For Seattle artist Maya Milton, art and dance were the first two loves of her life. “I think when you love something, you want to help it grow.” That desire to get better was there and, early on, her path looked promising.
At age eleven, however, Maya suffered an enormous setback. “I had a stroke and had to relearn how to walk and talk, all the normal things an eleven-year-old should know how to do.” Maya had an incredible recovery with the help of a strong support system. “[My parents] were with me every step of the way. They took me to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. They wouldn’t leave my side. When I lost my ability to dance…I went straight to art. Without art, I wouldn’t be who I am.” Months of physical therapy were followed by years of honing her artistic craft.
Maya beams when talking about Seattle. “I think it has everything. It’s innovative, it’s a place of growth, it’s a great place to discover food.” Her hometown has proven to be a catalyst for Maya’s growth and talent. “[It] is a great place to be an artist. You have to work hard to get where you’re going, and everyone in Seattle has a goal. They are here for a reason.”
Maya’s newest piece is a mural on the corner of Seattle’s Twelfth and Pine. The concept was grounded with the cityscape, the coffee, and the music. She added a hammer to represent Seattle’s incredible growth, and the mountain spoke to the natural beauty of the city.
“I had a stroke and had to relearn how to walk and talk, all the normal things an eleven-year-old should know how to do.”
Maya’s hope is clear. “I want Seattleites to look at this and be like ‘this is my city.’ This is just the beginning of my future as an artist. [I’m going] to keep moving forward and look for new opportunities, because they’re around every corner, especially here in Seattle.”