%. She voices her opinions and guides me with her wisdom, but she allows me to make my own choices. She gave me the extra push when I was hesitant about sharing and selling my art.

Describe your personal style.

My art style is semi-realistic with abstract elements. I love painting or illustrating faces, but I like to add characteristics that make the person more abstract and relatable to anyone, so instead of seeing a specific person, the viewer sees whomever they want to see.

Who or what inspires/motivates you?

I love Georgia O’Keefe’s work. The attention to detail in all of her work inspires me to pay that much attention to the detail in my art. Black women also inspire my work. The variety of shades, sizes, personalities, and physical features are truly the image of God. I just try my best to capture it.

What is your morning/night routine?

As far as it pertains to art, I do about 80% of my art at night. I normally start at 7 or 8 p.m. and don’t stop until 4 or 5 a.m. when I’m ready to go to bed. During the day, I am meticulous when it comes to the details. I make slight revisions that I may have missed during the nighttime.

If you came home one day and your living room is filled from floor to ceiling with pineapples. What do would you do?

I guess I won’t be working on my art in the living room that day!

Who are the top 3 people you follow on social media and why?

Masu McLemore (@artbysu), Eban Indy (@ebanindy), and Blavity (@blavity). I’ve been obsessed and so inspired by Masu’s oil paintings since I discovered her about a year and a half ago. Her art style is so unique and it’s so inspiring to know that she’s only a few years older than me, yet her art is so evolved! I also follow Eban Indy and Blavity to see other Black creators and gain inspiration from others who look like me. Eban Indy is a peace initiative based in Indianapolis, IN so it makes connecting with local artists easier.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

Normally during breaks from school, my life revolves around my art. During the school year, I don’t create as much art, but I still continue to sell prints. I utilize my free time during breaks to create as much art as possible and then slowly release it during the school year so that I have pieces to sell.

What are some of the causes you stand for?

I believe in causes that support the equality of Black individuals, such as #BlackLivesMatter. I also support causes that fight for equality of LGBTQIA members, especially those members of color.

Tell us about an embarrassing moment?

As far as art, I haven’t had any embarrassing moments so far. My personal life is a different story lol.

 What is your favorite store to shop at and why?

There’s a store in Indianapolis called Value World. It’s a thrift store, but it has better finds than Goodwill. I mainly thrift shop and then add a few pieces from main stores like H&M or Forever21.


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