A full-time student and teacher originally from Asheville, NC, Maia has passionately transformed her photography hobby into a specialization in film portraits and concept shoots.
Where are you from and when did you first show an interest in art?

I first started loving taking pictures when I was living in Asheville, North Carolina. Not only is the art scene there a big part of what makes Asheville Asheville, but also just the beauty of the scenery itself. The murals, the galleries, the mountains. I found myself wanting to take pictures of everything all the time. When I finally got a camera, I was doing photoshoots with my friends by the rivers and lakes in Western NC.

Is your family supportive in your decision to become an artist?

I don’t have a big following on Twitter but I do post my photography on there sometimes, and my biggest fan on there happens to be my mom. She likes every single picture I post on there, I love her so much shout-out to her! <3

Art for art’s sake or art for food on the table? Are you a full-time artist? What’s paying the bills?

While I do wish photography was my full time endeavor, unfortunately I am a full time student so photography is just what I do on the side as a hobby. It has helped me pay for some things, as I don’t make a lot of money as a student, but the majority of my shoots has been for arts sake. I can’t complain though because those shoots are always my favorite.

What connects you to your peers who do similar types of art? What do you think sets you apart?

I feel like every photographer has their own style more or less. I make sure to stress this to clients because I can tell when they’re looking for a certain aesthetic that I can’t create for them. Fortunately I was attracting a lot of clients that were interested in my aesthetic specifically. When people ask me to describe my style, I always tell them I can’t really describe it, so you can be the judge of that.

Describe your art in 3 words. Now describe yourself as an artist in 3 words.

My art in three words: colorful, bright portraits.

Myself: enthusiastic, friendly, and personable.

What are some of the current projects keeping you busy? How many unfinished works do you have in the vault at this very moment?

I just moved to Tallahassee, Florida for school and work, so unfortunately I have no current projects other than trying to find other photographers, models and creatives in the area so I can become familiar with and get myself into the art scene here. As I’m sure many artists can relate, I’ve had countless ideas for photoshoots that unfortunately never got to come to fruition, but there’s always countless amazing photoshoots to come.

What does “success” look like for you as an artist? Do you have any dream collaborations?

As an artist, success to me is being able to bring to vision any photoshoot I have a vision of. It would be cool to have my own studio, master studio lighting, have a stylist for shoots, to make money from photography alone… but really all I can ask for for the time being is that I can create with my friends and create photos that I think are beautiful.

Do you have any habits that help or hinder your progression as an artist? What are some of your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is time. That’s been my biggest challenge when it comes to completing anything really. So many photoshoot ideas did not get completed due to lack of time or my busyness as a student and teacher.

What do you do when you’re not creating? Do you have a preferred method of escape?

If I’m not taking pictures, it’s because of school or work, otherwise it’s because of volleyball or just going out with my friends. We try to stay busy and have a lot of fun.

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