By Camille Chacra
Several months ago, I had the pleasure of discovering the work of Teenadult, a Montréal artist with a unique Pop Neo-Expressionist aesthetic. Her work immediately catches your attention; the bright colours, bold statements and immense beauty of the female form.
While expanding Allume's house collection, I decided to include artwork to bring positive energy to one's home during these strange times... I was envisioning a trippy take on the classic "The Birth of Venus" painting by Boticelli. I knew right away that Teenadult would nail this concept and render it even more meaningful with her greatest intention: to create art that embodies self-love and kindness.
Today, I'm sharing my tête-à-tête with this talented force, who is making her mark on the Montréal art scene and beyond.
Tell me about yourself! How did you get started as an artist?
My name is Keeyana and I'm also known as Kezna Dalz or Teenadult. I'm a visual artist and started doing art at a very young age, but only began taking it more seriously a few years ago! I was always interested in it, but it took me a little while to realize I could make something out of my art and was comfortable to share it with others.
Why did you choose the name Teenadult?
I guess I chose it because it’s the easiest word combination to describe my vibe. I don’t take myself too seriously and I don’t believe in a clear transition between the teen and adult years - or at least in my case, haha. I used to pressure myself so much with the idea that I had to do this or that at a certain age, but I realized it’s ridiculous, and it’s okay to let things happen slowly and embrace that little teenage angst that resides within.
How would you describe your unique aesthetic?
An unapologetic use of multiple colours with very naive line work.
What type of messages do you seek to convey through your artwork?
The biggest message in my latest work is self-acceptance. Accepting ourselves and all the emotions we feel. Being kind to others. Body-acceptance is also very important to me. I'm interested in portraying women who don't fit the usual beauty standards. I'm interested in real representation and raw feelings. It's also very important to me to show my values in my work. Anti-racism and feminism, mostly.
Tell us about the creation of The Birth of Chill.
When you suggested I make my own representation of The Birth of Venus, I was super excited. The details in that painting are amazing and I was stoked to be able to make a version with a black woman, flowers and greens that fit my style and what I like to draw. I had a lot of fun working on it and I'm very happy with the final result. I feel like the chill vibe we aimed to represent truly emanates from the drawing.
Does cannabis play a role in your creative flow?
I believe it does! I don’t usually consume cannabis when a drawing isn’t started - but once I'm all set with my main idea and sketches, I smoke a bit and usually take a walk. Then, when I get back to it, I feel like the ideas just flow easier. I'm more confident with my work and take more risks, artistically. I don’t overthink; I let my mood guide me.
What's next for you? Any new projects on the horizon?
A lot! I'm not ready to discuss it fully yet, but my ultimate goal is to have a cute little home products selection. I'd also love to have more sweatshirts with my designs. I want people to be cozy and cute. :)
You're awesome, Keeyana. Thanks for taking the time to chat!