Photo Credit: Tear-n Tan
Keshida, which means “black king,” is a native New Yorker born and raised in Long Island. Keshida Layone knew his course was set toward the entire breadth of arts at an early age. Layone was nurtured to find his own path as an artist by a loving tribe of women and a few good men. He states, “My mother is a poet/writer and editor. She has written poems her entire life and has many other talents, including crochet knitting. My godmother is an actress, public speaker, and creative spoken reader. Another aunt of mine is a painter/illustrator. These three women have shaped me, motivated me, and supported me beyond measure.”
Layone went from writing poetry to turning those words into dripping pieces of captured emotions that can now be shared worldwide, in coffee shops, homes, offices, and online. He paints in watercolor, Acrylic, oil, spray paint, and colored pencils. There is no end to what he can create and take his mind. “When I look at a white blank canvas before I drown it in color I think to myself what does it feel like to be almost invisible… And then my hands begin to make love to the paint brush- hair woven together and binded by metal and wood that helps me tell a story of someone’s heart. A place love could be or where there is no love but lustful color and drunken dreams.”
Let’s get to know Keshida a little better…
How were you originally introduced to the world of art?
I can honestly say seeing huge abstract paintings ,and colorful vintage lamps in my grandmothers house as a child.
Coming from a nurturing family who were all creative spirits, how did this help pull out your talent in art?
It has effected me in so many ways I have always loved art in all forms… My mother was constantly writing poetry, and my family always strongly encouraged freedom of self expression.. and so my mind went wild. I have worked in Fashion styling, Art Direction, wrote poetry, and short stories and always listening to music, music, and more music. Some how I seem to come alive when transforming all those things to color on white walls.
You first began writing poetry, how did you make the transition from writing to art?
I fell in love. It was a way to express myself out loud without actual words ..one of the first paintings I ever did had no title. I found a used canvas thrown out in the street and I took it home stripped the paint off and began painting everything I felt. That feeling was something I had never felt.. from that point on I began painting other emotions as if I was writing poems of life itself.
Where and how do you pull inspiration for your pieces?
Daily events.It’s like looking out a window on the most beautiful day that you can remember and never forgetting that feeling. I dive hard in emotions good, bad, ugly, and pretty. My hands tell the rest of the stories.
How are you using your gifts and talents to give back to the community?
I’m involved with NY Cares and when times and schedules permit I help paint school murals.
What advice would you give to someone trying to follow in your footsteps?
You can never get the time back that you waste when you’re too scared to put yourself out there. Sometimes you just have to do it and take the risk. That is what life is all about. never just be safe. Give it your all and be you!
What makes you a Styleaholic?
I have always put things together because it’s what I like and not what others like or what they think. Style is something that i just do It’s part of my everyday life.. Having my own style started in high school (when I could start paying for my own clothes lol).. I didn’t get “most unique” being safe…
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