We had the good fortune of connecting with Aya Chabayta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aya, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I owe so much of my growth to my business because all of the challenges and obstacles that showed up at one point or another were always a direct mirror of a part of myself that needed to grow or be compassionately punched in the face. This aspect of running a business has allowed me to develop such deep insight into who I am and what I need to let go of to create the reality of my dreams. When I first started building my business I was 18 years old, working two jobs, and was also making my way through high school online. Each day of working countless hours felt like I was continuously hunting down my fears, my negative self beliefs, and my insecurities, (which as you can imagine wasn’t that fun). But each time I persevered through what felt like hell on Earth, something miraculous popped it’s head around the corner which resulted in my business growing and being able to impact more people. Long story short, my business has taught me that with resilience, trust, and self love, there is nothing I cannot do nor create. And for that lesson I am eternally grateful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I first started making art I was dealing with severe depression and anxiety, and needed to have access to something I could turn to when I needed to release unwanted energy or emotions in a positive way. At the beginning of my creative journey, my art making was more about emphasizing the process of creating rather than the outcome of creating. Meaning, I my intention was to create a positive experience for myself rather than create something beautiful to hang on a wall. I experimented with whatever I could get my hands on that would make the most mess. (Candle wax, sand, rocks, heavy body acrylic paints, and different acrylic mediums). The goal was to be able to blast Metallica really loud and throw a lot of paint on a canvas. However, the more I learned about art and got inspired by other artists, the more I started to want to enjoy the process of making art AND create something beautiful that I wanted to hang on a wall. Looking back, I think I threw out almost every painting I made because that is how dissatisfied I was with what I created. There was a year or two where I was so doubtful of my abilities that I didn’t even pick up my art supplies because I had no belief in myself or my creativity. What flipped the switch for me personally was when I started to volunteer to help an art teacher in her classroom at an elementary school in Poway. She taught over 100 kids at a time and volunteered to teach all of them for free. As I observed over 100 children trust their free expression and use their creativity so boldly I think I realized for the first time that making art is supposed to feel GOOD. When you are creating something with your hands, you are having to trust in the unknown. You have to have faith in your dreams, the unseen, the unexplored. And it is SO HARD to flow through that experience if there are obstacles along the way such as self judgement, fear, and doubt. The more I worked with these children, the more I started to create my own art with the spirit of a child. And bit by bit I started to fall in love with the possibilities each work of art possessed prior to me even starting to work on it. The more I was able to play in the unknown in comparison to wanting to hide in a cave when something uncertain manifested in my art. To this day, I am still blasting Metallica and throwing paint, I’m just having A LOT more fun doing it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would probably take them to Little Italy because it is my absolute favorite part of the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would honestly have to give some credit to my partner, Matthew Iske. He has been in the business world a lot longer than I have and I continue to learn so much from his experience and heart centered approach to being a business owner. Every single time I felt like I was hitting a huge wall he was always there to walk me through my struggles and help me come out stronger. He continues to teach me things that I probably wouldn’t have learned without his presence in my life. If you ever need any encouragement or insight as to how to be a better human, warrior, or business owner, he is 100000% the man you should go to.