We had the good fortune of connecting with Myah Freeman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Myah, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always been artistically inclined, entering in art shows in both elementary and middle school. When I reached high school, I’d become very aware that this was in fact my gift. My mother sought it appropriate that I begin sharing it with the world. So in 2015, I established an Instagram page for my art brand, MyahnArt. From here, I was doing free portraits and after a while began charging for them. This grew in consistency and I began doing commission work. Today, my overall goal for my brand is to represent and uplift my Black community. I provide creative services and products such as paintings, graphite drawings, digital designs, paint classes, and murals. I will always have my brand no matter what.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I believe what sets my art apart is my ability to tie some of my biggest endeavors into academia. During my undergraduate career, I’ve been able to participate in programs such as Global Scholars, IDEA Grant, and many more. My work’s main goal is advocating and spreading awareness. I got to where I am today by remaining consistent and having faith. There were plenty of times where I could have left art behind, but I kept going simply because I know this was a God-given gift. So, it was not easy with all of the self-doubt. As an artist, there are a lot of periods where the activity is low, so you begin to second guess until you get that moment of recognition that truly shows you that your work is worth it. My journey has taught me to value myself and my work. Business is business. many times, family and friends will want discounted or free work but if they truly value you they won’t mind paying full price. Lastly, I want the world to know that anytime you move with passion, you will always be triumphant, even in the midst of failures.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a proud native of Jacksonville, FL, a.k.a Duval County and I have a few favorite spots that I like to introduce people to. When I come to the city, my first stop is The Box on Myrtle Avenue. This is the best fried chicken combo you’re going to find. Just say you want the $5 combo, that comes with three crispy fried chicken wings on top of a slice of bread with a side of curly fries and a drink. Add hot sauce and ketchup on top. Then the beach, I must go there on a cool sunny day, all good vibes. Then for nighttime, I’m definitely hitting OP Skate, the actual name is Funworks, but everybody has nicknames for things. The key is going on a Sunday night, adult night. That’s a guaranteed good time. Every first Wednesday I used to beg my mom to take me to the Downtown Artwalk. Here we did rap battles, dance battles, and looked at work from many vendors. Lastly, we have Sweet Pete’s. A candy shop that started up in Springfield and then moved to the Downtown Jax area to a much larger space. They even had a window where you could look down in the lab while they made the candy fresh. And the sea salt taffy? The best.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to begin by thanking my mother and father for their continuous guidance. Even though my father is not here in the flesh, he continues to guide me spiritually. I would also like to thank all of my professors who have been influential including Dr. Keisling, Mr. Nolan, and Carrie Anne Baade. Thank you to Dr. Starke, former Director of the FSU CARE program, for giving me the opportunity to break generational curses. Thank you to my mentor and soror, Ms. Sharmonique, and to my co mentee, Dwight James III for inspiring me to be a trail blazer.
Corey Wheeler Photography (headshot) FSView (in walkway)