Tribe Citizen



Introducing your art to the masses can be one of the most frightening and humbling experiences. A lot of people don't realize the amount of courage it takes to introduce your heart, your skill, your baby essentially, to the world. Taking that step is the hardest part for a lot of artists. Having the courage to believe in your process is the most important step. Here is where our latest Tribe Citizen Falls. Meet Nykey, she's new to the scene but she's definitely holding her own.

Who is Nykeasha and when did you fall in love with your art?

Nykeasha is Key. Everyone calls me "Key" which is short for Keasha which is where Nykey comes from whenever I sign my work. I'm just a 27 year old still trying to figure herself out. I'm very naive. (I probably shouldn't mention that huh lol). Being naive is something that I feel really defines a part of who I am. I get told that I'm a very humble artist a lot also. I just truly appreciate the simple things in this world. Something that everyone is aware of about me is the fact that I like older things. Older homes, cars, clothes, jewelry, furniture,songs, just everything. It's where 80% of my inspiration comes from. I'm an self-taught, I've only taken an art class once, in the 2ND or 3RD grade.

I've only recently fell in love with my art. It's weird. I guess that I was unaware of my potential. I only started painting about a year and a half ago. Up until then I always considered myself a sketch artist who was nowhere near consistent. I wasn't into colors at all. I actually can't color lol. I guess that's why I never really noticed my potential because in the back of my mind I kept thinking "I can't even color". Whenever I'm creating now I always tell myself to just create however I see fit. So if I decide that I want a piece with normal sized eyes and super big lips then that's what I'm going to create. I fell in love with my art once I accepted my control and freedom.

I remember you saying you are only recently putting your art out there. Describe your decision to showcase your work and what held you back?

Yea, I started putting my art out there the beginning of 2015. I missed a lot of opportunities due to me not being ready to showcase my work and take it serious. I posted a few old sketches one day on Facebook and people actually liked them, I was kind of surprised honestly. I started sketching names which caused me to start posting more consistently. One day I was asked to paint a portrait (portraits aren't my thing at all), and I accepted the challenge. I was really amazed at how it turned out. Before you know it everyone wanted me to do portraits and in between that I would just paint to practice but people ended up loving my "practice pieces" which is how it all started.


 Do you sometimes find it difficult to tell your personal story through your art?

I've never really told my personal story actually. I usually just tell the shorter version of how I got into painting. One day my best friend was sitting in to living room painting and so I decided to join him. I painted another friend of ours and everyone was so amazed at my "techniques" that I figured I must be good at this lol.


Whats something you want to see more of in the art scene in the south?

I'd like to see more graffiti art and creativity. I feel like we're kind of "closed minded" here. Sometimes when people see my work they get this puzzled look on their face like "hmm, that's interesting". I have this piece with a woman without eyes and a friend asked if I was going to finish it. I told her that it was finished and she replied "without no damn eyes?!". I don't get offended though, we all have our opinion of what art is.

In your opinion, whats the most sacred part about being an artist?

The freedom. The freedom of expression and the gift to be able to create original pieces to share with the world. I love just being able to actually feel free in every aspect of the word. I'm still learning and practicing with every piece that I do and to be able to own that experience is pretty sacred to me. Plus you get to create free art for yourself...that's awesome too.