Ayala’s Story: Weaving Indigenous Threads into Contemporary Art

Note: I wrote this piece, not having met Ayala at all… I felt called to write this as a precursor to the day we will meet and I can experience her work at a gallery somewhere. I am drawn to her work because, in my eyes… it looks like the embodiment of stories my grandmother would tell me about our Taino ancestors. I aspire to own her work and showcase it in my (future) casita in Puerto Rico.

Here is Ayala as I know her, looking from the outside…

Ayala’s story is a captivating journey of self-discovery and artistic development that began in the Andean Diaspora bordering rural Colombia and Ecuador. Born into a family with Indigenous roots and a master wood carver father, Ayala was immersed in a world where art was a means of survival and expression from a young age. Despite the family’s humble beginnings, the creative spark was evident early on, as Ayala inherited her father’s gift and began showing a talent for art at the age of five.

Growing up, Ayala and her four sisters were not aware of the possibility of pursuing art professionally. It wasn’t until she attended a performing arts high school at the age of 15 that she realized her potential. This environment allowed her to flourish, exploring painting, drawing, and sculpture, a stark contrast to her earlier schooling where her artistic inclinations were reprimanded.

Ayala’s journey took a significant turn thanks to a supportive art teacher who helped her apply for college. She received a scholarship to the California College of Art in San Francisco, where she studied painting, animation, and graphic design. This period was both incredible and challenging, as she balanced being a full-time student with three jobs.

After graduating with a BFA, Ayala interned at Got Milk’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners, gaining expertise in motion graphics and film editing. However, the pursuit of a conventional 9-5 job led her away from painting, causing a sense of disconnection from her creativity and community. It wasn’t until she read “The Power of Positive Thinking” that she found the inspiration to relocate to New York, seeking to reconnect with her artistic roots.

In New York, Ayala reignited her passion for painting. The overwhelming support she received through social media, driven by influential entrepreneurs and business owners, propelled her into a full-time artistic career. Her unique portfolio, exploring themes such as ancestral identity, divine femininity, and popular iconography, aims to empower others through representation.

Ayala’s story is not just about artistic talent but also about resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of one’s true calling. Her journey from the Andean Diaspora to becoming a full-time artist in New York is a testament to the power of perseverance and the transformative impact of positive thinking. Her work continues to inspire and empower, making her an influential figure in the world of contemporary art.

Here she is in her own words…

Bio by Ayala

 Ayala is a visual artist of Indigenous descent. Subjects for her paintings reference identity, divine femininity and popular iconography. Majestic portraits honor tradition with a colorful palette that holds an innate ancestral connection. 

Classically trained, she holds a BFA from San Francisco’s California College of Art. Art by Ayala has been featured live in NYC and in partnership with Global brands. With a rising 100K following across social media, she runs a full-time art business. 

Visit her website and follow her on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

I cannot share her work… without giving you actionable ways you can support her work.

Purchase Her Artwork: Buying art is the most direct and impactful way to support any artist. This not only provides her with essential income but also helps to validate and recognize her talent. Owning original artwork is an investment also increases its value and visibility in the art community.

Promote Her Work on Social Media and in Your Network: Utilize your social media platforms to share and promote Ayala’s work. Additionally, word-of-mouth recommendations to your personal and professional networks can significantly broaden her audience and introduce her art to potential buyers or art enthusiasts.

Attend and Publicize Her Exhibitions: Attending her exhibitions not only shows personal support but also increases the event’s attendance and visibility. Sharing information about her exhibitions with your network and encouraging others to attend can have a multiplying effect.

Write Positive Reviews and Testimonials: If you own her art or have experienced her exhibitions, write positive reviews or testimonials. These can be used on her website, social media, or promotional materials, helping to build her reputation and credibility in the art world.

Write Reviews and Testimonials: If you own her art or have attended her shows, write positive reviews or testimonials that she can use for her portfolio, website, or social media.

Collaborate on Projects: If you’re involved in creative projects, consider connecting and collaborating with Ayala. This could be in the form of joint art projects, workshops, or online content.