FIYAH Spring 2023 cover by Anthony Peyton YoungArtist Anthony Peyton Young channeled some interstellar love for FIYAH #26. We asked about his inspirations, lessons learned, and what we can look forward to.
What inspired you to originally want to be an artist?

I’ve always been interested in art since I was a young child, and coming from a family of creatives that all have a unique set of abilities from sewing and singing to creating music, really helped push me in that direction.

What advice would you have for people looking to become an artist as a career? What are some of the highs and lows they can expect?

Advice I would give to people looking to become an artist would be to trust yourself, be fully committed in your work and be open to criticism from people you respect and trust.  While the highs and lows can vary depending on what type of artist you decide to be, overall I would say expect a lot of rejection. It takes a lot of time to get opportunities in most cases, but on a high note if you really commit to making your artwork and pushing yourself, you’re usually rewarded in some way.

What would you say have been the top highlights of your artistic career so far?

Being a part of the MFA Boston and Simmons University’s permanent collection and having the opportunity to have been an Artist in Residence for the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robison residency are a couple of the top highlights I’ve currently had in my career at the moment.

Artwork by Anthony Peyton Young
Who are some of your favorite artists currently?

Marla Mecleod, Josiah Jamison, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Toyin Ojin Odutola, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson.

What inspired the FIYAH cover piece? Was it one particular thing or a convergence of inspirations?

The cover was inspired by a past relationship in addition to a series or works I’ve been working on inspired by the song My Lord, What a Morning which is where the star patterns are in reference to. I wanted to try to capture the feeling of how I felt when I was with them, as if all time and space was frozen and nothing mattered outside of what was happening right then.

What was the most difficult lesson you had to learn as an artist?

Always have a contract with anyone you’re working with, and to not let the opinions of others distract or cloud your judgment/ confidence

What projects do you have coming down the pipeline? Anything you’re particularly excited about?

I have a few solo exhibitions this year, one of them will be my first solo exhibition out of the United States. It’ll also be the first time I’ve had a solo exhibition with this specific body of work.

Tell us where we can find you. Social media, website etc.?


Tiktok @AnthonyPeytonYoung

Twitter @Back2Black13

Nelson Rolon is a Black Hispanic writer based in Ohio. His debut novelette, Saudade, was published in FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction (2018), reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine (2021), and mentioned in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2019). His writing explores transhumanism, interstellar migration, and faith. Nelson lives in a cozy apartment with his wife and two cats. Follow him on Twitter @oldmannelson

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