Getting to Know Vy

Hi it’s Taylor again! Interesting day at BYA, I interviewed Vy, who is a student from MICA’s MFA program and is facilitating screenprinting and mural design at BYA. During the interview, I learned what kind of person Vy is, kind, goofy and eccentric. The questions were based off what popped in my head, such as, some strengths that she has, some improvements and failures that she may have experienced in life.

Some professional strengths she has are her way to communicate effectively, be able to communicate assertively and hold accountability for her responsibilities, which is a great trait to have in the world. Some creative strengths she has are working with mediums and willingness to learn and adapt, looking forward to learning about new things and taking on new challenges is a sign of ambition.


I asked her about one failure she might’ve had in life and her answer was, her lack of time management depending on the relationship level, professionally she is on time but outside her work place is different. Relating to the last question, I asked Vy about what she wants to improve in her life and her response was to connect to herself and others more, because now she is just a little closed-off and communicating her time management as, answering the phone or shooting a text if she might be late.

Since she is from Vietnam, Vy’s proudest achievement is being in the states alone, making it on her own and choosing her own family, which is hard being away from your support system but she is making the best out of new environments and new opportunities. Vy’s lifelong dreams are extraordinary, she would love to shave her head and go to a monastery and be in peace, which others would’ve said something like travel, she dreams to be away from the world and visit once every two weekends and be one with herself, nature and her thoughts.


Two goals that Vy has in life is to destroy capitalism and dismantle white supremacy. As you can see, she is a breath of empowering air and is an amazing person to be around with her creative mind. So without further ado everyone welcome our newest team member VY!


New Products from Studio Apprentice Ariana!

Hi! I’m Taylor, a studio apprentice, here to tell you to BE ON THE LOOK OUT for more amazing art from the BYA team!

The mind behind this beauty worked hard all summer on the designs to come out and get recognition by people like YOU. Having all these ideas and bring them to life is a beautiful sight, One piece i personally liked was a piece by Ariana Young, a fellow apprentice.


Her work stands out to me in an authentic way. i would see her draw and see how focused and committed she was to her designs that came off the top of her head, She is so very ambitious about anything she draws. As you can see, her art is unique and hand-drawn, she drew the image above with no mistakes.

Another design by Ariana Young, this piece was available to be sold at ArtScape. where we worked to get a chance to talk about how our work and how we came up with other ideas that were sold there.

Another design by Ariana Young, this piece was available to be sold at ArtScape. where we worked to get a chance to talk about how our work and how we came up with other ideas that were sold there.

Be sure to come back to check out more from this young artist and the team of BYA. And to learn more about Ariana, check out her spotlight here!

SAP in Spotlight: Taylor Williams

I’m Taylor, 17 years old and I’m a senior in high school and I started working at BYA in February 2019.

My favorite class at BYA has been graphic design because it has taught me a lot about technology and bringing designs to life. I have worked on projects like creating an album cover for Silver Rain, a musician who is finding their way in life and also recreated our favorite album’s cover. I redesigned a logo from my favorite designer, Shane Justin.

Below are some recent designs i’ve thought about, when I think of designs I think about what I would want to wear, and hope to show others that everything doesn’t have to be violent or discouraging to be wearable or promoted.

This summer I worked on designs of my own, such as, t-shirts, tote bags, and fanny packs. I learned how to perfect and spiral book bind at Press Press. We also worked on a mural at Hostel International Baltimore, designing and painting the Maryland flag in the game room in the basement.

The completed mural!

The completed mural!

My overall experience at BYA has been great, and educational. My creative skills have heightened and I am confident enough to further my skills, and show my designs to the world.

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SAP in Spotlight: Adonis James (A.J.)

Hi, my name is A.J. and I’m 16 years old going into the 11th grade. I’ve been at BYA for about 5 weeks and am a part of the Mural Team this summer led by Brandon. During my time here I have learned how to get better at painting, and more than anything how to practice patience.

This summer, our Mural Team’s main project is to paint a mural for the Office of the Public Defender (OPD). I’ve realized that when multiple people are working on one big project, there are often a lot of opinions to consider as well as guidelines to follow from our client and supervisors…this means we all need to be able to just trust the process and have a lot of patience. I’m thankful for that lesson and am excited for the final product, for which I actually posed for a part of!


Most of my art is inspired by me wanting to do and try different/weird stuff that people don’t often think about.  I see a lot of rappers doing and trying different stuff, which is what makes them unique. I am inspired by that in my art and as a person because I see art as a way that I can express myself. This is why I like astronomy and space - it’s a mystery, we don’t know a lot about it, and it’s different from what is normally around us. One of my favorite paintings that I made this summer is of a car going into a portal to another universe. Another (pictured below) is of an alien in a space craft abducting a human from Earth.


The best thing about my time as a studio apprentice at BYA this summer, besides the art of course, is getting to find new friends in my peers and building lasting relationships with a lot of them. I felt that especially during the trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), where I got to know my peers in a different setting outside of the studio and experience the museum with them.

Going into my junior year and getting close to graduation, I want to focus my last few years on finding more of my interests, keeping my grades up, and finally going to a college where I can do what I love. And what I would love to do is study art, graphic design specifically, and get involved with cartoon drawing, gaming design, and animation. Growing up reading and watching Despicable Me, comic books on superheroes, and many anime shows, they do such a good job and I would love to learn how to create something like that myself. I specifically really loved Superman and how he was different as a mystery man from outer space with super powers. Like I said before, I love different and I love mystery. I don’t want to follow the trend of “what’s cool” in the moment. Instead I want to be remembered as someone who is constantly looking to be different, doing the unexpected, and being unpredictable.

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SAP in Spotlight: Leah McCollum

Hi, my name is Leah McCollum, I am 18, and a class of 2019 high school graduate! At BYA, where I have been working for about a month now, I am a part of the Mural Team instructed by Brandon and have learned many different painting techniques to help me improve as an artist. During our free paint sessions, I really enjoy looking up random things and then putting my own spin on them when I paint.

In this painting, I tried to capture the audience (a young black girl), who will actually be looking at my work so that they feel like they are a part of my art and the whole experience.

In this painting, I tried to capture the audience (a young black girl), who will actually be looking at my work so that they feel like they are a part of my art and the whole experience.

This summer, our team’s project is a mural for the Office of the Public Defender (OPD). As a team, we decided to draw four of our peers at BYA in the middle and from them are 2 different paths they can choose to follow. On the left are many paths leading to prison and on the right side there is one path leading into the sunset. This image means a lot to me because it portrays the reality of youth growing up in Baltimore neighborhoods. It serves as both hope to other kids that a path leading into the sunset exists even though it may not feel like it at times and as a reminder to the OPD of who exactly they are fighting for.

Progress on our mural for the Office of the Public Defender!

Progress on our mural for the Office of the Public Defender!

One field trip I really enjoyed this summer is to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). It was inspiring to learn about the African Americans who paved the way for us. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting my fellow studio apprentices and learning about networking and handling my finances during career readiness. For the rest of the summer, I want to learn how to get better at drawing and painting portraits of people and myself.

As for next steps in life, I will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia soon to attend Clark Atlanta University this coming fall for both Art and Psychology. While I am sad to leave Baltimore because the people here are one of a kind, I am very excited to start on this next step in Atlanta. The thing I am most excited about is getting out of my comfort zone here, meeting new people and learning about their background while representing my artwork and myself for who I am as a person - someone who is shy when you first meet them, a good listener, and fun!

SAP in Spotlight: Vihtori (V)

Hi! I’m Vihtori but you can call me V, and I am 19 years old and graduated! I’ve been at BYA for 3 weeks now and am in Bomin’s Mixed Media group. I chose this group because my background is in graphic design and printing, both of which I am certified at from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (Mervo). At Mervo I mostly printed words directly on jacket and shirts and in my personal time I got into making fanmixes, for which I put together a compilation of songs inspired by a character pairing I create and illustrate for the cover of the compilation using graphic design (you can see a fanmix I worked on at BYA studio below). Now, I want to learn more about graphic design and printing and the many different ways to do both.

Bomin does a really great job as an instructor and we’ve done a lot so far. First week, we went to the Hostel International where we are painting a mural that represents Baltimore City (you can see me measuring the dimensions for the space we have in the picture below). We also went to Press Press where we designed book covers and then made spiral bound and perfect bound books that people can use and buy (you can see some of the books I made below). Second week, Mr. Kyle Yearwood visited us and taught us about motion graphic art (you can see him showing us his camera and how to take pictures below).

This past week our group was getting ready for artscape, which means putting together our designs and mock-ups for prints, shirts, and tote bags. I even got to help vend a lot of the art we made and free draw at the BYA stall at artscape! Check out some of my sketches and designs at artscape below: the first one is called Molting and is of an angel that is bleeding to show that nothing good can come without pain, the second one is more cute and of a dragon that is slumped with the phrase “Everyone Needs To Take Breaks Sometimes”

A lot of my art is inspired by two important things in my life: my partner and my identity as someone who is transgender. I use both as well as my interest in social issues around disabilities, mental health, and LGBT rights to advocate and make meaningful art. I am enjoying my time at BYA a lot because everyone here is really fun and I am learning how to market myself as an artist. You can follow me on instagram @cxmplexfeelings to find out more about my art and life!

SAP in Spotlight: Bryon Oliver Bishop

Hey, my name is Bryon Bishop, I am 20 years old, and I am graduated! I’ve been at BYA for a good week. I say good week because even though it’s only been a week, it’s been a real good time so far. My fellow studio apprentices are a weird and artistic bunch, and I love that we can be crazy together. I’m a part of the Mixed Media Team this summer at BYA. My instructor is Bomin and she is really cool because she appreciates my constant jokes throughout the day. She knows a ton about Mixed Media so we’re learning a lot.

I chose to join her Mixed Media Team because I’m specifically interested in graphic design. I took my first graphic design class sophomore year of high school and really liked it because of my teacher, who was very passionate about the art and friendly. My love for video games is what has kept me going with graphic design since. I still remember my first assignment was to redesign olympic pictograms for each sport.

So far, in the first week, the Mixed Media Team has already done a lot and been a lot of places around Baltimore. On Monday we had an intro to mixed media, graphic design, and screen printing. On Tuesday we went to the Baltimore Hostel International (HI), where we will be painting a mural over the summer, to inspect and measure the area. The hostel is a really cool place and has some really large uno cards…we got distracted with those for a good 30 mins! On Wednesday, we focused on our own independent art, (Thursday was July 4th so we were off) and then on Friday, we went to Press Press to learn how to make our own books, both spiral bound and perfect bound. I definitely want to go back sometime soon to make more books with some more cover ideas I have.

As for what I’m looking forward to this summer, I can’t wait until Artscape when I’ll get to actually sell my art and hopefully get some feedback from people. I think this job at BYA as a studio apprentice is great because I get to go out and do what I love to do, while getting paid for it. I think more people should get out and look for jobs like this! In the future, I want to become a well-known graphic designer and also hope to meddle a little bit in film and photography. You can follow me and my art on instagram @bryonbishopdesigns, I have a new piece being revealed soon so look out for it!