Today we’d like to introduce you to Ne’Chelle Straughter.
Ne’Chelle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started Art By Mistykh in 2016. The nickname came from a friend because she said, she thought of the X-men character Mystique when she looked at me. “It fits”, she said. “Your hair is blue and the name matches your aura.” So, I went with it and adopted it as my artist name. The spelling came from another friend who said “You’re different, of course the spelling has to be dope!” Shortly after developing my nickname, I came up with idea to sell my art in the form of a brand rather than just from me as an individual. Artists like Shepard Fairey (Obey) and Brian Donnelly (Kaws) are people who came to mind first when I decided to go in this direction. Obey is one of my favorite brands because it is art with a message and it’s quite mysterious! I looked at how Obey manufactures products and I thought, ” Somehow, I want to do that, I want to sell art on more than just canvas and paper”. I love hoodies and graphic tees so it was the first two things that came to mind. My issue was obsessing over having an identification tied to what I was selling. Primarily, whenever I paint something, I always put a crown above my initials to represent my middle name, Tyara (pronounced like Tiara).
Nevertheless, I decided not to use the tiara because I didn’t want people to think I was copying Basquiat’s crown so, I figured something would come to me. One day, I was listening to a song from Disclosure’s album “Caracal”. As I was listening, I started searching for pictures of caracals and lynxes. I found beauty and intimidation in their eyes, so fierce, so majestic and untamable. Immediately I thought, “Yes!, This is mine!” The representation was more personal than anything else when I chose it. A feeling resonated with me when I started into their eyes. I added the scar because I find beauty in them. I always say that scars have a story and that they are reminder that your past has made you stronger; it may have left its mark but it didn’t kill you. I symbolically tied the idea with my own past and artistry. Creating has always been liberating and exciting for me and it is the best area that I show fierceness. I, then started selling shirts with my just logo first hoping to spread familiarity throughout Miami. In the beginning, I struggled with frustration because I didn’t know how I wanted to further sell my merchandise. Although, I had been encouraged by so many of my friends and family to simply put my artwork on the shirts, I became obsessed with trying to make myself seem more interesting I suppose. I distracted myself from the big picture because I had been constantly asked the question ” What is your message?”.
From then, I kept trying to create a deeper message and tie it into the brand. I had to take a step back and take a break for my own good. I needed to remind myself of what inspired me to start the business in the first place. I had to find my happy place again and of course that all started with drawing and painting. I focused on my art classes and outside of class I would work on my own projects. People would always ask me to paint their shoes, jackets etc as I would post pictures of finished projects on Instagram. From then on, I began practicing on my jackets and shoes as a form advertising. For additional help, my friend began letting me paint on her shoes and jackets with unlimited freedom, I’m still really grateful for. It created a different platform for me because I started getting a lot of requests through social media. Customizing has become a big part of my business and it is an interesting learning experience for me. Today, I am simply working on growing as a young artist and establishing myself as a business woman. I simply just want to share my passion through my creations, Art By Mistykh.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course not, my biggest struggle has been selling my art with confidence. Many people appreciate art for its aesthetic not its value. I do not want to overcharge my customers but at the same time, I believe that pure passion is priceless. In the future, I would just like to achieve success by making a healthy living out of my art.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Art By Mistykh – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I sell paintings, prints (posters), apparel and I also customize apparel by hand painting. I am quite versatile because, I like to work with a lot of mixed media and I am always open to try new art techniques. I like to paint celebrities, characters and things I find aesthetically pleasing. So far, I am most proud of how much I have grown and learned in just a short two years. I’ve been studying at Broward College and I’ve had the opportunity to work with very gifted professors. Constant studying and practice has helped me advance artistically to help my business grow. You can always improve somehow.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for the future are to gain recognition for my business. In between working and going to school, my vision has been a little muddy because right now school is the first priority. It is still undecided how I want to continue my studies; in the past year, I’ve found an interest in photography and graphics. Photo editing is another art form that I’d like to experiment in. Overall, I just want success for my future.
- Paintings: $65-$400+ (smallest to largest)
- Website: www.artbymistykh.com
- Phone: 786-219-8788
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sketch_my_life
- Facebook: facebook.com/artbymistykh
- Twitter: twitter.com/artbymistykh