Kiasi’s Kreations reflects black community through art

Kiasi’s Kreations reflects black community through art

Kiasi’s Kreations reflects black community through art
October 01
10:00 2018

A woman with brown skin is dressed in yellow, surrounded by flowers. Tupac and Biggie sit side by side in front of a baby blue sky and a black couple embracing. These scenes come to life on several of Kiasi Young’s paintings.

Young, a media arts junior, started Kiasi’s Kreations after discovering her childhood hobby of drawing had bloomed into an ability to make paintings that move people. She started experimenting with painting in the spring semester of her freshman year and has built up her skills since.

“When I first started I was using markers, like the Copic markers — the really expensive [ones],” Young said. “Then I was  incorporating just a small amount of paint and I started moving up to only using acrylic paint.” 

Young has a clear vision for her paintings — she specializes in urban art because of the large influence black culture has on her worldview and experiences.

“I feel like that’s a big part of me: me being black,” Young said. “I feel like I gain opportunities from it, [and] also I lose opportunities. I have to remember that’s a big part of me, and I always want to honor that. I choose that with my art and the things I’m involved in.” 

Political science sophomore Anahdian Mitchell has been friends with Young since last December. She said she appreciates that Young celebrates black people in her art.

“When I saw [her art], I was mind-blown because the art she does is [the] empowerment of black women,” Mitchell said.

Although she aims to bring this to her art, Young feels that UNT is lacking a solid support system for black artists.

“There is not a community,” Young said. “I am in this organization called Student Artists Entrepreneurs, [and] I am the only black person in that organization. I always feel out of place there, so I really never [go to] the meetings.” 

To remedy this issue, Young wants to start her own organization on campus.

“Let’s say you are a designer, you are a painter, you’re a graphic designer — whatever creativity that you have, I want you to be able to be a part of our [organization] and build off that,” Young said. “We don’t have any organization where we can all come together and give more connections. I want to be able to create that.”

Young often likes to paint her subjects as cartoons, using a ’90s or an early 2000s theme along with bright colors.

“My ultimate goal is to actually create children’s cartoons and movies,” Young said. “I want to hand draw them out, but of course digitally transform them. That’s why my major is new media [with a] focus in animation. I just want to be able to use my drawing skills and my technology skills and put them into one. You may see [my work] on Disney one day — just look out for me.”

Her dream of making cartoons for Disney led her to take up graphic design her sophomore year.

“After I made my logo for Kiasi’s Kreations, that’s when it kind of erupted and everybody knew I was really good at art,” Young said. “They were like, ‘Hey, how about you make this logo for me, this flyer, this website?’ [I agreed] because I also designed my own website. It was just something really simple for me.”

Young sees a difference in her painting and graphic design work, noting the personal touch painting requires.

“Me painting -— that’s my own creativity,” Young said. “Not everybody can be a painter. Anybody could be a graphic designer. If you just go to YouTube you can do it, but not everybody can, off the bat, know how to paint or draw. That’s my specialty that nobody can take from me.”

She paints things important to her in hopes that people can see that.

“I love nature, so a lot of my paintings have plants incorporated in [them] because that’s just something I’m passionate about,” Young said. “I feel like cartoons taught me a lot of what I know today and inspired me a lot, so that’s just another passion I hope I can make other people feel.”

Broadcast junior Alaisha Sells is a close friend of Young’s who has been affected by her art. Sells said Young’s art is unique because of the experimentation she uses.

“She has inspired me to not give up,” Sells said.”I like how she is willing to take a chance. She’s a risk taker when it comes to her art. She is pretty much willing to try any and everything and makes sure it is perfect. Even when it doesn’t go the way she plans, she finds a way to make it work.”

When Young first started lending her graphic design abilities to others, she would create things for free for her friends and offer discounts to organizations on campus.

“[Since then] I felt like I built my credibility and didn’t need to do anything for free, so I don’t allow myself to,” Young said.

Some clients have been surprised at Young’s rates for services, though she deems them more than reasonable.

“[People] don’t understand I have to buy this canvas, I have to buy this paint, this easel that’s sitting on top of it — I bought,” Young said. “Everything going into it, I had to pay for, so I have to make some profit. That’s where you have to price for your time and productivity. You just have to know your worth and how good you really are, and that other people can’t create what you can create.”

Young wants the art she creates to spark something inside of those that see it.

“Maybe it can inspire [you] to want to make sure [your] kids have a better childhood,” Young said. “Or you see a painting of black love [and] you’re like, ‘That’s a love that I want.’ I have to focus more on how I can get to that. It’s just inspiring you for the future.”

Featured Image: Junior media arts major Kiasi Young is influenced by urban art and black culture when painting her vision. Young started experimenting her vision for Kiasi’s Kreations during her freshmen year. Matthew Flores

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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