We had the good fortune of connecting with Ingrid Yuzly Mathurin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ingrid Yuzly, why did you pursue a creative career?
Creating has always been a way for me to express myself. Growing up, drawing was my escape from my reality. My childhood wasn’t always the best, but creating was the perfect way for me to de-stress and meditate. As far as a career, when I was 18, I sold my first couple pieces. I couldn’t believe it, and after having my first art exhibit it gave me the courage that I can actually create something that people want. During those years, selling work allowed me to feed my children. Being a painter is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

A couple years back in 2016, I quit my career as a executive makeup artist trainer for a big brand in order to spend more time with my children, it was then that I decided to work at my career of being a full time visual artist. Being a single mother of 2 children and 1 having a mental disorder was really difficult managing lots of travel and full time work on top of painting. My daughter had a crisis and that’s when I decided to focus on being a full time artist. It was the best decision I ever made. That was the start of my career.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, I attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for Fashion Design, that’s a fact not a lot of people know about me. I love fashion and its something that I will be merging with my art very soon.

What sets me apart from everyone else is my conceptual ideas and the work I create isn’t based on what’s trending. I create what moves my soul and I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. The work I’m working on now, is based on my life and will be about some of the trails and tribulations I’ve been through being a Haitian American Artist growing up in America. I remember visiting the Studio Museum in Harlem back in 2013. Seeing that exhibit of Gordan Parks and the stories he told with his work moved me and gave me chills. He showcased the stories of Black Lives and the culture so eloquently. His work showcased real life struggles but that way he didn’t was just beautiful. Because of him I fell in love with film. Seeing his work is a great example of the importance for me to share my life the stories of other amazing people.

Moving to Atlanta was probably the best move I’ve ever done. Career wise, people started to notice me when I did a project for Fabian Willams & Powerhaus Creative called Kaperbowl. So thankful I was able to paint a mural of Colin Kapernick for a protest during the super bowl. Because of that powerful mural campaign people started to pay more attention to the work I create. I also did a painting (self portrait of myself) wearing a t-shirt saying Danger Educated Black Woman that was showcased at 2 exhibits in Atlanta, it was soon acquired by Fulton County Arts & Culture. Another organization I am thankful too that is here in the city of Atlanta supporting arts & culture. Fabian is probably the first artist I met besides Dubelyoo that is so open to sharing and seeing artist in the community thrive. I am thankful to them for that. But overall I have been putting in so much work. I also work a full time job so I have many days of 3-4 hours of sleep just to get in some painting time.

Being a black female artist in a male dominated world isn’t easy. I’ve had many challenges in my career due to not having many connections and not having a network where I am able to get recommendations for shows. That made me work harder, it made me thrive to continue my studies in cultivating my craft so I can allow my work to speak for itself I am a product of that, that’s what makes me who I am. I am a firm believer that working hard and setting goals will continue to allow my dreams to come to fruition. The Universe has a funny way of manifesting things that are intended for you. This year alone I have seen things come to life that I could have never imagined. I look forward to continuing this journey and seeing what else is in store for me.

Lessons, I have too many gems to share, I’ve had quite a complex life, from being a young mother at 18 my senior year of high school, to dealing with 2 people in my life that have mental disorders. The best advice I can give anyone who’s just going through a lot of major things is to have faith, No matter how hard life gets, don’t give up. Think about the one thing that makes it all worth it. All the pain or long hours you’re putting in to create something, no matter how many no’s you get keep it moving and keep creating. Your life can change at any given moment and can turn to pure bliss.

I am excited about my clothing brand and my solo exhibit that’s set to take place in the Fall of 2021. I will be sharing my story of my family and how I became Omiyale. Omiyale is my spiritual name and I will go into detail of how practicing African spirituality saved my life. I will be showcasing personal paintings of my family, some abstract paintings and it will be my second time exhibiting photography and installation art. All of the work will not displayed on social media until the day of my show. You will need to have a studio visit to see what’s in store.

I am thankful to Fulton County Arts for supporting my exhibit for a recent grant I received The small business relief fund for creative entrepreneurs. Because of their support I will be able to document and get some of my supplies needed for my exhibit. I am also doing a Free painting workshop that they have sponsored that’s available to anyone who’s interested in learning how to oil paint which also gives you a peak at my first painting I’m creating for my show. The first class is set for October 25th and the remaining classes are throughout the month of November.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Aww so I am so very new to Atlanta, I’ve been here 2 half years and didn’t really have time to get out much but if my best friend was visiting I would convince her to take a weekend trip with me to Brooklyn in my old stomping grounds. We would start the day with visiting The Whitney Museum of American Art, afterwards head back over to Brooklyn in Bedstuy to have dinner at Grandchamps on Patchen Ave It’s my favorite Haitan Restaurant in Brooklyn, it makes me feel like I’m having a home cooked meal from my mother who’s Haitian.

We would go back to our rooms to get hella fly to head over to have drinks to listen to dope sounds and live music at Soulinthehorn. I remember one night I went and Eyrkah Badu was DJing, it was pretty epic and always fun times when I run into my artist friends. The next day we would recoup then have brunch at Bati to have Ethiopian food and drink some Honey Wine. After that I would hit my friend up Craig Anthony Miller to catch up with him in Dumbo and check out some of the new art he’s working on. We would probably end the night with drinks at Superfine and then head over to check out DJ Pudge at Bed-vyne on Thompkins Ave.

The next day we would head back to Atlanta, rest for the entire day. The following day we would wake up have some tea or coffee at Aurora Coffee, do some vintage shopping at The Clothing Warehouse and Psycho Sisters, I might even head across the street to Wish to get a new pair of sneakers. To end the evening I would cook her dinner because most my friends love my cooking. The next day would be her last day, so I would head over to the Goat Farm to have coffee and to check out TILA Studios, I would probably have a work session to check on emails and to catch up from checking out for the weekend. Afterthat I would call some of my friends to see if they would want to have lunch at Soul Vegetarian 2 on Highland Ave, after lunch I would bring her over to the High Museum to check out the latest exhibit then we would end the night at my house with some wine and catching up about our boyfriends.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Man I have a couple people I owe for being alive and also for cultivating my craft. First of all I owe a big thanks to my ancestors for making a way for me in the world that we are living in. From the beginning, my foster mother Malerie played a big part with me being an artist. She supported me and is probably my biggest fan. When I was 12 or 13 she became my foster mother and she helped to shape me to the woman I am today. She gave me so much love and allowed me to thrive creatively. I remember when I decided that I wanted to paint I made her garage my first studio I was 15/16. During that time was when I first becoming an oil painter. The next woman I want to thank is Dorinda, she was my mentor when I was 18 and just wanted to guide me towards the right way of life. She exposed me to a side that I was never around. She encouraged me to go school and to find a career to care for my children. But because of that, I was able to push myself to learn so I could become a painter. The last 3 people are my Spiritual God Mother Fayomi, without her I would not be here today sharing my story with you. I am forever thankful to her and the guidance that she gives me. Lastly, goes to my children. Without them, I wouldn’t have been as focused. I know I’ve spent so many amounts of time at the studio creating but everything that I do is for them, to create a legacy for them and to be a role model to them.

Website: www.yuzly.com
Instagram: Yuzlymathurin
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/yuzly
Twitter: www.twitter.com/YuzlyMathurin

Image Credits
Feature Photo by Toni Smailagic, studio photo of me hold brush is King Paul Photography all other images are by me.

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