mikayla mikayla mikayla mikayl

mikayla mikayla mikayla mikayl Follow

"image" "maker" | pay your muses
chicago forever 📍 NYC TILL AUG 30TH


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What's one life philosophy that you live by? What do you strive to learn in this lifetime?

Something I live by is the belief that I am my own best resource.  I actively equip myself with as many artistic/academic/personal tools that I seek in the art world and in my own work so that when I need to make something, I can first look to myself and my skillset.  I feel like attaching this sense of value to myself is so important because in a lot of the academic and art world spaces that “fine art” is viewed in context to, there is an assumption that that the creators that we should be looking up to are white men with more access, money, and influence.  But if I desire something, I don’t want to look up to the people who assume that they know more, I’m a multifaceted individual and personally would much rather look to the value I put on my damn self. :) I strive to learn and take on these tools I seek and pass them onto likeminded individuals who may have not had the same art school and academic access that I have the privilege of experiencing.
Where does your creativity stem from? What is it about creating in multiple mediums and how does that cater to you? 
I started seriously painting around when I was around thirteen and I had a really raw art teacher in elementary school that put me on to Artemisia Gentileschi which got me obsessed with baroque and renaissance painting techniques and content.  Later on I got into reading about Kerry James Marshall’s attitude toward “objectivity" and representation in painting. Pulling from these concepts in painting as well as tropes in cinema and aspects of film studies that address race, gender, and philosophy within visual culture (particularly representation of black people), I get most of my ideas.
Being an interdisciplinary artist supplements my multifaceted approach to making because I feel like as someone who creates images, I should be aware of as many approaches to image making that I can be and use different mediums to inform a piece. Beyond that, because there so many corny monolithic ideas of what black people are supposed to represent in art and society, I try to make things that are more nuanced, intimate and viscerally impactful.
I had the extreme pleasure of being Elizabeth Wirija's 67th muse and got to talk about my views on art and tings while she photographed me trespassing parking lots in Brooklyn lol
Introduce yourself (age, where you're from, cultural identity). What are some things you are passionate about?

I'm Mikayla, I'm a 20 year old Jamaican and Puerto Rican Chicago native.  I am mainly an oil painter and video artist.  I use hyper saturated props and colors treating paintings like film stills and videos as if they are moving paintings. The majority of my work in these mediums is about blackness, performativity, and indulgence. 
I'm passionate about baroque painting, film theory, and muse reparations.  I’ll always be enthralled by painting as as a practice because marrying a painting forces me to sit with an image I've imagined and confront it head on for potentially months at a time.  I value this artist/object relationship because creating fast images is so accessible and attractive that choosing to sit through something so time consuming and psychological is lowkey ridiculous but rewarding to me.  Every time I paint I realize paintings are never decidedly finished, I just learn the points when to indulge or when to withdraw within each piece, there is always something new in the painting process that I couldn't anticipate while planning a painting that I always want to find out.
If you're interested in film theory at all! I'm gonna make another list that's on black aesthetics texts but those are all academic essays, not books so maybe I'll make a google doc or something if someone wants it
I don't wanna leave
tell the government there's a cherry sticker on my device cameras
old feelinz