Today we’d like to introduce you to Myah Freeman.
Myah, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have the ultimate appreciation and love for being born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida as I believe that it plays a significant role in who I am today. When I was younger, I always did the absolute most in my art classes, but I thought that this was just the norm because all kids loved art. As I grew older, I noticed that I was clinging on to the practice a little longer than other children around me. Since then, I knew that it was my passion and purpose. When I reached high school, I hit the ground running, establishing myself as an artist before anything else. When we enter into new and large populations, it can be very intimidating because we know that we have a lot of people to reach.
Nevertheless, by the time I left high school, they knew that I was the student with a strong passion for art. I had left my mark. Then came college, an even bigger population, one that I am still working my way through, yet I’ve already reached so many. Here at Florida State University, I am a part of the CARE Program, one that allows low-income, First-Generation college students to receive an education. Funny story, during my senior year of high school I told myself and everybody that I would major in Psychology, but if I did that, I’d only be playing myself. So, here I am today, a Junior pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.
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?
When I was in high school, I had a lot more time than I do now to do commission work. The money was coming in, so I know that I am more than capable of making a profit off of my gift. When I entered college, I wanted to continue doing commission work, but I grew to be very involved in my education and campus organizations. Ultimately, I had to put a pause on commission work.
At first, this was a bitter transition because I hated saying no to those who supported and trusted me enough to even come to me for artwork. Even though I was no longer doing commission work, I was still required to produce artwork for my studio classes. Sometimes, I still feel like a slave to making art as a task. To alleviate, I try my best to mold my class assignments into something that appeals to my personal practice and preference. I realized that a lot of what I was doing involved serving others and never myself. Despite being on this break, I can definitely say that it has served me well. I have been able to realize which areas of Myah needed a little more TLC.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
The beautiful thing about my brand is its flexibility to mold and become whatever my current focus is. When I first created it, I did not restrict myself to only one practice or service but allowed my audience to experience all of me as I embarked upon my journey. In the beginning, I made custom hats, paintings and portraits, and art for my school. Still, to this day, these same practices have manifested into accomplishments much greater. During my collegiate years, more of my work has consisted of teaching paint classes, spearheading mural projects, and face painting. As I developed, I began to refer to myself as an “Artivist,” someone who uses art to make a change and this is what I like to believe my supporters have grown to know me as.
This past summer was definitely one of my greatest accomplishments so far. I had the opportunity of traveling to Saint-Louis, Senegal where I partnered with a non-profit organization called Maison de la Gare. Their mission is to rehabilitate and sustain the begging talibé children within the community. For two months, I worked as an art teacher, introducing them to a number of creative possibilities. Artists are multifaceted. Our only purpose isn’t to do commission work. Artists are activists, advocates, and healers. That is what I chose to live up to. My firm belief in this is what I feel sets me apart from others, making change the end goal, not money. Art isn’t just a task to me; it is a mission.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory has definitely got to be linking up with my sister and closest friends and going to the Downtown Jacksonville Art Walks every first Wednesday. Just sliding around the city with that select group, in general, was always a good vibe. I will never forget the night that we went out to do God knows what. All I can remember is that we were hitting spots A to Z and we didn’t get home until about 2 am. Man, was my mama upset but it was definitely worth the fun that night. Now, it’s like we can’t even do that much because we all are older and have greater priorities. But I don’t have any regrets because I never took a second for granted while I was with them.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myahnart/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyahnArt
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/myahnart?lang=en
Kai Tillman, Brittany M. Watkins, Myah Freeman, Saint Ahmad, Abdou Soumaré