Regardless of the city or circle or stage of life, I've met so many fantastic artists, and I'm taking this chance to show them off through my Artist Spotlight series. Meet Myla Seabrook!
Myla and I worked together last summer, and I was immediately enthralled with her fearless use of color in the terrific landscapes she creates. She was recently featured by Cultation, and her work is really fantastic. She's better at telling her story for herself, so I'll let her!
The Spoonful: Describe your style in five words. Myla: Colorful, loose, whimsical, nostalgic sometimes, happy
The Spoonful: What is your art background? Myla: I attended the High School of Art and Design and majored in Fashion Illustration there (random, I know, but I loved it), then went to Hofstra University and majored in Fine Art with a concentration in painting. Over the course of my studies I have created drawings, collages, paintings, sculptures, and various clothing designs. I also interned with the West Harlem Art Fund and completed a residency at Brooklyn Art Space.
The Spoonful: Whose work do you most admire? Myla: Albert Bierstadt. He has a huge painting in the Brooklyn Museum (my favorite) that inspired me even when I was too small to be able to create something so large. He was a landscape painter that managed to capture the drama of skies and sweeping vistas perfectly with every painting, and he also worked in the super large sizes that I someday hope to have the space to produce.
The Spoonful: Where do you find your inspiration? Myla: In nature. I spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at the sky or at trees, shadows on grass, the land around me when I'm up on a mountain or a bridge or in a plane, the colors of flowers. I love being awed by natural beauty, as I feel reminded of the majesty of the earth in moments like those. I am also inspired by books. I read a lot of science fiction and supernatural stuff, and I don't think anyone can create a fantasy world quite like science fiction writers can.
The Spoonful: Your ideal workspace consists of... Myla: A large table so I can space things out (I'm a messy person but I get kind of surgical about the layout of my workspace; brushes over here, paper towels over there, paints in the bin along the back...), an easel or two depending on whether or not I'm working on two paintings at a time, and a large wall to tack up some canvas and make a huge piece. Since we're talking ideal here, a ladder would be great too, because I have alllll that wonderful dream space. I also like a good wifi connection and a comfy chair. Sometimes I can spend twenty minutes scrolling through googled reference photos before I feel ready to put paint on the canvas.
The Spoonful: Greatest piece of advice on being an artist (creating, surviving, anything) that you've received? That you can give? Myla: The road to success is winding. And you get there when the time is right. My mom is always coaching me on patience and trusting myself, and I think that, when you're self-employed, those things are incredibly important. Sometimes my path leads me places I didn't plan on being; lately, life has been about adapting to new situations and making the best out of them, assuming that staying focused on my goals/ willing to work and learn will get me to the things I want. So far, so good!
The Spoonful: Five things you can't live without? Myla: My cellphone (I hate admitting that but there it is), mostly for the Kindle reading, the texting, and the web browsing. I have all the social media accounts in the world but I'm too lazy to be super active on them. A sketchbook or journal Nail polish (if I can't paint a canvas, may as well paint my nails, am I right?) Books. Actual physical books. Sunlight. Not just for the vitamin D... I really, really love natural light.
The Spoonful: Where can we find your work? Myla: No shows at the moment, but I'm always open to setting up a studio visit at Brooklyn Art Space for people who'd like to see what I'm currently working on. (Editor's note: Myla's art can be seen on her website and Facebook, too.)
The Spoonful: What's coming up next for you? Myla: Currently, I'm working on achieving my goal of making larger paintings, mainly through mural commissions. I've also been working on some concept design for books and book covers, so that's hopefully something the public will see from me soon!
Thanks for sharing your story, Myla! Can't wait to see what's next :)
Do you know of an artist to be featured on The Spoonful's Artist Spotlight series? Let me hear it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.