Community connections: spotlight on artist Jayarr Steiner
January 25, 2022
In 2021, HiRoad collaborated with Jayarr Steiner to create alive art mural at DUSK Music Festival celebrating community spirit, positivity and mindfulness—all things we’re big on. Based out of Tempe, Arizona, Jayarr uses exotic shapes and vivid color palettes in his art to bring a larger experience to the Arizona community.
To keep the conversation going on mindfulness and community, we sat down with Jayarr to get insight into his life, art and what drives him to be successful in his craft.
An inside look at the “You Are Amazing” series
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What drew you into the art world?
A: I’m originally from Rochester, New York and made the decision eight years ago to move out to Arizona to run my screen printing business. When I moved here, I had my daughter and became uninspired by the business. At the same time, I stumbled upon doing art.
I went from little pads of paper to making murals in downtown Tempe. I told myself, “I can do this, I can do this.” And after 15 years of screen printing, I made a clear decision to pursue art full time and that has led me to where I am now. I’ve been applying that energy to my career and it’s working. The person you’re talking to today is the result of making clear decisions in my life.
Q: What keeps you inspired?
A: What keeps me inspired is fear of failure. I’m pretty scared of not succeeding as an artist. [It] keeps me going, but also reminds me to take breaks from my art to get inspired by my surroundings.
I also have a 5 year old. She keeps me inspired. Growing up, I didn’t have clear examples of people who were doing things that are weird, dynamic and bold. With my daughter, I told myself that I would be the inspiration I wanted her to have.
Her freedom and child-like approach to creation is something all artists strive for. We overthink everything. Are people going to like this? Is this my style? Will this sell? When I watch my daughter, she just creates and that's an inspiration to me.
I’m drawn to things she can recognize. My work is not serious—it’s digestible and really fun. I want to speak to the person who walks in front of my mural and the person who looks at my art and says, “I can do that.”
Q: The “You Are Amazing” series is so stunning and does a great job of helping spread positivity in the communities they occupy. Was creating community-forward art your intention from the get-go, or was it something that it evolved into over time?
A: Four years ago, I did the first “You Are Amazing” piece in my car port. At the time, that piece was for my neighborhood and yoga community. After this first mural, it really took off. Downtown Phoenix asked me to create a piece for the community. Every place I put the “You Are Amazing” message—it immediately raised people’s spirits.
This series is for the people, and that’s why I try to do street art as much as possible. I believe that art should be free. People should be able to experience it and it shouldn’t cost them a thing. That’s my love for the Arizona community. “You Are Amazing” is a declaration to the world on how I feel about everybody, and that we should be telling it to each other. [People] should be giving one another positive affirmations all the time, and they do that when they see these murals.
Q: Let’s think big real quick—what is one project that you’d love to take on in the future that would help foster positivity, mindfulness, and community on a larger scale?
A: I want to teach young people and show young people that they can do large scale art. I would have never thought that I could do a big mural—ever. Now that I have figured it out, I feel my mission is to spread this light with as many young people as I can. An ideal project would be a year of projects in schools and community centers for the less fortunate.
That would be a dream year.
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