In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to Kayla Charlton ( @kayla.jane27 on Instagram). #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.
PW- Hey Kayla! How’s it going?
Great thank you! How are you?
PW- Great thanks! So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up who you are and what you do?
My name is Michaela, Kayla for short. I’m originally from Surrey but have been living in Portsmouth for around 5 years now. I moved here to complete my degree in Animation at the University of Portsmouth, I then went on to do a Master’s degree in Computer Games Technology. I see myself as an artistic generalist, as I do a variety of creative work. I love getting stuck into projects working alongside other creatives, as well as creating my own personal art work. This includes animation, photography and sketches that I then turn into digital artwork.
PW- Your work has a very distinctive style. How would you describe it, and who/ what has influenced your style?
I have had a variety of different art styles in the past, the style I have now I developed throughout University. My digital artwork is usually quite bright and colourful…but weird, very weird. I think that’s what makes a piece quite striking though, if it looks slightly odd, something you don’t usually come across. I want it to surprise you. I suppose a lot of Instagram artists influence my style, particularly an artist called Robin Eisenberg. I like that her art is very outer space related, much like mine. I find that my emotions have a very big influence on what I draw/create. I believe no emotion should be wasted, positive or negative, happy or sad, there is always a way to express yourself through art.
PW- You post a lot of work up to your social media pages. If you had to pick a favourite piece from your Instagram, what would it be?
Yes I do indeed, I like to get my work out there to see what the public think. Hmm, I have a few favourites, but if I had to pick one I would say my ‘Cosmic Love’ piece is the one I am most proud of. It has a lot of meaning and emotion behind it. The overall design shows two hands touching, one green and one blue. Much like alien hands. But genuinely when I designed it, to me it stood for equality, being different, loving someone who is as weird and as indifferent as you are etc. It’s something you could interpret your own way if you wanted too, which ever way you look at it.
PW- What plans do you have for the future?
My plan is to continue down the route of digital design. I’d like to keep my personal artwork as a hobby of mine, its pretty special to me. But I want to stick to design related roles career wise for sure, especially in industries that thrive to be different. I currently have a design role within a new unique estate agency called NEXA, who promote all their properties through their main website and social media. I was drawn by their diverse brand and determination to be different. There is so much competition within this type of industry, but it’s a great creative challenge for me personally promotion wise.
PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think?
With me I think it’s a bit of both. I can be inspired by things around me, especially music. I’ve created artwork based on song lyrics before. But yes I do use my art to shut off from the world often. Throughout my Master’s course I was very stressed as anyone would be, I was having a bit of a hard time. So anything I sketched or digitally designed around that time was very much an escape from it all. I believe the best art is created when you are channelling different emotions into it.
PW- In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way?
I think that you should never give up. If you have a passion and talent for something, stick to it. Whether it’s a career or just a hobby. Continue to grow but most of all, work hard at it. Do something that will contribute to your growth each day one step at a time. One of the reasons I chose to stay in Portsmouth is because of its creative community. There are so many people in the same boat, who are open to collaborate and help one another become successful. This has opened my eyes to putting myself out there and meeting people who will help you on your journey.
PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can see etc, no judgement!
I have a website where I post a lot of my digital design/photography work. Check that out at https://kaykaycreations.weebly.com/. I also have an Instagram account @kayla.jane27 where I post a bit of everything I’ve been up to really. This includes illustrations, digital designs, photography and travel etc, all the good stuff!
PW- Thank you!