This Mixed Media Artist Has An Eye For Detail And A Hat To Match

Photos by Crystal at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC | Follow on Instagram @rentmystudio

There is a quote in business and media that says you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. At the start of 2023, Caprice Baynes made a commitment to her craft as an artist and she is clearly dressing for the job of her dreams. During her interview with INSIDE Monthly at Picture Studios, we learned why fashion inspires her work as a mixed media artist and why every art supply store in Greensboro knows her by her first name.

Where were you born and what was your childhood like?

I was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey but I grew up in Caswell County, NC. In Pleasant Grove. PG. I was born in the country. I’m a country girl at heart but I got a Jersey Girl attitude. All the way.

When did you discover that you had a love for painting?

I have always had a love for art. In elementary school, I was the girl who was always doodling in my notebook. I was not paying attention in class. I was always drawing something. Just not paying attention. Getting in trouble. It’s crazy because I used to get in trouble and get kicked out of art class. I used to get kicked out ART CLASS because I was the rebellious one. I didn’t wanna listen and talk about Picasso and all those other artists and learn about the aesthetics of art. I wanted to do my own thing. And then when I got to college, I went to school for advertising and graphic design where I was able to follow my own path and do my own thing. And then in 2010, I taught myself how to paint and from there, IT WAS UP.

Check out some of Caprice Baynes’ Art in the gallery below:

Where has your artwork been able to travel so far?

With art, I have reached out to a lot of different celebrities. I sold a painting to Chrisette Michele back in 2016. That was my first big thing. My first big deal. In January I got in contact with the Baltimore rapper Deetranada and I linked up with her and sent her a painting. A couple of years ago I sent a painting to Two Chainz through his DJ E Sudd. If I can get it to em. Imma get it to em. By any means. I actually met Chrisette Michelle. She was on a panel on how to brand yourself in Raleigh, NC. I was going to give it to her as a fan gesture. I didn’t expect her to buy it. At the end of the panel, there was a meet and greet where you can take pictures with the panel and I wanted to present it to her. At the end, I gave it to her and she grabbed me by my hand and pulled me to the back. And she was like, “I really like it. This is all I have and I want to buy it from you”. And I was like “AH…OH MY GAWD”. So that was that experience. When I sent it to Two Chainz. I messaged his DJ, E Sudd through Instagram. I sent it to the address he gave me. With Deetranada. Same thing through Instagram. Social media is AMAZING. I messaged her and she was like, “I LOVE IT. SEND IT TO ME”. And that was it. After I sent it to her, she tagged me in it and sent a video. I posted it and she posted it and that was it. It was a really good feeling.

How do you think social media helps or hurts artists?

Social media helps artists a lot because you can interact with a lot of the celebrities. I can contact them and they can see it. I painted a picture of Glorilla and I tagged her. Through social media, I got my friends to help me tag Glorilla and she liked it on Facebook. I got the little message that Glorilla liked it. My friends helped spread the word by liking, posting and sharing. Social media is a big thing as far as getting your name out there. I love it. I haven’t really had any negative effects so far.

Which artists do you admire or look up to the most?

I love Basquiat. He’s my favorite. I kind of call myself Basquiat Baynes. He’s just so out of the box. I love his stuff.

Did you have other hobbies or interests before art?

Fashion design. That was my first love. Fashion design. When I first graduated from high school, I was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) but….you know…graduating…FIT….New York. I had a big fear of leaving home and going 8 to 10 hours away and being away from my family so I didn’t take that leap. I stayed home.

Be sure to follow mixed media artist Caprice Baynes on Instagram @ icyunv_caprice

Tell us about the types of media you like the most and the least.

I love black and white. Acrylic is my favorite. I’m just now getting into working with full color. I’m experimenting with texture and fabrics. I just started working with plaster. So I’m kind of stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring different options because there are so many things that you can create with. My box was just black and white acrylic and I stayed there for so long. I’m excited now. I have created so much stuff in the past couple of weeks and I’m just excited about it.

When did you decide to to fully commit to your craft?

This year. 2023 I made a promise to myself that I was going to push myself, promote myself more and do more with my craft. Prior to this year, painting was just a hobby. A stress relief. It was just something I did on the side. It was a nice little hustle. Yeah I did it but it was just for me. But in 2023, I really just said you need to hustle and push yourself. I finally got business cards made. I pushed myself to do my website. I started doing more shows and more events so 2023. That’s when I really started pushing myself to get out there and make a name for myself.

Photos by Crystal at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC | Follow on Instagram @rentmystudio

What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?

The biggest challenge that I had to overcome was coming up with ideas. Coming up with something new that nobody has seen before. That’s the frustrating part. When I first started painting, it was just for me. A hobby. When it became a job and I’m focusing on whether someone will buy it, that’s when it became frustrating and I wouldn’t want to do it anymore. That’s what takes the fun out of it. And I don’t take criticism well. What did Erykah Badu say? I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish….LOL.

When you do your personal pieces, what do you gravitate to?

I love black culture. I love doing scenes from movies. I love doing old album covers. Things that people might have forgotten about. Old black movie scenes. My Wiz picture is the picture of Michael Jackson from the Wiz. I just pushed pause on the TV and made it happen so it just depends. I don’t have a thought process on what I like. I like to do a lot of African art. A lot of photography. It just depends.

What methods do you want to experiment with more in the future?

More texture. I’m always on Pinterest and YouTube. There is a thing called ‘pour painting’, I want to do more of those. Then there’s wood burning. I want to incorporate a lot of different techniques and mix a lot of different media. Just mash a bunch of odd things together and see what I come up with.

What’s the craziest thing you have worked with already?

I did a whole entire painting out of shaved crayons. I bought a whole bunch of crayon boxes from Wal-Mart. It was a picture of a woman. She had a big curly Afro. I sectioned her hair off and took crayons and shaved them before gluing the crayons in each section. It took me about a year because I procrastinated. It shouldn’t have taken that long. As soon as I finished it, I took it to an art show and it sold that night. My mom was like, “I waited a whole year to see this finished painting and still didn’t get to see it”.

Tell us about the business of art and how you invest in yourself.

I’m constantly buying canvas supplies. When I make some money from paintings, I’m putting it back into some more canvas supplies. I sell a painting, I’m buying more canvas supplies. They know me by name at Michael’s. I’m constantly in there buying paint. Buying something. The other week, I won on some scratch offs. What did I do with my money? I went to Michael’s and bough some canvas supplies. Paint brushes. I’m always buying something. I have a whole little wall in my house dedicated to shelves of paint and art supplies. I don’t have any more room on my walls to hang up any more paintings. I give paintings to my friends to hold on to because I don’t have anywhere else to put it. I have paintings hanging at local businesses because I don’t have anywhere else to hang them at.

What advice would you give to younger artists?

Don’t give up. Don’t stop creating. Always create. Create when you’re up. Create when you’re down. Create when it’s dark. Create when it’s light. Just never stop. Never stop. That’s the best advice. Just never stop creating.

Always create. Create when you’re up. Create when you’re down. Create when it’s dark. Create when it’s light. Just never stop. Never stop. That’s the best advice. Just never stop creating.