Figuring Out Yesterday Nite

Mykalee McGowan

I don’t know how Yesterday Nite and I linked up but I’m happy we did. I’ve never seen someone so dedicated and consistently working on his craft as much as him. From paintings to poetry, the Delaware artist never stops. Here’s a snippet inside the mind of Yesterday Nite.  

Should I call you by your real name or your artist name?

I want to go by Yesterday Nite because I just got that put on my PayPal card lol (laughing out loud).

Lol. How old are you?

I’m 24 years old and I feel so old. It’s gross.

When did you start creating art?

I was always creating or scribbling something but the first time I really remember enjoying art was in kindergarten. We had to color in a fire. My brother and mom saw that I was just using red and they told me to use orange,yellow and blue because fire isn’t just one color. I remember really enjoying that.

What’s your process like?

My process is different depending on what I’m creating. But I usually start off by turning on a long ass podcast or an album I don’t mind not listening to all the way through. Then I just get to work.  I just need some kind of continuous sound in the background. I can’t create in silence.

What and who inspires you?

Black women, good music, passion and MC Escher.

Are there any people you would love to collaborate with?

 I would love to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Chance the Rapper, Erykah Badu, MC Escher and Black n Sexy TV. 

What does creating mean to you?

It means I’m still alive lol. My brain is still working and I’m still trying to complete understand why humans create shit. I think it’s just encoded in us to do weird shit.

Yesterday Nite gifting a portrait to Solange. Source:

Besides painting, what else do you do?

I completely enjoy writing, producing, recording music over everything else. I love to make music and write random rhymes.

Did you go to art school or were you self taught?

I went to an art school for high school and middle school. But I still feel self taught because they didn’t teach us how to draw. They just told us what to draw so the people who couldn’t draw still aren’t that good.  And the ones that could are just a little better.

What inspired your Black History series?

What inspired me to do the black history series was wanting to do something different. Everybody always draw and show the same black people. I decided I wanted to show the black people that inspired me and shaped the person I am.

I love Martin Luther King but Martin Lawrence had more of an impact on my life.

Speaking of the Black History pieces, these were a result of a challenge. I see that you do a lot of challenges. I’m all up in your Facebook albums and remembered the yoga challenge art pieces you did as well. Why do you make yourself do these challenges?

I do challenges because I want to be held accountable by the people who are following my Instagram. I hope that if i miss a day someone says “WHAT THE HELL? WHERE’S YOUR PICTURE FOR THE DAY? “. I do public challenges because I want an accountability partner. I just force myself to keep creating something no matter what it is no matter what medium.  

Poetic Justice of Black History Series. Source:

Cool. What’s your favorite challenge you did thus far?

I think the yoga one because of where I started it. I started it on a vacation in Las Vegas and the mountains inspired me so much. Mountains just bring a calm over me.

Nice. What’s your favorite pieces you have done so far?

My favorite piece that I’ve done so far is most definitely Emma Lou and Astronaughty.

Maybe it’s just me but I feel like people are starting to notice you. You are having art shows and I even saw an article about your “In Living Color” series on one of my favorite websites, Blavity. How does it feel to be recognized and supported by new fans?

It feels awesome to be recognized and also weird because people who I’ve always known are acting a little different and acting like I’m different. And I don’t have time for them even though, I’m the same exact person doing what I’ve always been doing.

Astronaughty. Source:

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself chilling in the mountains making children’s books and art supplies. Farming with some beautiful woman or women.

Do you have any advice for artists and creators?

My only advice would be don’t stop creating and dont worry to much about people’s opinions of your work.

 Keep up with Yesterday Nite on his websiteInstagram and Facebook