We had the good fortune of connecting with Kurosh Yahyai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kurosh, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
One should never give up! Where at times it might feel like quitting is the best thing, and sometimes it is, I don’t believe that is the same as giving up. Rather, a shift in perspective, approach, and outcome. With anything in life if it something you really want to achieve, giving up entirely is not the solution. Sometimes creating space and time can help shift the perspective, which then can change your approach and acquire the desired outcome. I apply this thinking directly to my art practice but as well to every aspect of my life. Specifically with art, if I feel something I am working on is going horribly wrong I don’t give up. Sometimes I will set it aside for a long time until I am ready to try and solve the problem again. As time passes my perspective will almost always change, even a little, and that always leads to seeing the problem in a different way. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The art I am most interested in usually revolves around the human form. Whether it is photo realistic oil paintings of people close to me or abstracted figures floating in color space, I seem to always be drawn back to the human. While visually focusing on the human form, conceptually I am interested in the human conscious and existential questioning. I attempt to make work that helps answer or expose the minds existential landscape and what that feeling could look like. My goal is for the viewer not to interpret the work through intellect, but rather through emotions. I feel most proud and excited when the viewer can relate to the desired emotion in my work. My artistic career, like many, has not been a straight line. I have learned to adapt when needed, but stand true to what I believe when necessary at that moment. An artistic career is not an easy one. My learning to adapt while maintaining an open mind into new ventures have helped guide my artistic interests into a career. I gravitated toward artistic jobs that paralleled my own artistic interests. Jobs where I was lucky enough to work with other like minded creatives. As an artist being around other artists I feel is key for every aspect of pursuing an artistic career.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would have to say first and for most, Cafe Coyote in old town. Amazing Mexican food. As well afterwards you can walk around old town which can be interesting. Seaport Village to see Studio By The Bay, where I am a current artist in resident. Seaport has changed a bit in the last year and is a fun spot to walk around. Vallarta’s is another excellent Mexican fast food type place (order the Christian Burrito). You have to visit the beach, any beach really, they all have their own unique perks. Explore downtown.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate the success I have had so far in my life to my family, friends, professors, and colleagues I have met along the way. Every part of my success stems from learning from others, being curious, and not being afraid to ask questions to people that have the experience and the knowledge. Whether it was during my graduate time at SDSU or working for The New Children’s Museum, and all the people in between. I appreciate everyone that has taught me along the way even if they didn’t know it at the time.

Website: www.yahyai.com
Instagram: Kurosh.yahyai

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