Meet the Artist: Tysen Knight

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Q: Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?

A: I’m an Artist, Mentor, and Award-Winning Film Producer. I’m primarily focusing on street art based in Palm Springs, California. I partnered with the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission where we started a test pilot project for public art with the street bench program last year that was approved by the city. This program has now expanded around the entire city including the Palm Springs International Airport, City Hall, and the Convention Center. We were able to hire over 50 artists during the pandemic to help stimulate the local economy as well as uplift the morale and spirit of the community.

Q: What is your background?

A: I have always been artistic since I was a small child growing up in New Jersey. I really discovered my art style as a teenager, airbrushing and painting on jeans for classmates and kids that lived in my neighborhood. I started making logos for local businesses. My parents encouraged me to pursue my art and creativity, which built confidence in me. As I started to develop my craft, I received more opportunities, which led me to where I am today.

Q: How do you work?

A: I love to create. I get lost in my work where I lose all space and time. My artwork is a reflection of my desire to share my talent and gifts with the world. I can only genuinely create from my own inspiration. My mission is to produce artwork that can be admired by generations to come.

Q: What art do you most identify with?

A: I identify most with street art, contemporary art, modern art, and fine art. I am a gallery artist but most of my work consists of public artwork and wall mural projects. 

Q: What has been your favorite experience so far as an artist?

A: Mentoring is one of the highlights of my career. Spending time with my students through Zoom has its challenges, but we are able to impact these young artists in an effective way. Actually, it has made us grow closer as a group. I learn so much from these amazing students and also discover things about myself as well, so when we are able to meet again in person, it will be an extraordinary and important bonding moment. 
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Q: Who inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by the works of famous street artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. My inspiration also comes from the styles of Pablo Picasso. 
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Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: Number one, your gift and your purpose have to align. If you’re gifted and you get to the point of success in your life without a purpose, someone else is going to give you a purpose, and it might not be in your best interest! Your talent and your purpose must align for you to be the best version of yourself. Understand the value that you can contribute to society and work to manifest that value every day. 

Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?

A: I don’t think I ever stop working. I’m always discovering new ideas and creativity. I read books, watch art documentaries, and spend time with family and loved ones.

Q: How has your career as an artist shifted during the past year?

A: The pandemic has given me the opportunity to really test my creativity and push myself to realize the potential in my newfound clarity. I have been fortunate enough to remain busy with public art and private mural projects during the past year. I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my artwork with people from around the world. That’s a powerful and humbling experience! 

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