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Conversations with Kayla Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Johnson.

Hi Kayla, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Aart by Kay was birthed in March 2020. Yes, that is the month that the effects of the pandemic began to show on the majority of the world. To some, this was the beginning of decline or misfortune but to me, by the grace of God, it was the inception of a mutifacidid Fine Art business called Aart by Kay.

My skills as an artist were first realized in my freshman year of high school. I can remember it being very easy for me to illustrate and paint things. I assume my art teacher could tell that I didn’t have to put much effort to accomplish beautiful artwork. From then on she always challenged me. And for that, I am grateful.

I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. My time in college was thankfully filled with multiple international trips that broadened my perspective of the world and my ability to impact it. This led me to have a heart for those most disadvantaged.

Before the birth of Aart by Kay, I was working in the Caribbean on the island of Dominica as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My work as a Primary English Literacy Teacher allowed me to recognize my heart for kids and my willingness to support them. Even though I was passionate about the work, I was not utilizing the gift that God gave me in its fullness.

When my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer ended abruptly due to the pandemic, I didn’t know it at the time but God revealed to me shortly after that it was now my time to get to work on the gift He has given me as an artist.

Aart by Kay started out with commission-based artwork only. It eventually expanded to unique art sessions on our Youtube channel, Aart by Kay, Original artwork and prints, the illustration of two books that will be released soon, and most recently the funding of the Aart by Kay Foundation that provides resources to schools, children success programs, and the disadvantaged.

And I am humbled to say that this is only the beginning.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My biggest struggle has been the unlearning of being comfortable with believing more in the visions and dreams of others than my own. At the inception of Aart by Kay, I struggled with the unknown realm of working for myself and the comfort of a 9 to 5 job that has nothing to do with my passions or purpose. I struggled to maintain confidence in the vision at the beginning because I have never seen anyone else do it. I didn’t have a road map until God opened my eyes through Dr. Lovy L. Elias at Revelation Church, and I realized He has been giving me step by step directions to fulfill the vision He gave me.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Aart by Kay is a Fine Art business that provides high-quality artwork domestically and internationally. I specialize in customer-requested commissions. For example, If you have a vision of an art piece, I can translate your vision into a painting or illustration. My years of travel gives me access to the most picturesques locations and I am able to recreate them as paintings. It is a joy to share the world with the world. Some of these paintings can be found on our Youtube channel, Aart by Kay.

I am most proud of the ways Aart by Kay is used as a tool to support my passions. I love to teach and help others and the business allows me to. Either it be through our art tutorials on Youtube or the Aart by Kay Foundation that brings resources to those in need.

This is not your average Fine Art business. A percentage of every artwork sold goes directly to the Aart by Kay Foundation to support schools, children success programs, and the allocation of resources to the disadvantaged.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Something surprising is that I keep my walls relatively basic. I only have three of my own artwork in my art studio as decoration. I find myself always selling or giving artwork as gifts. I am not left with much but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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