Aspirants + Apprentices


Akasha (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Leo

I grew up in San Francisco, and have learned a lot of wisdom and experiences from the challenges of life. There have been a lot of distractions in my life but I have learned that all that matters is my happiness because, at the end of the day, you’re living for accomplishments and good memories. I’d like to one day have stable housing with my significant other. Hoping to one day pursue my dreams of becoming famous on youtube with my artistry. I joined YSA in June 2017, overall my experience has been good. I made a lot of friends, enjoyed making art in the workshops, and participating in the community projects.  YSA has provided a community, and family for me and they inspire me to keep moving forward.

I’m a painter, doodler, and sculptor. My artist inspirations are my family, MC Escher, and Mike Dream.The materials I use are pencils, canvas, and acrylic paints. I create art because I’m good at it and it makes me happy to see other people enjoy my art. The reason why it makes me happy is because I like to hear people’s thoughts and feedback towards my work. I also want to become a makeup artist because I want to make other people feel beautiful about themselves.


Allegra (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Virgo

My name is Allegra, I’m a bay area native and have lived in different parts of it over the last few years. I am an aspirant at YSA and have been participating for 8 or 9 years. I started at YSA during my sophomore year of high school. YSA has taught me to be respectful to the elderly and individuals struggling with homelessness. I have a lot of interest in writing screenplays, stories, plays and pull inspiration from singing, acting, dancing, music, and writing. I see a lot of value in art because it is a way to create a whole new world and it’s a lot of fun. I was in 12th grade when I came to YSA. YSA provided a job for me when I needed one and it has taught me a lot of job skills.

For my artwork and stories I get my idea’s from my brain where I see images that I then draw. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way I want and that is upsetting for me, but I ask for help to guide me in making it better.


Angel (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Taurus

I have been at YSA for two years. YSA is the place where I can be me and express myself. Many people have helped me in my life. The happiest moment in my life was when I made new friends at YSA. My favorite art piece is my painting of a geisha. My dream is to become an animator like Hayao Miyazaki. The biggest challenge that I have now is how to be a good Apprentice Leader.


Ava Blu (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Pisces 

I’m Ava Blu, I like doing all kinds of mediums and sizes of art. I really like watercolor and pen but I also like painting on big surfaces with acrylic. I have been doing art ever since I was little because my mom is also an artist. We would always do art projects and art stayed with me through out the years.

I joined YSA April 2020, my experience has been really good. It helped me get off technology during quarantine, it taught me some new techniques, and have better time management skills.


Diego (he/him)


Zodiac Sign: Capricorn 

I recently joined YSA this year 2021, I came here because I like art. I’ve enjoyed the experience with methods of art making, I like the people and connections I’ve made, and feeling support in my artistic endeavors. 

My artwork I use a lot of floral objects, I’m inspired by the street art around me. I pay attention to colors a lot, I really like using bright colors. I seek inspiration through social media and pop culture troupes. I use acrylic and aerosol paint. Making art is a hobby of mine in addition to doing murals in my community.


Eloni (she/her)

For me, YSA is a productive and supportive community. Everyone is close and YSA really puts value on their employees well being. It’s a great non-judgmental accepting environment and has changed me a lot. My biggest challenge in my life is something I am still struggling with, my relationship with my mom. YSA has helped me through it.

Someone who helped me a lot at YSA is Mame Diarra. She has helped me open up and find myself, in and out of YSA. I hope as time goes by I can make a positive impact on someone, as well. I felt really happy at YSA on a Friday during a really inspiring meeting. My favorite art piece is my poster, because it acknowledges beauty and the importance of black women. It’s a really personal piece. I think my future is going to involve a career related to math.


Feng (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

I recently joined YSA in April 2021, my experience has been good so far by helping me get things off my mind and expressing them through drawing, boosting my motivation that I didn’t have before YSA, and I’ve learned how to develop my art skills. 

I seek inspiration from various artists I find in web comics I read online (Webtoons) made by various artists, twitter, and instagram. I like to create both digital and analog art. I like to draw my own character designs and enjoy making comics for my characters.


Isabel (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Virgo 

My name is Isabel Gallegos. My age is twenty-eight years old. My position in YSA is being an apprentice leader. I have been going to YSA for five years now. I learned how to work in the community by building the Tiny House Village, painting murals, and publishing my poetry in the Street Spirit newspaper. My hobbies is playing with my American girl dolls, rainbow loom, write my book, and listening to new books by different authors already made books. 

My creative ideas come from the books I read and animals I find on the internet. I do art because I like doing it and I want to use my art to illustrate my books I’m writing.


Isabel (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Cancer

I joined YSA in the summers starting 2020 and now recently came back for the Fall semester of this year. I joined YSA through a friend at school and was interested in getting paid to do artwork and learn new art mediums. I’ve enjoyed learning more about different business practices for art (marketing, merchandising, production, and gallery showcases), learning new art mediums (printmaking, sublimations, watercolor and sew), and creating a communal art project. 

In my artwork I seek inspiration from mythology, fairy tales, childlike imagination, tv shows, and anime. I usually just draw in pencil or pen, but recently have been exploring the vibrancy of color in painting instead of just black and white. The subjects I explore are facial expressions, flowers, mythical creatures, and random doodle patterns and shapes.


Myla (she/her)


Zodiac Sign : Tores 

I recently joined YSA in the Spring of 2021, so far I’ve been able to express myself and aware of how I feel in the moment using art as an outlet. I’ve been in contact with other cool people in the bay area that I would have never met before. I’ve also gotten a lot of encouragement to achieve anything I put my mind to also long as I keep believing in myself and connect with the right people to help me get there. 

Some people that inspire me are Julisa Lee (content creator on IG) and Arianna Grande (music artist). They make me feel empowered to be a women by reminding me of the position I hold a femanist how I should feel proud of it despite the standards society has.

My main medium is fashion and making clothes. I’ll mix up what I make with what other people make and mix it together into my own style. People don’t always see the full me, instead they like to assume they really know me. So in my creations I like to show people the different layers of who I am. I like to sew by doing patchwork on garments, sourcing from thrifted pieces. I feel wearing a good outfit changes my entire mood and gives me the boost of confidence I need for the day. It really helps with my attitude. To brainstorm my pieces I do a mix of using an app, sketching on paper, or going off my head and get right into sewing.


Kaine (they/them)


Zodiac Sign: Virgo

I joined YSA in the Spring 2021, so far my experience has been very comforting because of the open and friendly community, creative freedom, and hearing everyone’s diverse perspective on things. In reality I create what cannot already be achieved. Fantasy brings me joy and the experience of creation alleviates my desire for the impossible. I start unknowing of what I create beforehand, with graphite it flows onto paper until it becomes a piece. Making decisions as I go I believe art should hold no rules
as long as something is created.

Onye (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Tores

I joined YSA August 2018, I found out about YSA because they had a stand at our school to get folks to come work there and me and my sister signed up. At YSA I met a lot of cool people I consider friends today, helped me expand my art style doing a lot of stuff outside the box I normally wouldn’t do, and I’m grateful for the support they offer homeless people. 

My artwork I do art when I’m bored, I’m more of a performing artist. I like to draw people I see in real life that I find beautiful. When I finish the drawing it doesn’t always look like the person, but you can still tell who I based it on. I don’t intentionally but I tend to draw black people. I think it comes from me using myself to practice drawing my features. So it happens naturally for me to draw people that look similar to me. I mainly like to draw using black pen.


Stephon (he/him)


Zodiac Sign: Capricorn 

I first joined YSA in 2013, but left for a bit and came back recently in 2021. It was one of places I remember to come back to because I enjoyed my time here. I was already doing art at home and wanted to expand my art skills here in the studio. YSA has gotten me to learn how to be more creative, to practice being a professional artist, and found the Senior Artists really helpful. 

For my artwork, what gives me inspiration is my emotions which create the mood of my pieces. My style is pretty versatile where I can create cartoons, realism, symbolism, and landscapes. But what I create is guided again by my emotions in the moment of what I feel creating. I like to use all mediums as much as possible because I like to experiment with different looks for my artwork. I enjoy releasing my creative ideas and putting them out in the world for others to see.


Wenyan (she/her)


Zodiac Sign: Tores 

I recently joined YSA in Feb 2021, my experience has been good so far. It’s been really fun, everyone is really friendly, and I enjoy creating. 

My artwork is inspired by things I see around me. I use materials that I have available to me like pencil, color pencils, and watercolor. I also like to do mixed media by including everyday objects in my life by gluing them onto paper and drawing around them. I like to create because it’s fun and I like how you can use this experience to express your feelings.


Kamaria (she/her)

I am Kamaria Armstead. I was born in Bakersfield, California. I have a simple life. I like making a lot of friends. I am an apprentice at YSA. One thing YSA has helped me out with is opening up to people a little bit more. Art has helped me through some tough times. A challenge I’ve overcome is racism. It’s been hard to deal with but I’ve been coping through it. One goal I have is to graduate Berkeley High School with a 3.5 GPA. I’d like to go to college and study Law or Business.


Christian (he/him)

I was raised in Alameda, in a very white neighborhood. I went to Lum Elementary and Wood Middle School before i moved to Berkeley. Some goals that I’m trying to achieve are a 3.0 GPA, college acceptance letters, and a good job. I have worked at YSA for a couple months, and have learned a lot about people who are less fortunate than me and I am very lucky to be in YSA It has helped with my anxiety, my ability to speak in public and expressing my art. I have benefited from YSA due to the money and opportunities to be part of a greater purpose.


Peter (he/him)

I was born in Bakersfield, then I moved to Oakland in the year 2000. Oakland groomed me into a hard worker. Growing up I’ve always wanted to be successful. Being an aspirant at YSA it has helped me come out of my shell. In more ways than one YSA has helped me improve. Ever since I’ve started coming to YSA my mood and spirit have been lifted and now I know how to make the most out of everyday.


Ren (she/her)

I am currently a Berkeley High School intern at YSA. I was raised in the Bay Area. I grew up with two older siblings and my parents are divorced. I am working towards going to college. At YSA I have learned the importance of people’s voices being heard. Art is my therapy. Some challenges I have overcome are depression and my parent’s divorce. I am a mixed race person, and while at YSA I feel like I have helped people by creating art, which is really cool.