Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharday.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Hi, I’m Sharday also known as Artmomshay. Since I was young I was an artist. As soon as I could walk I would write and draw on the walls. Something that I now get paid to do, but back then my mom was not a fan.
While attending school at Glyndon Elementary school, my art teacher , Mrs Scott, took a huge liking to me, She recognized my artistic potential and encouraged me to study art further by applying for visual arts at a magnet middle school. As a result, I was accepted into Deer Park Middle Magnet School for visual arts. That was where I was first exposed to the vast forms of art,from sculpture, drawing,and photography,We learned them all. After being immersed in art at middle school I knew I wanted to attend the distinguished Carver Center for Arts & Tech for Highschool. After an intense visual arts interview and still life drawing, I was accepted! The Art education that I received from teachers like Mrs.Terry McDaniel,was incomparable and still follows me to this day. Unfortunately, though I loved art and was painting for years at that point, I truthfully didn’t see how I could make art into a successful career .I did not want to pay to study art and become a “Starving Artist”.At that time representation in the field of art, I never saw anyone that looked like me be a successful artist from Baltimore. So, Like many other college bound students, I needed a backup plan. I realized that I also had a love for Fashion and decided to attend a college that offered an art and fashion program curriculum. I attend Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, where I received a Bachelor Fine Arts in fashion design, and also served on the Resident Life staff for 3 years as a Resident Assistant for sophomore year and a Resident Director my junior and senior year..
I walked across my graduation stage in 2010, 8 months pregnant with my first child. I was married a year later and my shift in priorities quickly went from art and fashion to Mom and Wife. I decided I needed a job, so I used my Fashion degree Resident Director leadership experience to help set me apart in the retail management field. During that time, here and there I would also do numerous other craft jobs like sewing prom dresses and making alterations,I created a collection for Baltimore Fashion Week.I assisted teaching at Sew Fabulous Sewing school, and later opened my own event decorating business. That business being called Creative Visions by Shay,which encompassed everything I do creatively. After dealing with hardship and hitting what I would consider my rock bottom and becoming a single mother of 3, I finally got back to my art. During this time of discovery I felt this unction to paint again, I painted a portrait as a gift for a family friend who was extremely ill and that almost lost her life.She was completely touched by it and after that I have not put down the paint brush. Instead of Creative Visions by Shay I became Artmomshay. For the past 3 years I’ve been painting portraits, hosting paint parties and even teaching art. For the past 2 years I’ve been a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences, using art integration to teach math and literacy.I’ve also worked with Safe Alternative school in West Baltimore. I take pride in being a influence on students the same way teachers like Mrs. Scott and Mrs. McDaniel were to me.So, I’ve also now stand in the gap as representation to my community, as a young Black Female Woman Mother and Artist that is not a “Starving Artist” but a “Thriving Artist”!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has not been a smooth road by far. On the road to discovering myself as well as my passion for Art I’ve had numerous obstacles and life struggles that would discourage anyone. None more difficult than losing everything I had in a house fire and barely making it out alive,while 6 months pregnant with my one year old baby in my arms. Financial struggles were also there which made it hard to continue to invest in any businesses I had created like;my event decorating business for example. I began to fall behind compared to my competition, who were constantly updating their inventory and I on the other hand, was deciding what bill I needed to pay first to avoid a cut off or eviction notice.Emotionally the hardest part of my journey was deciding to walk away from my best friend and love of 13 years and raise my children on my own. Then, having to do so after leaving retail management, while making the most money I’ve made in life. Leaving was a decision that in hindsight actually brought me back to my love of art. That was a quietness of being lonely, sad and yes broke! That made me want to express myself creatively.That drive to create helped me to pull myself out of a dark depression with the help of family, God and Counseling. My most recent struggle was dealing with the grief of losing my cousin, a Baltimore City Teacher who suggested I work for Young Audiences and this past summer we got the opportunity to teach a class together. My family lost her less than a month after that program ended. Grief never hit me so hard and I still have moments when I think about calling her or asking her opinion about something, then I burst into tears. Grief can really eat at you if you don’t learn to control it so,I’m comforted by her words of wisdom and knowledge that I know she is proud of me.
I’m proud of the woman that I have become and still growing to be. I have failed and learned many lessons to get where I am today. My motivation has always been to do it for myself and my children. Doing it for myself required me to dig deep down within and remind myself that I am great. I can still make an impact on others, I can still accomplish my dreams and I can still be successful . Having children forced me not to feel sorry for myself,they didn’t ask to be here so I have to show them Mommy can do it and so can they.They were able to witness my resilience and it brings joy to my heart when they jump at the opportunity to tell anyone that their mom is a good artist or art teacher.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a visual artist that specializes in painting. The mediums I use are oil , acrylic and some mixed media. I do portraits and abstract paintings. I am mainly known for painting portraits typically of someone’s loved one that has passed on. Something that I feel very blessed to do because it is a special feeling when someone sees their painting for the first time and are immediately overcome with emotions. I also promote,facilitate and instruct paint parties,which I feel are opportunities for me to show the community how fun art can be. I do kids paint parties, sip and paints,private paint date nights for couples and also virtual paint parties,I am the paint instructor on wheels! I bring all paint equipment when you book my paint services. For those that want to come enjoy a late night sip and paint they can join me at Noir Restaurant at Lounge for Paint and Pour.Lastly,I’m also an Art Teacher, I teach for Young Audiences for their after school program called ASALA and Summer Program called SALA,A program that Baltimore City Parents can enroll their children in absolutely free. Being a Teaching Artist is also what I’m most proud of. As previously stated, in my story about myself, When I was first introduced to the culture of art, the norm of what a successful artist or art teacher looked like, was not me. Im am able to be a true representation to my students that you can be a black successful artist. It makes me proud to teach my skill set and my students respond with such intrigue and best of all participation in creating their own art. I am able to make an impact on culture and community.
What I believe sets me apart from others is my experience and extensive amount of art of education. Secondly that I am what I would call a multi-creative;meaning I don’t restrict myself to one creative skill or interest.Like currently I still sew, I make key chain-mask, something I created during the pandemic, I created a dress from a Baltimore Ravens jersey and even recently making a dress to match a painting I created. I’m planning to do the interior decorating in my sister’s new home and finish murals in my kids’ bedrooms. My motto for myself is, “ If it is creative,I’ll try it”.
What are your plans for the future?
I have so many future plans for myself as an artist and for my business. I plan to create so many art pieces. I will always continue to create portraits that bring joy to grieving families. I will have more original pieces of art that will be readily available to the masses for purchase to decorate their homes. I am amazed by the body or artwork I have created thus far these past 3 years of painting again and can only imagine how much more I will create. I will have my own art studio very soon where I will offer so much for artist and the public as a whole. I definitely will continue to teach, after working with my cousin this past summer and seeing first-hand the impact we make on the next generation I can’t, and won’t stop. I have so many goals aside from those as well so please believe me when I say, I’m just getting started!
- Sip and Paints $20-$45
- Portraits $100-$700
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: calendly.com/artmomshay
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artmomshay/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artmomshay
- Other: creativevisonsbyshay.bigcartel.com