Name: Tyla Marshall, artistically known as Queen of Canvas
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL
Bio: Tyla Renee’ Marshall is an artist from Ft.Lauderdale, FL who has been drawing since the age of 12 and painting over 3 years ago. Art has always been a interest of hers but it wasn’t until taking art classes in high school that she decided to make something more out of her gift. As a self-taught artist, Tyla has since become extremely passionate about the arts, starting first with pastels and moving onto acrylic painting - her current medium of choice. She favors surrealism because it gives her the opportunity to fully express her emotions in a way that’s free from conscious rational control. Tyla’s art depicts positivity, love, enlightenment, and freedom.
Describe your experience as a current artist
I currently transitioned to a full time artist career over two months ago. I’ve been pursuing art for over 3 years part time but it wasn’t until I became a full time artist that I was really consistent with my work. Art has been a passion of mine for a long time now so I definitely knew it was something I wanted to take serious and pursue. I want to inspire people to be their greatest versions of themselves and to follow their purpose which is doing what they love to do. Through my art I tell stories and give the viewers a since of hope and inspiration.
What was your occupation prior to becoming an artist?
Prior to becoming an artist I worked part time in retail at forever 21 for 3 years. I absolutely hated working there and just the fact that I was working for someone else. It got to a point where it was depressing me because I was working a job I didn’t like, while still not having enough money to invest into my art because I had to take Uber’s to and from work everyday. On the third year of working there I decided that I really just couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to take that leap of faith to quit my job and pursue art full time. I debated it for a while but my higher self knew it was the right thing to do and all of the signs were there. I knew art was something I wanted to pursue full time and something I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I didn’t discuss my decision to quit with anyone in my family only a close friend knew, but after I did and I told my mom she wasn’t infuriated with me. My dad was also extremely supportive with my decision so I had a lot of support during my transition of going from working a job to pursuing my dreams.
What was your biggest obstacle in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle I was faced with during my pursuit with art was conquering my emotions and battling anxiety and depression. A lot of the time it caused me to steer away from my art because I would get to a point where I wouldn’t want to do anything at all, even though art is an outlet for me to express my emotions. I found it really hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to stay positive, and to push out art. What helped me was to continue following artists that inspired me and were doing things in their career that I wanted to do as an artist. I also watched a lot of motivational videos on YouTube along with consist prayer and meditation. Writing affirmations and goals also played a big part because it helped to remind me of the things I want to accomplish, and what I was put here to do. It helped me look forward to the future with excitement/hope rather than dwell on the negative going on in that present moment.
Describe your biggest milestone you’ve achieved since pursuing your art.
My biggest milestone thus far I would say is how far I’ve come with painting portraits. I started out drawing faces of celebrities and music artists back when I was 12 years old so I immediately started doing that when I got into painting. With pencil I was able to get an extremely realistic feel with my portraits but when it came to painting getting that same realness was a bit of a challenge for me at first. Overtime I found new and better ways to improve my blending and shading with paint to make my portraits come to life. With the help of all the past mistakes I’ve made from painting portraits in the past, I now apply those new techniques I’ve learned to my present pieces while still continuously learning more things to help me master painting portraits. I was also able to get recognition from rapper Rick Ross on a portrait I did based of his album cover “Rather you than me”.
How does your personal style and identity translate into your artwork?
My personal style and identity translates into my art through my ideal persona of myself. I like to think of myself as a queen and a powerful being so I incorporate that into a lot of my artwork. As a women sometimes it’s hard being faced with the unrealistic standards of beauty and being as emotional as we can be so I do my best to also create art that will inspire people to live in their truth and power, and show them that they are beautiful, strong, and powerful. I’m also a really big dreamer which is where my surrealistic pieces come into play. I’ve always had a very broad imagination so surrealism is definitely my go to art style because I can take all of the emotions and thoughts I’m having input them onto one piece.
What is one thing that makes your art unique?
My art is unique because I infuse surrealism with realism for majority of my pieces. Most of my art has a cartoonish style to it but I add realistic shading and detail to make it pop. I love to use very bold/ bright colors and outlining in my art also. I love to give human like characteristics to non-human objects, places, or things. Surrealism is also my favorite technique because I can really express my emotions too. With surrealism you can add so many different items and objects into one picture but it will still look collective. It gives the art a dream like feel and allows the viewer to interpret it in so many different ways. When I first got into art and painting Salvador Dali was a big inspiration to my art because of the fact that his pieces were so creative and he used surrealism.
How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration?
I follow a lot of artists on Instagram especially ones that have a similar art style to me and seeing their art on my timeline inspires me to create. I also follow art boards on Pinterest so if I’m having artist block or feeling a lack of creativity I just look through those art boards and find the pictures that speak to me the most and come up with my own interpretation of the piece. Sometimes I feel alone on my journey so I also have friends that are in the same niche as me and we all help each other out when we need inspiration or a push. When it comes to having a lot on my mind I like to meditate and pray. Fitness and a healthy diet is also something I incorporate into my daily routine to keep my mind and body right so that I have the energy to create. I try to surround myself with uplifting people and people that support me.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals and/or owning her own business?
Some tips I would give a fellow BGWP on furthering their art goals and/ or owning her own business would be to make sure that you’re very consistent. You have to make sure that you’re continuously creating and bettering yourself just as a person, and don’t be afraid to try new mediums of art or techniques. Create only what speaks to you and what comes from your heart, don’t compare your art or your journey so another. When you’re genuine with yourself and your art the specific clientele for you will find you. It’s important that when starting a business you do research and know everything about your niche as well as the business aspect of it aside from just creating and putting out content.
What is next for you?
Next I plan on getting into oil painting, it’s definitely a medium that I’ve wanting to learn for some time now. I also plan on hosting my own painting parties next year.
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
As a black girl that paints I try to show the beauty in black women. Often times were looked down upon and I just want black women to know they’re beautiful, powerful, and stron