FEATURED ARTIST: Jahla Brown (Le BayBay)

 

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Tell me a little about yourself…

My name is Jahla Brown, I’m a Pisces and I live in the Pacific NW in Olympia, WA. I love crafting of all kinds, but my favorite mediums are screen print and computer graphic design. I have a small pop art business called Le BayBay, specializing in pop art: t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and sticker sets are my favorite things to make. I seasonally vend my pop art at events around the Olympia area with an awesome group of other local artists and crafters, in an open air street market called Make Olympia. I also have an online shop, which I promote through other social media sites like Facebook, Etsy and Twitter .  

How’d you get started, or what prompted you to begin crafting in your genre?

I’ve always loved to draw and create mixed media crafts ever since I can remember. When I was 13 my mom taught me to screen print and that’s when I fell in love with printing, stenciling and painting. In high school I attended the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics with a focus in visual art. Growing up I loved Kid Pix but it wasn’t until my college years that I started playing with Photoshop and other computer design programs.

How long have you been an artist or crafter? When did you first discover your artistic ability?

I’ve been obsessed with art and crafting as far back as my memory serves. I drew my fist picture when I was about two or three years old: it was a three-quarter view, attempt of a happy face on a sticky note, I even included an ear (although it looked more like the face of a person who just received some very upsetting news!) From there I moved on to drawing my favorite cartoon characters and have been working on improving my skills ever since.

 

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Where can we check out and buy your work?

I have an easy shop, check it out! :

http://www.etsy.com/people/lebaybay

What do you think sets you apart from other artists & crafters?

I’d like to think that my bright color pallet paired with my bold, happy pop art imagery and specific drawing style sets me apart from other artists. Also as a person of color, I like to create imagery that represents my culture and me; a tiny testament to how I view the world. Sometimes, I or my younger brother, show up in my art because we both represent young, proud Halfrican Americans of the modern age.  

What do you get out of being an artist or crafter?

Being an artist is exciting because there’s nothing like the feeling of manifesting and executing an artistic idea! Sharing art with my community constantly sparks my inspiration to create more and try new things.   It never gets old spotting strangers around town wearing something I printed! As an artist it’s been invaluable being a part of an art-centric community that has allowed me to participate in craft events, connect with and support other artists who are equally motivated; there’s always someone new to meet or something new to learn.

 

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Where do you get your inspiration?

My deepest pools of inspiration draw from my childhood faves (food, mystical creatures, animals, etc.), bright saturated colors, pop culture, celebs, my friends and their art and the work of other pop artists of the 70s, 80s & 90s, like: Peter Max, Leo and Diane Dillon, Patrick Nagel and Lisa Frank.

What’s the weirdest or most astonishing and controversial craft or artwork that you have ever created and how so or why?

At community craft events the art I vend is family-friendly considering children make up a large demographic of my customers. As for my personal art I regularly submit art to a local zine called SMUT; a collection of comically sexual drawings, comics, photos and erotic literature. In addition I currently have a collection of paintings on display for sale at a local medical dispensary featuring patterned cannabis leaves and pizza slices, that some might call controversial.

 

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What do others seem to love about your crafts or art, as far as feedback you have gotten?

People respond well to the bright colors and pop culture imagery I consistently use, I’ve heard it makes my work memorable and makes people smile.

What is your advice to fellow crafters & artists?

Create no matter what, and don’t hoard your art, share it! It’ll constantly renew your inspiration and motivation.

 

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How would you describe your style, or form of artistry?

I like to describe my style as pop art.

Do you have any future plans for your artwork or crafts?

I plan to go get my masters in graphic design, although I haven’t decided where from. I do know that it’s important to keep my craft a part of my personal time and I’d really like art to be a part of my professional life as well.   It’s also important to me to continue learning new technology, techniques and continue meeting other inspired artists in the field.

 

 

 

 

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