Artist Spotlight:Adriana Jay

Interview with painter Adriana Jay

I love it when a woman celebrates other women. Heck, I love it when a man celebrates women too, but I do believe that woman tend to be more critical of each other and less supportive of each other vs men, although this is changing which is great. Artist and adventure seeker Adriana is proof. She uses her talents of the paintbrush and creates bold works of art featuring “badass women.” After taking a break from painting for ten years she is back and her following in Miami and beyond is growing quickly. She certainly is an artist to watch. Read more about her proudest moments as an artist thus far, and how she balances her career as an artist with the rest of her life in the interview below.

Adriana and her husband as the hit the 24th countries visited mark

“I had so many fears and I did it anyway.”

What are 3 of your proudest moments?

When I found my soulmate at fifteen, when I captivated the full attention of rowdy high schoolers by teaching them women’s studies and cultural lessons for the first time in their lives and when I decided to pick up a paintbrush after ten years of an artistic hiatus. I had so many fears and I did it anyway. My proudest moments, falling in love, making a difference, choosing to create, are also my most vulnerable moments. Those are the ones that have pushed me to be the most courageous.

You do so much! You’re an artist, you’re a loving and supportive wife, created and maintain a BEAUTIFUL home, are out and about socially, have a FULL-TIME JOB, you’ve got hobbies, you’ve got friends, you travel all the time, lol, how do you balance it all? How do you do it! I need to know hahaha.

In all honesty, while I still have a lot to go in nailing my balancing act, I find that surrounding yourself with the right people is essential to achieving your dreams! My support system is amazing–they encourage me, help me get clear on my goals, break me out of my routine, and inspire me to live whole-heartedly by making time for fun, spontaneity, creativity and emotional wellness. 

Tell me more about the piece “Salute to Muslim Sisters”, it’s such a powerful piece.

The woman in the painting is anybody who has ever encountered unfamiliar territory–for better or for worse. It was inspired by the 2016 incident in Nice, France where police officers surrounded a woman wearing a burkini, demanding she take it off. It made me reflect on the experience of Muslim women as they traverse the globe, especially in a world of prejudice and a time of fear. Traveling involves risk-taking, traveling alone involves even greater ones, and so imagine what kind of fortitude you’ve gotta have to travel alone as a Muslim woman in today’s precarious social climate? Talk about courage. That’s why I chose to situate the muse in the painting in a landscape that is both beautiful and slightly treacherous–to her, traveling can be enchanting and threatening at the same time. Her salute pose can be interpreted as longing or defiant, as a greeting or as a farewell, as someone responding in surprise or as someone reacting with strength and force of character.

I love it so much. A lot of your pieces have the woman with their backs to us? Why do you paint this way?

I paint women with their backs turned because I rather my viewers focus on how the woman might feel instead of how the woman might look. It’s important for me that my viewers connect with the experience of the women in my art and another way I achieve this is by leaving some of them to be “anonymous”. If the women in my art aren’t fully defined by physical features like their face, then their face could be yours, or your sister’s, or your aunt’s, or your mother’s. The women can be anyone and that’s exactly what I want to reiterate: adventure and traveling is for everyone.

Ok last question, will you, or have you, ever painted men?

I haven’t painted men yet and I hope to one day incorporate men in my art. I love men! 😄 Right now, I focus on women because I’m also exploring and defining my own feminine energy so I’m deeply connected to female narratives. It’s also important to me that my art is sparking dialogue and awareness around female travelers because it explores SO much: societal expectations on women, cultural and socioeconomic mindsets around travel, violence against women and the power of travel to cultivate community.

To learn more about Adriana visit her website.


March 2 - March 2 2019

Meet Adriana and celebrate the start to Women's History Month at her exhibit show at Zen Zone Miami.

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