Q + A with Airyonna Ahmed
Airyonna lives in Newnan, Georgia where she teaches elementary school art. She focuses on abstract florals and pastel colors.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work!
My name is Airyonna Ayala. I am a local artist located just south of Atlanta, Georgia. I am an elementary school art teacher as well as an artist. I have a wonderful, supportive family. My husband, son, puppy, and leopard gecko are my world!
2. What inspired you to become an artist?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl. My grandmother is a wonderful painter and interior designer, and she would always be painting or decorating when I was with her. She is definitely the reason I started painting. I have always been creative. I’ve always had the mentality that I can create things on my own... I don’t need anyone else to create it for me. In college I loved trying all of the art mediums, which is probably why I decided to teach it. I just love too many art things!
3. What is your creative process?
I don’t know if I have a specific creative process. I think I’m more in love with the actual process of creating. I love trying new mediums and methods. It’s more the act of creating and the mindset I enter when being creative that I enjoy!
4. Tell us some daily struggles as an artist and how you deal with them.
I used to not have any struggles to create. In college I would have an idea, I would try it, it might work- it might not... but I didn’t care, as long I learned from it. These days my struggles are more real. The anxiety of not being taken seriously as an artist, or not being validated, sometimes hinder my process. The only thing that helps is just to play with new materials and focus on the process, not the product. I think that’s why my personal work is becoming more and more abstract.
5. What has been working for you business-wise?
In all honesty, I’m still figuring out the business side of things. I was told the other day by an artist friend that we creatives are not always the best at marketing ourselves because we are sensitive by nature. I completely agree with that. Making this an actual business takes time and patience. We are compelled to create. So, my best advice is to make relationships with local shops and galleries. Reach out to people that like your work. They will support you and they will promote you!
6. What's next for you in 2018?
2018 has been a crazy year for me. I started posting pictures of my art back in June. Since then, a lot has happened. I don’t know what will happen next, but hopefully it’s all good things. My fingers are crossed!