Babes Ride Out

Artist Series | Haley Mackenzie

Artist SeriesAshmore EllisComment

We are so excited introduce Haley. She is one of the 5 artist that is painting the Babes Ride Out 3 Artist Series Jacket provided by RVCA. These amazing works of art will be raffled off on Saturday night at BRO3! The Babes Ride Out Artist Series is about featuring the talented people in our moto community and showcasing their work!

I have a deep love of melody and language and grew up wanting to be a musician, but when I’d try to practice music, I’d just get frustrated and give up. I knew it wasn’t in me in the same way art was. When I would draw and wasn’t happy with my work, I would furiously pursue it until I saw improvement. When I was frustrated growing up, or having a hard time with school, or feeling lonely, I’d stay up drawing for hours, like I was searching for something. I could hardly focus on my school work I was so driven to improve. It was like a current in me I couldn’t fight, like I had no choice but to pursue art. It’s what I got lost in, and what helped me cope with the world around me. It’s how I worked out problems or grappled with things I didn’t understand.

I didn’t end up a musician, but my process for drawing is still deeply intwined with music. I usually put something on to listen to and before I know it I’ve grabbed a scrap piece of paper and have a page full of drawings in front of me. Sometimes I illustrate the the imagery it conjures up in my mind, while other times I focus on phrases I like from the song and letter parts of the lyrics. That’s when I feel simultaneously most connected to and disconnected from the world… when I have music on and my sketchbook out.

Riding my bike gives me this same feeling…like I’m at once more alive, more aware of the world around me, and yet somehow outside of it just looking in. Riding and drawing are as close as I come to “nirvana”…where I’m completely in the moment with no other thoughts in my head but the joy of being and doing.
 
In college, I picked the best fit line between starving artist and corporate sell out and decided to pursue graphic design. It gave me a new appreciation for art; I could channel my voice visually to solve problems or communicate a message. After trying on a few different professional hats, I recently accepted a job teaching Digital Media Arts at a local high school. I am so fortunate for the chance to share my love of design and empower younger generations to create their own art to share with the world.

I hope to do the same with my love of motorcycles by encouraging women to learn to ride. Some of the gals I met at BRO last year and I have started hosting regular local rides as a way to connect with other lady riders and share the roads we love. I was able to use my skills in art and design to create a website where we could share our favorite routes and post safety information for people who wanted to come along. I wanted to create the community I wish I had when I started riding…one that was safety-oriented, women-friendly, and welcoming to beginners. Now we have a family that is growing with every ride, and I feel like I’ve found my place in the world. Drawing and riding have been there for me at my greatest highs and lowest lows, and I can’t imagine a life without either one.

In my garage:
2011 Triumph Street Triple
1975 Honda CB 360t
1978 Puch Magnum moped
To follow my work:
@haleymade
To follow my group:
@flatblackcollective
To follow my adventures:
@squeezedeez