She’s clearly taking her own advice. Within the 27-year-old artist’s colorful creations, sneaker-wearing flamingos cavort on beaches with disembodied eyeballs in a body of work that could be described as “Frida Kahlo meets adult cartoon Adventure Time.”
Preferring to use just her first name, Spanish-born Yai relocated to America at the age of 21. Originally a digital artist with a background in jewelry design, she was introduced to the world of painting by her then-partner, who bestowed upon Yai her first set of brushes and paints. She says she finds painting to be the most engaging of the arts, and she draws inspiration for her works directly from the world of Pop Art and cartoons – a style that is bright, vibrant and occasionally sarcastic, but most importantly to Yai, never negative.
Commenting on the distinctive differences between Spain’s laid-back “siesta” culture and America’s one of driven consumerism, she acknowledges our way of life both demands and rewards hard work, a challenge Yai says she is more than ready to face head-on. As one of the few women in Arizona’s traditionally male-dominated live painting and wall mural scene, she feels that she can serve as a role model for other young women: “I want them to know that they can do this… that they, too, can be an artist.”
“America has options,” Yai says. “You can do, and you can be, anything here.”
And what Yai hopes everyone would do is some good. “Do some good, and leave it better than how you found it,” she says, summing up her personal philosophy. “And when in doubt, add some eyeballs… everything’s better with eyeballs.”
See more of Yai’s work at yaiart.tumblr.com.