Kayla Alexander, 6’4 center for the San Antonio Stars, took a dramatic leap forward on the court in 2016. Her shooting percentage increased from 41.6 to 54.6 percent, and her player efficiency rating jumped from 10.9 to 17.1.
But she did not suffer from any regression in her astonishing ability to create art, and her latest creation, the San Antonio Stars’ Fiesta Medal, is yet another example of her multifaceted talents.
We spoke with Alexander via email about the origins of her art love, and how it intersects with her life as a professional basketball player, while Alexander finished her season in France with Tango Bourges Basket.
THE SUMMITT: When did you start drawing, and when did you know you had a gift for it?
KAYLA ALEXANDER: I’ve always enjoyed drawing and creating artistically ever since I was a little kid. I had a grade 1/2 teacher named Mme. Cossette who was artistically gifted and would incorporate that gift throughout her classroom. As a result she inspired me a lot and encouraged me to explore my love for art as well. I also have the most supportive and encouraging parents who noticed they had a creative kid and catered to it. They bought me different art supplies so I could experiment with a variety of mediums, sent me to an art camp, encouraged me to take art classes in high school and signed me up in creative classes in our community. I guess the moment you could say I believed I may have had a “gift” for it was when I started making and selling mini bookmarks to my friends in elementary school (they were laminated and everything), and won a few art competitions in middle school, including one to create our school yearbook cover, as well as a competition at art camp.
THE SUMMITT: What was your inspiration for the medal you created?
KAYLA ALEXANDER: My goal was to create a medal that incorporated the following: the Stars organization, basketball, the city of San Antonio and the fiesta colors (pink, orange and teal). I came up with five designs that our Stars fans voted on and this one was the winner. For this design I love that you can immediately tell it’s a basketball medal because it’s literally a basketball going through the net. Then you have the silhouette of a girl dunking over the silhouette of the city of San Antonio. To tie it all together I incorporated the fiesta colors in the basketball, put the Stars logo underneath the city and added the words “Fiesta 2017”. The Stars colors (silver and black) are incorporated through the text, silhouette, basketball outline and even the net (The silver diamonds in the net I can’t take credit for, that was all Rebecca Sweat and it is great addition!). There are a lot of components to it, but I think it came together well.
THE SUMMITT: What would you be doing professionally if you didn’t play basketball?
KAYLA ALEXANDER: If you had asked me this question five or more years ago I would have said without a doubt that I wanted to be a teacher, a History (and maybe even French) teacher to be exact. Since grade two (Having Mme Cossette as a teacher), I told myself I was going to be a teacher just like her and have a hopefully positive influence on my future students like she had on me. Now however, I don’t know. I still love the idea of teaching but at this very moment I don’t want to be confined to a classroom. I’m sure maybe in the future I’ll make my way back into a classroom, but at the moment my answer would have to be an entrepreneur and creating a business that encompasses all of my different passions.
THE SUMMITT: What is your biggest goal as an artist?
KAYLA ALEXANDER: My biggest goal? Well I always want to have fun with it, art keeps you young, it brings out your imagination and that little kid in you. If I could some how manage to make a career out of my art that would be amazing! But, if I even just inspire the creative and imaginative side in someone else with my art, well nothing could beat that!
Watch Alexander design this year’s San Antonio Stars Fiesta Medal, including a magic trick. You can purchase one for $10 here.