Mya Byrne hard at work in the studio, March 2016. Photo by Neale Eckstein.
How did you get into debt?
I got into debt from credit card offers sent to me after college. I'd almost paid down all of my debt when I suffered an incredibly traumatic breakup of my marriage, necessitating massive expenses of moving and replacing destroyed items. I also have medical debt from an emergency room visit in 2015.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
It makes it extraordinarily hard, as a trans woman with limited income to begin with, to even conceive of having my own place to live, to have any sort of retirement, to have a cushion or nest egg of any sort.
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
Yes. I would have expendable income to save for studio time, flights to other countries, even just going out to events that I cannot afford right now. I'd be able to employ a PR person, and have a better leg up, and to be able to open my own studio.