The Progressive Artist: Basya Klein

Basya Klein. A 16-year-old designer and artist who works in many mediums and has been for as long as she can remember including painting, drawing, and of course, fabric. Because of her experiences as a woman and a member of the LGBTQ community, she aims to support groups that are often put down and seen as less than humans. She aims, with her work, to make women feel more confident and powerful and create a dialogue about feminism, sexuality, and mental health. She believes art can have a very profound effect on people's lives, whether it provides a point of connection with the artist or allows for the viewer to understand an experience they may not have had. Basya is currently trying to gain recognition for her artwork in order to spread her message of strength and equality in a time of tumult and chaos. Now, more than ever, art plays a very important part in our lives and she wants to be a part of something bigger that can help people feel supported and powerful in a world that tells them they are not. Basya is currently still in high school and trying to find new opportunities to showcase her art and designs as well as keeping up with a busy schedule of academics and beginning the college search. Art has always been the most important thing in her life and she is confident that that will never change. Her dream is to impact or inspire even just one person through her art.


What is your name?

"My name is Basya Klein."

What is your age?

"I'm 16 years old."

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Where are you from?

"I live in the Boston area."

What is your Instagram handle?

"My Instagram is @artemptingcreativity"

What type of art do you do?

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"I do primarily fashion design, drawing, and painting, but I dabble in most visual arts."

What is it like to view the world from an artist standpoint?

"I feel like artists tend to view things more intensely and I often catch myself thinking of mundane things as dress materials or seeing negative space and color theory randomly through the day. As an artist, I feel more connected to the things around me because of the ability I have to transform them into something more."

Is there a certain way your art has impacted you or someone else?

"Personally, art has helped me through a lot. I have pretty shitty mental health and I've found that art can really help ground me and express what I'm feeling. It's also an outlet for me to formulate and express my personal ideals of how the world should be and the problems it is facing."

What forms of art do you think are good ways to solve social issues (murals, speeches, clothing, etc.)?

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"All forms of art can contribute to fighting against social issues, but on the topics of feminism and body image, I think fashion is a really good form of art to use to advocate for social change because the industry is very much based on women and their bodies. "

Have you ever experienced any negative/harsh words about your art? If so, how did it make you feel? If not, are you afraid of it happening some day? Why?

"I've had my share of criticism about my art. If it's constructive, I try to take it into account when working on my next piece as something to consider implementing or changing. But if it's straight up criticism and gives no ideas for how to improve then I try to just brush it off and keep going because worrying about it won't help anything. (That said, I have a hard time following my own advice here.)"

What makes art amazing?

"What makes art amazing is how raw it is. By looking at an artist's work you can get to truly know a piece of them. Art is emotional and vulnerable and can bring beauty into an otherwise pretty dull and unfortunate world." 

What’s your favorite color? Why?

"I don't have a favorite color. They all are great and deserve to be loved!"

Choose any artwork/style from any media (Dance, hair, graphics). Which is your all-time favorite?

"I absolutely love pop art surrealism in painting and drawing. Something about the bold shapes and lines feels very strong and definitive, and it provides room for a lot of interesting interactions between shape and color. I especially like this style because I personally don't think that all art has to have a specific concept behind it. Sometimes the best art is something made purely for its aesthetic appeal; there is real value in conveying emotion without a clear story or idea and it is not easy to do which makes it even more beautiful when done well."

Somewhere out there is a child who is being discouraged from their calling in art, what would be your advice to them?

"My advice would be to come to terms with the fact that not everyone will understand. A lot of people see art as nothing but a flight of fancy and not worth time. But it doesn't matter what other people think if you put the effort in. And it will be worth it. Even if you spend all of your free time drafting patterns and compositions in between essays and extracurriculars, of art is truly what moves you and what you want to do with your life, it will be worth it. "

What is one thing that makes you angry?

"I cannot stand when people make jokes at the expense of minorities- they are offensive and not funny, and if you can't find any jokes that don't offend or marginalized others then you're not funny either."

What’s your favorite food?

"I love pasta. A lot. In all its forms. 10/10."

No matter what art you do, what are your artistic goals for the future?

"My artistic goals for the future are to make people feel more confident and that they are not alone. I want to show that there are always others who understand what you're going through and you can be beautiful no matter what."