Anyone who has stopped by Zest Bakery and Coffeehouse recently has probably noticed the fanciful artwork of Yuliya Bay for sale near the pick-up counter.
The 22-year-old local artist started selling posters and stickers last year to help get her name out in the community. Bay had seen art there before and decided it was a good place for hers as well.
“It was local, it was readily available, and you just take every opportunity life throws at you… so I took it,” Bay said.
Zest, known for its laid back atmosphere and silly themed lattes, seems to be the perfect location for her ornate, imaginative sketches. Each one tells a unique story that’s bursting with color and whimsy. The psychedelic vibes made all the more sense once Bay explained that she is also, “a professional palm reader and part-time psychic.”
Bay is very excited about the addition of stickers to her display but is hoping to soon upgrade to a waterproof, more durable sticker material that would be ideal for laptops or water bottles.
However, Bay’s talents go far beyond a coffee shop display. She also does commission work where she paints life-like portraits, murals and has even done wood-carved signs for Schmeekle Reserve.
When asked about her favorite art medium, Bay said, “I’m fond of everything except for one medium, and that’s watercolors… I just really hate watercolors. They’re the worst. I just like to beat up the paper and they really don’t take that. You have to be quite gentle with it. That’s why I like doing mixed media, which is like different materials and different tools. I excel at that.”
Bay lives by a philosophy that not everything is art, but everything can be utilized in art: when an artist has passion and puts in hard work, true art is made. Bay’s passion is evident from the level of detail in her work, her dedication to the craft and her optimism.
“I’m very passionate. I don’t need someone to believe in me. You can tell me I suck. Good on you! You have a good day, sir! I’m going to go out and just do my thing,” Bay said.
As a young artist just making a name for herself, Bay enthusiastically takes on any work she can. This contrast has created a division in her art style.
“There’s a couple sides to my art. There’s the commission side which is always kind of a cluster of whatever life throws at me. And then there is the part of, kind of like mysterious, visionary sort of art that is usually very illustrative,” Bay said.
Bay is booked for the time being, painting portraits to be given as Christmas gifts.
Bay is excited about the rising interest in her work throughout the Stevens Point community because she hopes to leave a mark here, even if she ventures on to a different city someday.
“I don’t plan on being a nobody. I mean, I’m psychic, right? I can see my future. It’s bright,” Bay said.
To invest in Yuliya Bay and support the local art scene, stop by Zest Bakery and Coffeehouse to purchase a poster or sticker and follow @yuliyabayart on Instagram.
Bay can also be contacted for commission work by calling 715-570-6758 and leaving a voicemail.
Arts & Entertainment Editor