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Meet Cyd Ahlberg of Cydvolution Art in Midtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cyd Ahlberg.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been creating since I hopped out the womb. As a child I was winning coloring contests and learning a lot about art through experimentation. When I started high school, I initially wanted to focus on film and broadcasting, so I could later concept, direct, film, and produce music videos. This all changed when I was introduced to graphic design my sophomore year. I was always down to take new classes and try new forms of art; I even studied fashion for two years, but graphic design really spoke to me.

Following high school, I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah for ten weeks; I hated it. I decided to drop out and began a search for happiness while working retail and still creating and learning on my own. After a year, I decided to move to Atlanta and transfer to SCAD in Atlanta. This became my home.

While at SCAD, I began connecting with so many creative individuals and learning so much from some of the top professors to expand my abilities. I also discovered a love for photography and decided to take it on as my minor. Once I figured out what I wanted to do, I began connecting and building relationships outside of SCAD. Then I started shooting concerts, designing for events and attending parties that I used as networking opportunities to get my name out there.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been quite a wild ride, to be honest. Coming to Atlanta was such an experience. It was my first time being out on my own and it was kind of scary. I had some amazing mentors to help me along the way. When I started school, I had an internship, I was freelancing, and I was doing pretty well in my classes. It soon became hard to balance all of that and I had to realign and refocus myself. I had to ask some tough questions like “What’s more important? The clients or the degree?” I even considered dropping out and roughing it for a while in Atlanta. I eventually got back on track and was able to do everything in moderation.

At one point, I was attending some pretty dope concerts, mingling with celebrities and networking with other creatives, but then things took a turn. Things took a drastic change and I almost didn’t think I couldn’t finish what I had started. The rigor of SCAD, among other trials, triggered mental health issues that I had to work through with therapy, but I eventually grounded myself and got back on track. I grew artistically, mentally, and emotionally and graduated with my BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Photography in June 2018.

It still hasn’t been smooth sailing, but now I’ve been able to figure out the direction I’m headed in with my brand and my primary focuses with my art. I’m still grinding hard, experimenting, and learning every step of the way.

Cydvolution Art – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Cydvolution Art, or Cydvolution, is a revolutionary art movement based on my designs and content created in collaboration with artists of all walks of life and all mediums. It’s also my artist identity, social media handle, and my overall lifestyle.

I specialize in design and photography based in Southeast Georgia. My work primarily focuses on music, social and political issues, and the black experience in America, but I am open to working to meet the visual needs of just about anyone. My clientele ranges from playwrights to underground musicians to grass-roots collaboratives for political campaigns. I have worked alongside clients including the Janelle Monáe affiliated — All Cows Eat Grass collective, rapper Lofty 305, The Muddy Water Group, Kellindo Parker, and other established artists.

I am most proud of the individuality of my brand and the level of clientele I have attracted over the years. It’s still a growing brand, but it’s consistently unique and memorable. What sets me apart from other brands is my style, my eagerness to experiment and the relationships I build with my clients to fulfill their needs. I’ve also stuck with the motto “Learn the rules, then you can break them”. I’ve learned the rules of design through my formal education and now I’m having fun breaking them through my brand.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career is probably having people like Janelle Monáe, Sheila E., Jidenna, Stacey Abrams, Kellindo Parker, and Issa Rae acknowledge my work. Also, having peers whom I can draw inspiration from and who draw inspiration from me make up some of my best moments. As an artist having your work recognized and understood by any audience is always a great moment. Basically, being able to influence those who influence me is the overall proudest moment of my career, thus far.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Marquise Roberson

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