My name is MiKayla Maxner, I’m a 19 year old self-taught artist from the Dakotas. I mostly grew up in Dickinson, ND, and recently moved back to Rapid City, SD, where I was born. I didn’t have the easiest childhood due to my parents’ inability to get along and their decision to get a divorce, which led to several years of court drama and financial struggles. To escape the chaos, I spent a lot of time alone to draw. It was like therapy for me; I would find myself blocking out all distractions and simply focusing on the vision for the drawing. I’ve always had artistic abilities, which only grew stronger the more time I spent expressing them. Drawing is my favorite hobby and is something that I’ll always be deeply connected with. I mainly draw traditional pencil portraits of people; I like to focus on one subject and put my all into it. I see my talent as a gift, and I’m so grateful to have it. It helps me to see my true potential and purpose in this life. I’m determined to grow with it and to share it with as many people as I can.