Meet Aimee, a  multidisciplinary creative artist

I draw pictures and create images for a living. In more professional terms: Illustrator, Artist and Designer – a creative in general. And I freelance in these things under my own business; Up In The Ayres. 

I am also a digital art mentor at CANVAS Academy where we teach young artists the fundamentals of creating digital art.

What I'm working on at the moment

I’m currently on a journey of launching my own online store with art prints and other products that people can buy as is, or with an option to customize. I’m super excited about this venture and am embracing the challenge! 

I’m also working on bringing back my monthly newsletter where I share art-related stories, recommend places in and around our city/country and sharing content that I enjoy consuming and think others will too. What makes this newsletter more unique is the fact that I incorporate my own art and photos to illustrate these recommendations. 

My goal is to create regular art of places I visit and people I interact with and the ultimate dream job is to become a traveling artist with my own published art books and exhibitions.

My story

It’s SUCH a cliche but I’ve never really considered doing anything other than art. In High school when I chose art as a subject I became obsessed and started working toward any career that would allow me to paint and draw. I thought I would end up in Animation because it seemed like the only option for a modern artist, but after studying Multimedia Design at UJ (where I met some of the best people ever and REALLY grew as a person) I knew animation was too specific and specialized and that there was a huge world of opportunity for artists beyond that.

What I loved about MM was the variety of mediums to work with – I absolutely loved the photography and design aspect of it and really took a deep liking to digital art. So after graduating from UJ I attended another course in digital drawing and painting and met my now mentor and great friend, Tumelo Selamolela.

I also started my own freelance business called Up In The Ayres (pronounced: “up in the airs” ) where I create custom art and a variety of different designs for clients – it’s been so fulfilling to do what I love and to keep evolving and changing as a person and business, continually learning and growing as I go.

Tumelo helped me refine my digital painting skills and eventually took me on as a mentor who would teach other young artists at CANVAS Academy.

On a more personal note: I am a super sensitive human with a deep love for so many things like my baby dogs, panda’s, whales, dessert, the ocean and space. I still want to study marine biology, I just haven’t figured out how yet. I love being in nature and will always gravitate toward animals wherever I go. People and their unique traits and stories absolutely fascinate me and inspire most of my current and future art.

I always want to go hiking and adventuring but also love consuming new content like series, movies and music. I think the common thread that draws me to these different mediums and interests are the people and stories involved.

I hope to one day travel not only SA but abroad. I hope to go deep sea diving and hike out mountains wherever possible. And I hope to make art on these adventures that capture the experiences and the people I find there.

A well-intentioned, colourful mess

Aimee Ayres

What keeps me inspired

The fuel for my inspiration is the fact that my soul refuses to be happy doing anything else. I have my off days like everyone, but if I’m not busy creating something or working towards something creative I get frustrated and sad. I’ve worked in many other fields while studying like data capturing at an office, retail shops, waitering, promotions etc. but I never felt fulfilled and always saw those jobs as stepping stones to get to the place where I am now – making art for a living. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I have this constant idea in my head that there is so much I have yet to make, stories I have yet to tell and an enormous planet I still have to explore.

So even when I have days when I feel uninspired or I don’t feel creative, I know that eventually I will get back to it and with enough time, I’ll make something I’m proud of and satisfied with – until the next idea!

In regard to teaching and mentoring, I’m motivated by the fact that I never had access to this information and  the art-world when I was young. I would love to give any future creative a chance at getting a head start and letting them know that their passion and creativity are a valid career choice. If I can make it easier for anyone to realise that and help them through their art journey – then I would be one happy panda!

Follow Aimee!

Follow the links below to stay updated with the latest from Aimee.

Aimee’s Instagram: aims_intheayres

Up In The Ayres’ Instagram: up__intheayres


Facebook page: Upintheayres