Youth Spirit Artworks leaders are engaged in empowering and transformative ways of thinking and art-making. They create original art pieces on their own and in collaboration with their peers and staff. Leaders utilize their artistic abilities and entrepreneurial skills to dream up and assist with community engaged public works of art. Most projects are entirely youth run!
Youth Leader (Junior Artist)
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Hi my name is Aceeyah, I am a self taught artist and most of my inspiration comes from my culture. I am a traditional and digital visual artist! I joined YSA in July 2020, my mom told me about it. I was excited to join an organization that’s dedicated towards improving the community and encouraging creativity. I’ve experienced improving my management skills, my collaborative skills, and learning how to be professional in a workspace.
My friends inspire my artwork, because the emotions I feel around them I’ll take it as a point of inspiration and communicate it in color that goes into my pieces. Also my mixed cultural background inspires the symbolic images I use in my artwork, such as patterns, people, and clothes shown. I gravitate using watercolor and using Procreate to create digital art. I create to express my opinions on modern problems taking place, creativity, and telling personal stories. When I make art for myself my voice is strong, but when I create for others my voice is restrained. I experience most joy when I create in the moment when I’m feeling an intense emotion that helps guide my artwork which can be in the form of an art piece or art journal.
Apprentice Leader (Sales Associate)
Zodiac Sign: Leo
I am currently an apprentice at YSA. My hometown is Oakland, California. The spirit of entrepreneurship inspires me. People say I am such a terrific salesman, I could sell ANYTHING. My preferred artistic style is Abstract on Canvas. I create art out of love and joy, and I care about my audience. I joined YSA in 2012, I got brought through my ACAT youth teacher. My experience at YSA has been enjoyable because of my involvement in the community by helping build the Tiny House Village, having a voice in meetings, and creating artwork to sell and share with the community.
Images come into my brain and I draw or paint them. I mainly paint in acrylics because I like making them smooth by adding water and I like the feel of using a brush. Right now my theme is cats, because of a previous project I did for a client who wanted a cat design. I create because I feel good being an artist and my style is abstract. I love doing artwork for me and customers love my art. It makes me feel good when everybody buys my art. I’m a top seller! Art gets me in my flow. I like to be real with myself. I want my audience to know me, so my art conveys stories about my life. Art-making provides me an opportunity to challenge myself and to engage in a process of growth. Creative independence and autonomy remain a consistent goal of mine. I like to feel powerful, and when I create art I feel very, very powerful.
Youth Leader (Community Arts Organizer)
I am a bay area raised Illustrator, painter and muralist. Mixing regional flora and forms with invented mythologies, my art is inspired by the wilderness and hidden or forgotten places. I came to YSA to participate and engage with my wider community, and develop new skills to further his practice. I am currently working on expanding our capacity for screen-printing production.
Apprentice Leader (Sales Associate + Community Arts Organizer)
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
I was originally just helping my friend out with the community murals that YSA was involved over the summer and then recently officially joined YSA in January 2021. So far I’ve learned a lot about people’s lived experiences and how I’m connected to that in some way, excited to be collaborating on more mural projects, and meeting new people that are like minded in creating and utilizing art for the purpose of serving the community.
My creative process goes external then internal. I need a few weeks to hangout to then do my art extensively for 2 weeks then go out and socialize again. Harness the energy from drawing to then go channel my energy to hangout with friends then go back to drawing. The people that inspire me are 70s comic artists, 90s graffiti artists, and my friends.
My favorite medium is to constantly doodling with pencil.
Apprentice Leader (Social Media Manager Assistant)
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
I joined YSA August 2020, my experience has been nice to do art, the community is supportive and nice, and its a good way to practice your skills and new skills. I seek inspiration from other artists, nature, and my experiences. The materials/mediums that I primarily like to use are pens, pencils, and paint.
Youth Leader (Social Media Manager)
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
I am the Social MeanCommunications Leader at YSA. I grew up in Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. I currently live in Berkeley. I’m working towards earning an Associates Degree in Animation and Game Design from Berkeley City College, gaining more social media management/ coordination experience and establishing a more notorious video game career as a streamer and competitive gamer. Since I’ve been at YSA in August of 2015, I’ve worked as an Aspirant Artist, Social Media Leader, Board Member, and Assistant Project Manager. There are multiple skills and knowledge I’ve learned here such as getting more comfortable with public speaking, how to be a social media coordinator, getting familiar with different genders and sexualities, as well as seeing the positive influence that YSA has upon the Berkeley and the Bay Area community. I’ve never been an artist necessarily, but art has helped my life by showing me to appreciate the creativity and originality of people’s artwork, to have a more in-depth conversation with people, and has presented me with opportunities to make money.
Youth Leader (Community Organizer)
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
I’m a Sales Leader at YSA. I joined YSA in the summer of 2016. For the past two years I have learned about the struggles homelessness creates, and have been working diligently to confront the root of the problem: lack of affordable housing. I’ve empathized with many of the people I’ve met during my time here. The biggest challenge in my life has been hopping back on the horse after couch hopping, and patiently re-acclimating myself to a calm and relaxing life that I enjoy, as I choose. Working as a team every day in a positive space makes my day happier and helps me feel connected to something real. YSA is a space that melds worlds together through community, revolution and strength. Honesty has helped me grow as a person and in my leadership position. It has helped me own up to my short comings while also reporting my successes. I try my best to be a good friend that ensures my peers feel their best when they’re around me. I’m supportive of their strengths so that they can shine, and push them forward to help them grow from their weaknesses.
It was an honor giving an acceptance speech on the organization’s behalf for a diploma that declared April 25th officially “YSA Day” in the City of Berkeley. My favorite art piece is my painting “You’re Your Universe”. It’s the only canvas I painted before I was promoted to Community Outreach & Organizing Leader. I’m looking forward to giving back to my community. I want to go to college to obtain a PhD in Law to become a Defense Attorney, in order to prevent Black and Latino citizens from being the majority in the prison industrial complex.
Youth Leader (Junior Graphic Designer + Street Spirit)
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
I am a Sales and Street Spirit Leader at YSA. I was raised in Berkeley with my mother and my two younger brothers. I have been working at YSA on and off, for about four years. Most of the time I was an aspirant and now I’m a Sales and Gallery leader. Working at YSA has helped me learn new skills, make new friends and help with my finances. One of my life goals is to become a great musician, having my own concerts and teaching music lessons. My second biggest life goal is to help make my mom’s charity grow and flourish in all corners of the world. If you’d like to see more of my personal art please go to www.intigonzalez.com.
Apprentice Leader (Studio Assistant)
I have been at YSA for four and a half years. My current position is Studio Apprentice Leader. I grew up in Berkeley. I have been at YSA for 5 years. YSA is my family and allowed me to have a community. They have helped me a lot and encouraged me to be more responsible in my role here at YSA. I am looking for a new job to plan my next steps and YSA is helping me prepare myself for new possibilities in the area of my developing interests. My favorite type of art is painting. My favorite art piece is the tiny house that I made. Saving money is the biggest challenge for me now, but I am using this place to produce new projects and learn to support myself. I’m proud of being independent. The time I use to make art also allows me to think, and understand my world around me. I would like to find a job in the future in the area of my developing interests.
I am currently a Community Organizing / Tiny House Village Leader at YSA My family and I grew up in Berkeley. My family has always moved around a lot due to the increasing amount for rent and the shortage of places to live in the bay. YSA has been a welcoming and loving space that has allowed me the opportunity to thrive. A personal goal I have is just the usual: finishing up with school and maintaining an independent life. I currently stay with my friend’s family, so I’m working towards financial stability so I can eventually move out into my own space.
I am a self-taught audio and visual artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. My current position at YSA is Sales Leader. I like to focus my energy on either political or otherwise thought-provoking projects. You can often find a poem on the back of my canvasses or at least an easter egg relating to the world at the time I made the painting. I have a website featuring on-going and upcoming projects that is currently under construction.