Getting To Know Skylan Abraham... Her Passions and Her Vendor Experience
This is the exchanged interview between Andrea Geones and me. I thought it'd be a nice way for you to get to know me further, so I wanted to include my side of the interview.
(originally posted on Words Between Coasts)
"Sky Abraham is a wonderful and inspiring art creative, writer, and mother of three young boys. We decided to sit down and ask her some questions about her life as an artist and what it’s like to participate in vendor events.
Tell us how you started your journey with art. (How old, what medium, etc.)
There’s always been artistic influence in my life.
When I was younger, my mother often painted in the early morning hours at the breakfast nook table; the house was quiet – her coffee always close-at-hand – and I often watched as she did so.
My father’s grandmother was also an artist, and he used to show me her old sketchbooks. I think that was the start, but what really got me going (wanting me to be an artist) was actually a Japanese show called “Fruits Basket.” I fell in love with the personality of the main female lead and wanted to be like her…but I thought I never would because she was always so sweet, and perfect (watching it later I realized that wasn’t the case) but I decided if I couldn’t be her, I’d draw her– and so my art journey began.
That was when I was 9 years old. I started with a pencil and a sketchbook, and I took it with me everywhere.
Were/are the people around you supportive of your artistic endeavors?
I think the vast majority of my family was supportive. I have an artistic Aunt, on my dad's side, who sent me art books to reference and read. “How To Draw On The Right Side Of The Brain,” was one book in particular she sent me, and there was some valuable info there. My mother and father both loved how passionate and driven I’d become towards art, so they never deterred me once, and I’ve never stopped.
What’s your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is most definitely Acrylic Paint. It’s what my mom used. It dries fast, it’s easy to work with, and it was easy to cover up mistakes.
What do you like to do with that medium? (If it’s painting, what do you like to paint, etc.)
I paint on either stretched canvas or canvas boards the vast majority of the time. I love to paint dark themes that are colorful, but also paint portrait and animal commissions.
Who are some of your greatest inspirations?
My mom is definitely my biggest. Her art style was always so cool to me: emotive, and every artwork was a puzzle of hidden messages and feelings. That’s something I’m hoping to emulate within my own work. FIB for “Feeling Is Being.” www.artbyfib.com
Is it difficult to work on your art being a mother of three young boys?
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult at times. Being a mom means you’re constantly needed, but I get breaks when the kids nap, and I usually stay up late just to paint, or write, or just be– “where there’s a will, there’s a way” as they say.
Do you have other artistic family members?
Yes. I mentioned my mom, my aunt, my grandmother– but I also have a grandfather who used to sketch all the time, although I never knew that until recently– his day-job was so drastically different that I never suspected –although he was definitely always one of my biggest supporters.
Are you experimenting with anything new these days?
Am I currently? No. Do I have plans to? Absolutely. I have a ton of ideas for mixed media artworks that I can’t wait to try out. I’m only holding off at the moment because of my current workload. Something new I started doing recently though (part of the current said workload) is customizing shoes, and it’s a fun and interesting process.
What do you enjoy doing aside from art and writing?
I love reading. I haven’t really taken the time to sit down and do so for a while now, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved books. I also really love watching gamers on YouTube, like Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, and Dashie – they’re hilarious, and watching them play scary games like Poppy Playtime is the best.
You recently had an art showing at the Art on the Alley event in Ohio. Can you tell us a little bit about what Art on the Alley is?
Art On The Alley is this super cool event in Downtown New Philadelphia where tons of people gather and there’s art, music, food. It started as a project to revitalize the town and it’s now celebrating its 5th year.
So, the first time I showed my art to outsiders, I’d probably have to say was in High School. I attended Cypress Lake’s Center for the Arts in Florida, and the school had its own personal gallery where we, the students, got to display our artwork and hold shows.
This Years Art On The Alley is the second vendor event I’ve participated in: my first was AOTA back in October.
How did you get involved with that organization?
It was just something my friend told me about. I looked up their FB page and applied to be a vendor back in 2021… and I’m so glad I did. I'm looking forward to both events this year, and I was even inspired to apply to another of Phili’s events, called Night On The Alley, which is more music-based but exciting all the same.
What were some things you learned from your time there?
I absorbed as much information as I could. I looked at how other people set up their areas, what sold, and later invested in whatever I felt would aid further success at this year's event.
Did the experience inspire you in any way?
I'm always inspired when I meet and talk with people, especially other artists. If anything, it made me proud of my work and eager to improve in whatever ways I could.
How did you challenge yourself to prepare for the event?
To prepare, I invested in anything that would make for a better display of my art; from a proper business sign to stand-up easels and even a retail hanging rack– I wanted everything to be well-read and properly designed rather than thrown about the table.
It can be scary to put yourself out there. Did you find it a little daunting?
I was fairly nervous…because my art is so weird, I didn’t know how I would come across or if anyone would even like my work– but I sold two originals (one’s displayed in New Phili’s City Block Studio) and a few prints– a few days following I sold a painting I had been working on at the event (to pass the time) – the nice lady who purchased it from me was watching like a hawk to when it would come up for sale and bought it instantly– I was really grateful.
What did you learn from participating?
Take the risk! You never know what kind of outcome you’ll get.
What was your favorite part about the event?
Just reacting and talking with people about my art and hearing different stories that people had to tell. I’m a rambler when it comes to art though– I just get so excited.
How do you feel it went?
I feel it went great…there was a huge turnout of people– lots more engagement this time and I didn’t shy away from talking to others like I have a tendency to do sometimes. Although I feel I could have pushed myself further, it did result in some opportunities– the biggest one is a possible display wall in a home decor store, which is super exciting stuff!
What is the greatest lesson that art has taught you?
Art has taught me resilience in the face of adversity– adversity being the naysayers and even myself at times. Strive, strive, and strive some more. It’s what shaped everything I am today– "