Maya Delano spent her early childhood in her father’s ceramic studio in Santa Cruz, California, watching him transform mounds of clay into vases, pots and bowls. A respected carpenter, he also made furniture, including their kitchen table and a bookcase filled with jazz and soul records. Although Maya’s father undoubtedly inspired her to become an artist, it was Maya’s mother who encouraged her to keep creating and taught her to appreciate art from all over the world.
Before Maya made her art more than just a hobby, she made her first real impact as a creator with the Santa Cruz Design and Innovation Center. While there, she worked with visionary entrepreneurs to strengthen the city’s design and tech scene. Maya continued her work in this field as the community manager at NextSpace, but also continued pursuing her art - drawing, collaging, and sculpting after hours.
A student of artist Coeleen Kiebert’s 5-step creative process, Maya had her Aha! Moment and realized that not only artists could benefit from this accessible approach to creativity. A few weeks later, she began teaching creative process workshops to professionals and artist alike.
Maya uses the creative process to guide her own art which is an unexpected blend of country kitsch, urban grit, and cartoonish whimsy. Her art is influenced by her hometown’s surf and skate culture, her father’s love of the ocean, fearless pop-culture icons like M.I.A., and cutting edge painters like Francisco de Pajaro, Lady Pink, and Bankse.
When she’s not making a mess in the studio, Maya can be found rafting down the American River, hiking in the woods, challenging friends to a soccer match, or stalking artistic inspiration across the state, from the mountains of Reno to the desert of Joshua Tree.