Last Tuesday, the art gallery had the honor of hosting Cheyenne Barton for their latest art talk. Barton, who describes herself as a ‘professional internet art person,’ is a Seattle-based artist known for her whimsical, wholesome, and colorful style. Both an illustrator and content creator, Cheyenne Barton has successfully found a way to channel her creativity and passion into a medium that allows connection with others, along with further connection with herself.
Like most of us, Barton tried a few different routes before settling into her current and chosen path. Prior to cozying into the illustration world, she was in the pursuit of acting, even obtaining a bachelors of fine arts in the field in 2016. At the time, she was spending her free time doing something called bullet journaling. If you’re not familiar with the term (I wasn’t) , think of journaling with organizational note-taking in a very aesthetically pleasing manner, and in a freeform, creative layout. Fun colors, gorgeous penmanship. That type of thing.
Barton was sharing her bullet journals fairly regularly on Tumblr, and once she entered the YouTube world, her videos hit viral status. This was the moment when Barton began to give the idea of full-time artist some real consideration; “Very suddenly I had 5,000 subscribers on YouTube and I was like, ‘is this a viable career path?’” Turns out, it really was and is.
As Barton expanded her online platforms, furthering her reach, she started to get requests for her sketches and doodles to be made into stickers. Seeing an opportunity for some financial independence while maintaining a flexible schedule that could accommodate acting, she dove right in — it was almost simultaneous that Barton opened her sticker shop, started her Patreon, and committed full-time to YouTube. Barton has been a full-time artist ever since.
Throughout the talk, Barton shared images of her past work, stickers with designs of sweet little mushrooms, adorable teapots and cups of tea, flowers, french presses, cats and cake. “My stuff is very cozy,” Barton says of her work. And she’s right. Pouring through her prints and stickers, it’s impossible to not be left with the feeling of ‘everything’s going to be all right. Better than all right, even.’ The illustrator noted that she draws what she likes. “As my tastes have evolved, and as my interests have evolved as an artist, so has my work,” said Barton.
As Barton spoke to her path, her creative process, and her growth as an artist, questions from viewers of the art talk poured in rapidly. People were tuning in not only from Oregon, but other parts of the country (Kansas, Oklahoma), and other countries altogether (Australia, Canada). Cheyenne Barton’s cozy quirky reach knows no bounds. And while the questions had stacked up, Barton took the time and intention to answer each one thoughtfully and carefully. Inquiries ranged from curiosity of courses in graphic design to thoughts on overcoming art-block to advice on the logistics of sales tax when running an online shop.
This most recent art talk was incredibly rich and vibrant, as Cheyenne Barton generously brought her authenticity, energy, and savvy of navigating the cyber art world. It was a privilege to be in the audience, and an excellent reminder how lucky our student body is that LBCC’s art department continues to bring such incredible artists to our awareness and fingertips.
Note: Well-deserved shoutout to Barton’s cat Sophie who made a very lauded cameo.