Artist Spotlight - Macayela Blackhorse
Updated: Aug 21
By Angelyn Labadan
1. First, give us a short introduction!
My name is Macayela Blackhorse. I was born in 1999 and I am an American of Norweigian and Native American descent.
When I was younger, I was primarily a self taught artist. I did not receive a formal education in art until I was accepted into art school. I was accepted into two well known art schools in Savannah, Georgia. At the age of 12, I attended Esther F. Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts. That education led me to be accepted into Savannah Arts Academy, one of the top rated schools at the time.
My art took a brief stop when I entered college. I thought I was dead set on pursuing a degree in Asian Studies. Oh how wrong I was. I knew I wanted to make art, but I was unsure of whether or not I should pursue it. It was a major challenge for me to overcome the doubt of others and pursue what made me happy. However, I can proudly say I made the change that was necessary. Now, I am currently a senior at Temple University Japan Campus majoring in art. If all goes well, I am expected to graduate in the Fall 2020.
2. Describe briefly the work that you do.
I primarily work as a sculptor and digital artist. My digital work is created with an iPad. To create my digital pieces I exclusively use Procreate.
As for sculpting, I work with paper clay and plaster gauze.
In a more professional capacity, I work based off of commissions. A majority of these commissions are sculpture based.
However, I am working to branch off into selling my prints as well. In addition, I am a proud art contributor to the Uprizine magazine.
3. How did you get introduced to your craft?
I was introduced to digital art through social media platforms. The platform Instagram influenced my desire to try digital art. The first tablets I had bought were not suited to me at all. Luckily, I found the right tablet for me and ended up really enjoying the medium.
As for sculpture, I was first introduced to relief sculpting by a high school art teacher. From there I experimented with sculpture by making plaster molds, relief sculptures, until finally making my way to clay sculptures.
4. What themes do you pursue?
In general, my art focuses on the theme of humanity. I am particularly drawn to themes of identity.The messages I focus on revolve around mental conflicts.
For example, recurring themes I find in my work revolve around confidence and external perspectives. My hope is that by focusing on personal areas of struggle, I can help others who relate to my art not feel alone.
5. How do you work/what is your process like?
My process starts with research. I know it sounds boring but I promise it is quite the opposite. Researching covers things like new inspiration, references, and all sorts of tools that can help you make your desired piece. That is why I am a big fan of researching before I take on a new project.
However, my process depends on whether I am doing personal work or professional work. The main difference between the two is drafting. I do not do drafts for my personal art. I take my references and apply them immediately.
On the other hand, when I do work for others it is necessary to implement drafting into my process. Afterward, I make my pieces until I am completely satisfied with them.
6. Do you have any long-standing influences?
I did not study art history much when I was younger, so most of my influences came from my surrounding environment.
I moved a lot in my youth because my parents were in the military. That allowed me to see numerous places and experience new cultures.
As I got older I found a liking for botanical and anatomical illustrations. Even more so, the designs associated with astrological art became very much to my liking as well.
The subject matter and line art is what drew me in most. To this day they still serve as an influence for my work.
As I started college I started to study art history more seriously. Through these studies I came to be interested in the work of David Hockney. His use of color in combination with his representation of human form is what really attracted me to his work.
7. How do you want your work to affect your audience?
Simply put, I want my art to have my audience look at themselves. Self reflection is an important part of my artistic process. I would like the audience to take my self reflection and see how they relate it to their own identity.
8. Can you describe your idea of artistic success?
For me, artistic success is being able to share and make art for a living. Though it is a difficult thing to do, I am sure it is worth the challenge.
9. What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I am working on growing my online audience through social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube. Continuing this growth will be a foreseeable part of my future.
In addition, developing a killer portfolio and applying to graduate schools in the United States is in my future plans as well.
Overall, I’m hopeful that my future will see even more art than before.
10. Let’s talk about one of your most recent and favorite projects: The Pink Oracle
Currently, I’m working on producing my own oracle deck. Oracle decks are used for multiple purposes, but mainly introspection. For me, the process of creating an oracle deck has much freedom. I can show whatever messages and illustrations want to. That freedom allows me to take my life experiences and translate them to unique pieces of advice.
For the longest time I tried to hold out on buying an oracle deck. It was not until my mom bought me a deck that I got into cards. For me, seeing the messages in relation to my situation at the time helped make my decisions easier. I am aware that it may seem weird to some people to trust random cards, but it is oddly comforting to me. However, oracle decks have been a big part of my life and my decisions.
I used to be really quiet about my love for things like crystals, astrology, and tarot. I would see people getting made fun of a lot for liking those things. In some ways I was afraid to be made fun of too.
As I got older, I started to own my liking for those things. Through that pride I have built a community of like-minded people. That is one of the main reasons why this is one of my favorite projects. I am excited to make my deck, and help people the way these decks have helped me.
Be sure to connect with Macayela via:
Thank you Macayela for taking the time to talk with us!
Artist Spotlight is a series hoping to promote local creatives from TUJ and beyond. We aim to cover a diverse range of artists from a variety of fields, so please follow us to find out about aspiring artists and more!
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