My name is Karen Alleyne founder of OYA Arts, an international business that produces Afrocentric art pieces and merchandise. My work celebrates the beauty and complexity of the African Diaspora through colorful and vibrant eye-catching pieces that push the boundaries of identity and challenge perceptions and stereotypes of race and gender. Through the brush, I encourage the spectator to explore topics from a different and beautiful perspective.
However, art has not always been my story or my business, this all happened by accident. I am a self-taught artist and up until two years ago, I was a Marketing Manager for a property company that painted in her spare time. However, after painting for fun and posting some of my early paintings on social media, I started to gain some real interest from people across the world and that is when my self-label started to shift from “ Karen who likes to paint for fun” to “Karen the artist” And as soon as I resigned my internal label and looked at myself as an artist, the roller coaster of fun-filled journeys began, demand for my paintings grew and Oya Arts was formed.
Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas), a Warrior-Queen. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms, and hurricanes. Oya is the protectress of women and a patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, she is wildly unpredictable, passionate, fearless, sensual and independent. This encapsulated my story and my journey to follow my passion.
In the short space of two years, I have gone from painting privately to working on a range of exciting projects and commissions for clients in the UK, USA, and Caribbean. I have two exhibitions coming up, one in November in London and one early next year in the USA. The demand for my paintings is steadily growing and I am in the process of bringing out a new line of merchandise, so all I can say is watch this space. I have a
If you asked me five years ago, where I would be today, I could have only dreamed to have this answer, so I am so grateful that I have turned a passion into a growing business.
Please take a moment to see amazing work from Oya Arts by joining platforms below: