An Interview with Mikayla Mackaness, Photographer

Posted By hazelbasil on Feb 11, 2009 | 3 comments

Mikayla Mackaness is a lover of words and images. Currently, besides involving herself with these passions, she part-time teaches Photography at the Arts Institute of Charleston. I met her several years ago at a music show and somehow, managed to stay in touch after all these years! Thanks Mikayla for your time!

1. Who are you and what do you do?

The daughter to Mamma Mia and Daddy, a sister to two incredible women,
Your-Kayla. Hopefully, I live every season of my Life in absolute
Love, as an instructor, a humanitarian worker, a poet, a Light seeker,
a student… and your friend.

2. Where do you live? Does where you live inspire you?

I currently reside in Charleston, South Carolina. Everyone inspires
me. Literally. And here, yes. It’s amazing, because I am sad over some
cultural events here and elated at what is happening in this city as
well. This is a culture filled with subcultures and tensions and
freedom. Being near close friends here and meeting new people with
dreams and drives and days, has given me an indescribable hope in this

3. Of all the places you’ve been, what has been the most creative for you? Why?

[If you cannot narrow it down, then give me the top 3].

Top three? Seriously 😉 I could just say: my bed, my shower, and
outside 😉 Okay, I. My birthplace: Montserrat, West Indies: there is
something to seeing a space in this world yearly; something to feeling
the transition of a nation so gorgeous. It’s like when you see a
friend’s baby every month instead of everyday, wow do we notice the
move 😉 II. Anyone’s home, that intimacy inspires me gigantically.
III. Somewhere wherefore a culture pushes and pulls me, straining the
body to breathe just to find and be found within: Manhattan, Sydney,
Roseau, Montreal, Ventura, Chichiriviche… (oops).

4. When did you notice your creative/artistic leanings?

Wow, I have no idea how to answer this… Okay, I think that the only
way I can answer this is to say that one of the most important ways
became to me, when I was little, to be able to share: how to express
what we are feeling, what we are doing, how we are being together or
separated. How to word this, how to visually share this; I want to
feel you, I want you to feel me. I suppose I noticed I craved this the
first time a friend moved off island and I thought, how to reach them

5. Who/What influences your creativity?

Life and finding or being found within. You.

6. What project[s] is/are next on your creative calendar?

I’d like to bring a group of people to Montserrat (again) this summer
to teach within the Summer Youth Programme on Montserrat late July to
mid-August. We work with the government of Montserrat to provide a
space for the youth of the isle to express and learn, play and wonder
during their summer season on a volcanic isle that has shifted in the
weight and of a volcano’s overtaking since 1995. I would like for you
to consider coming. We need teachers, counselors, and teaching
assistants of steel pan, leathercraft, batik, painting, photography,
poetry, ballet, interpretive dance, guitar… and the equipment that
goes alongside:

7. Do you have a creative ritual? What is it?

Hmmm, I do know that every time I go on a walk, I come back with
streams of new ideas.

8. What is your favorite media to work in/with?

A pen, a brush, paint, near the ocean, a camera, and a friend.

9. 5 Books to read and why

A book to learn Arabic, a book to learn French, a book to learn
Spanish, a book to learn Chinese, a book to learn Russian (this is if
you already know English), a tribute to the United Nations 😉 and
another one, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree 😉

10. Favorite dessert?

Guava or tamarinds.

11. What other artists [current/past] inspire you?

This is a difficult one. I know I ought to have one, right? I don’t. I
hope that doesn’t sound too funny. I never look up artists for
inspiration, and do not like examples. I want my productions (whether
poetry, or a visual) to come purely from my moments with people, a
place, space, an emotion, a longing, an excruciating… not anothers
creation. So, anyone inspires me, to just go on a walk with me or do
something positive in each others company. People doing Love, and
acting as though they belong to one another, they/this inspire/s me.

12. What was the last thing you listened to that inspired you?

I am listening to Bob Marley and the Whalers right now, and well, this
may be inspiring these answers, can you tell 😉

13. The last thing you saw/watched?

Blue, a movie in the Blue, White, and Red series. A new friend sent me
the series for my birthday, my only gift I unwrapped this year. Thank
you 😉 I basically enjoy watching any movie in another language beside
my mother tongue: it pushes at my thought processes within the visual
story. Or, I could say, a bird fly in the sky during tonight’s sunset:
that was gorgeous.