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Jaylin Oats, Young Artist

Read Along with Jaylin Oats’ Artist Talk


Hi. My name is Jaylin Karen Oats. I am 9 years old. What inspires me is memories or things I imagine. For example my art piece called “Powwow Dancing.” I was inspired by seeing older young women wearing elk teeth on their powwow dresses or feathers in their hair. All of my life, I’ve been a powwow dancer ever since I’ve been able to walk. My mom Quincy, makes me and my brothers traditional outfits. Mine has jingles which are made of tin, so when I dance they make noise. I dance two different dances: junior fancy shawl, and the other is junior jingle dancing. My brother Edwin, is a kind grass dancer and he has a hoop to dance with. My youngest brother is a fancy bustle dancer. 

I like making art because it’s soothing and relaxing. Drawing hilarious things, or dark colored things, or just anything in my sketchbook makes me feel happy. In this piece called “Shark Boy,” I used paint, wood, beads and wire. I used a technique called dry brushing, to paint texture on the shark. Dry brushing is painting lightly on your artwork on a bumpy surface to get a bit more detail. 

Shark Boy isn’t just a normal shark. He could be a vegan shark. Or a playful tiger shark. He is confident, so the beads I picked are proud colors. Plus, the colors I chose are family friendly. No blood or gruesomeness, just a friendly vegan shark. But my shark does have two sides, a happy side and an unhappy side. Some things are scary. Sometimes you may think scary things are super scary but to other people they might not be.

Some of the lines and textures in Shark Boy are smooth, and some are rough. I just looked at the wood and it looked like the shark it was! I hope you enjoy looking at everyone’s great artwork. Thank you for listening to my talk.  ~ Jaylin Karen Oats, Feather Girl, Mikwan Iskwesis


Here are Jaylin’s pieces for sale: