Shyama Golden is a figurative artist with extensive experience in oil painting and graphic design. Based in Brooklyn, she has also lived in San Francisco, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Texas. Visit Shyama's website


The New York Times, Apple, Wired, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic, The Undefeated, Fast Company, Washington Post, Slate, Texas Monthly Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy, LA Magazine, Penguin Random House, Chronicle Books, and many others.

I’ve read some of your interviews and watched videos and I know that you were raised in Texas by parents who were scientists but you moved around a lot growing up yes between New Zealand and Sri Lanka? What was that like for you in shaping your identity, worldview and perhaps your craft?

Does that disconnection become an asset now that you’re older? In terms of embracing the value of the two worlds?

How did you deal with that growing up? Was it easy to transition between places? Did you find outlets to sort of figure out your identity?

A lot of why I was drawn to your work is because it portrays women of color - and people of color in general - so beautifully, I mean I was thinking of Fatimah Asghar’s book cover, Issa Rae, Arundhati Roy, even Spike, and Drake, Biggie and everyone else… because I feel like your work screams dignity; it’s dignified. And I wonder, is that intentional? Or, did that just sort of come out of who you are as a person, or were you kind of like “I’m gonna represent these people in a certain way, here’s how I’m gonna do it”?

Absolutely...what keeps you motivated everyday, because freelance work can be draining, so I’m wondering how - what inspires you every single day, every morning when you wake up?

Okay so I really, really like the llamas in your work but is there a reason you’re drawn to them? I guess what I’m asking is...have you found the magic WOC-ally?

That’s incredible. No joke. Llamas are the way to go. But to wrap this up, I suppose if there is a woman of color/person, human, that is confused with their identity, who wants to be an artist but doesn’t know how to go about it or lacks the confidence, etc. what would you say to them?

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