To Top

Meet Savannah Gayle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Savannah Gayle.

Savannah, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Well, I’ve always been creative and my interest in art started at a young age. I was always trying to recreate something I had seen in a way that allowed me to express myself. As I grew up and turned my attention toward other things, I never lost interest in being creative. And now, years later, I’m still finding ways to express myself through art.

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?
The road has been bumpy at best. I’ve had more than a few small obstacles in the road just like anyone else. However, I’ve had to overcome two major hurdles: my mind and my eyesight.

I say I had to overcome my own mind because I never thought I could do this. I thought art was something all young people did. On top of that, I never really thought I was any good at it. I would look at my work and say, “it’s alright but ‘so and so’ could do it better.” I felt there was no point in doing it if it couldn’t be perfect. I didn’t see perfection in myself so I never took myself seriously as an artist. I wouldn’t show my artwork to anyone because I didn’t want them to say anything bad about it.

Strangely enough, my second major hurdle helped with the first. In 2017, I began to lose my eyesight. Today, after many doctor visits and three eye surgeries, I am legally blind. I have very blurry vision with my left eye and can only perceive light with my right eye. This is now the best my eyesight will ever be. I’m usually an optimistic person, but I was devastated when I heard my diagnosis. I was certain that there was no silver lining. I thought my life, as I knew it, was over. And it was.

Fortunately, I was introduced to the Braille Institute. Through Braille Institute, I was able to learn how to navigate through life as a newly blind person. I took art classes and met people who encouraged me. They looked at my artwork and helped me understand that I was an artist before blindness and I am an artist now. Losing my eyesight helped me find confidence in my artwork.

The road to success will never be smooth. I struggle with different things every day. But I believe in myself and my abilities. I push myself to keep creating anyway.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I work in two mediums. I make large mixed media pieces using recycled objects like cardboard packaging, fabric, broken vinyl records, etc. I also work digitally on my iPad using the art application Procreate.

My artwork is mostly fashion art and stylized portraits. I love fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer as a kid and for a while, I made clothing and accessories as a side hustle. Now, I make fashion art as a way to stay connected to that side of my creativity. The people I draw usually don’t have facial features because I can no longer see people’s facial features. Some of my artwork is purposely blurry because that is how I see the world. Through my artwork, I try to convey my reality.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I’m not sure where the art industry is going. I don’t think I could predict anything because there are so many possibilities and each artist brings their own ideas and creativity to the table.

What I hope to see is more accessibility for people with disabilities. Even though I still have some usable sight, I struggle not only in creating art but also viewing it. I would like to see changes in the way art is displayed so that all people can experience it.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in local stories