Art opens doors for Aliyah Harvey – TT Newsday | Candle Made Easy

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Artist Aliyah ‘Yah Yah’ Harvey spins her art into gold. Photo courtesy of Aliyah Harvey –

The notion of the “starving artist” was never an option for Aliyah “Yah Yah” Harvey.

The 26-year-old was born with an artistic gift, which she uses to spin her art supplies in gold — at least enough to make her feel comfortable.

“In the beginning it was a struggle. When I was just starting to take my skills seriously, I was doing administrative jobs that didn’t do me any good financially. But I persevered while working on my craft until I could work on it full-time.

Aliyah Harvey’s portrait of musician Keishaun Julien. Photo courtesy of Aliyah Harvey –

“The universe has a way of clearing things up for you, because once I took that leap of faith, doors started opening for me.”

The full-time self-taught artist has been commissioned to work for people on a local, regional and international level – all from the comfort of her home in Claxton Bay. And when the opportunity arises, she takes her supplies and skills to other venues to host sip and paint events.

She told WMN that when she decided to take her bold step into the art business in her early 20s, she never expected things to take off as quickly as they did.

“I’ve always been artistic, but before that it was just a hobby to pass the time when I got bored. I didn’t see the potential until I actually took it and started networking, using social media to market my work and socialize. As people discovered my talent, the work came in.”

A portrait of former National Footballer Stern John by Aliyah Harvey. Photo courtesy of Aliyah Harvey –

Since then, some of her most notable creations include her illustration of the Colors of Dance coloring book for Le Rythma Dance Institute in San Fernando; the sale of a mural at the Cousoumeh festival in Siparia; and portraits of footballer Stern John and musician Keishaun Julien.

She has also shipped pieces to clients in Charlotte, Boston and Brooklyn in the United States.

She said she was particularly proud of the mural – a collage featuring icons including Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley – which was requested at short notice by festival organizers and took her a week to complete.

It was bought by Machel Montano’s band manager.

Harvey said that while she doesn’t limit herself to one medium, she works primarily in oil paints, in which she sometimes attempts to incorporate charcoal and acrylic. And she certainly doesn’t let her lack of formal training in fine arts limit her creativity.

Self-taught artist Aliyah Harvey. Photo courtesy of Aliyah Harvey –

“I often go to YouTube University looking for techniques and hacks,” she said, laughing.

And although she has never exhibited her work in an art gallery, it is on her checklist.

“The goal is a solo show where I can display all my pieces, sell some, and donate some to charity. I also intend to publish them on my website, which is currently under construction. But as far as all other plans go, I’m at a point right now where I want to do exactly what I’m doing right now.

“My passion for the journey has been constant and I believe that passion will eventually lead me to my destiny.”

Harvey told WMN that art is such a big part of her life that it’s spread to almost everything else she does.

“Creativity just flows right through me. Even when I’m doing normal things, I want to take it to a whole new level. I love to ride my bike and am learning how to do wheelies. When I go fishing I want to cook it on the spot. When I’m in the kitchen, I like trying out new recipes and making food art. That’s who I am.”

Aliyah Harvey didn’t expect her move to turn art into a business as quickly as it did. Photo courtesy of Aliyah Harvey –

She encourages young people to see the potential in themselves “especially when no one else sees it”.

“The way the universe works is that what you put in comes back to you. Even if it doesn’t seem sustainable, dare to follow your passion. I am living proof that you can make a sustainable living doing what you love to do, full time.

Follow Aliyah “Yah Yah” Harvey on Instagram @yahyaharts

Tik Tok: yahyah_tt

Facebook: Yah Yah Art Designs

YouTube: Yah Yah Arts.

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