Chloe Myaskovsky was completing her college applications while her family was in the process of moving out of their foreclosed Calabasas home of eight years.
Her father had just lost his job as a computer technician, and her family was experiencing financial difficulty. Still, she says her parents told her not to worry.
“They told me, ‘Don’t bother packing. Take care of your college applications and we’ll figure it out from there,’” she said.
Chloe, 20, ended up getting acceptance to every school she applied to, including the Maryland Institute College of Art, her dream school. She was getting ready to move there when her parents declared bankruptcy.
“Literally a week or two before Maryland Institute College of Art, my parents were like, ‘You can’t go. We can’t afford for you to go,’” she said. “I literally had all my books purchased. I had all my sheets for my bed, all my supplies and stuff.”
Chloe ended up attending Pierce College as an undecided major in the spring semester of 2012. She also now helps her parents, who are still unemployed.
Inspired by her artist mother, Chloe started drawing when she was around 2 or 3, according to her father, Robert Myaskovsky.
“Other kids had TVs; we had crayons,” Robert said.
Chloe’s similarity to her mother when it comes to art seems to end there, according to Robert. While Chloe’s mother focuses on abstract work, she tends to draw inspiration from comic book-style drawings.
“With the way they draw, you wouldn’t even know they were related,” he said.
Chloe considers art to be the “axis on which [her] life revolves.”
This is evident to friend Genine Schwartz, 21, a California State University, Northridge student she met when working at Red Robin.
“Anything accessible that can be drawn on is drawn on,” she said. “She always draws awesome things everywhere.”
Her style with art, according to Schwartz, is reflective of her.
“It’s very distinctively her, because you can see her personality in everything she creates,” she said. “She thinks outside of the box. She can contribute a different perspective that you wouldn’t necessarily initially think of.”
In addition to art, Chloe also places importance on helping her parents. When she previously worked at Red Robin, she used a portion of her income to help out her parents and younger brother.
“I had to make that sacrifice. My parents needed me home more often for moral support,” she said.
She says that part of her desire to help her parents is her upbringing as a child of Chinese and Russian parents.
“Here in America, especially on the West Coast, there’s this whole individualistic mentality where you’re supposed to leave the nest and pave your own way, so to speak,” she said. “Because I come from the background that I do, the whole Chinese-Russian thing, it’s a lot about family.”
Regardless of her current financial situation, Chloe is determined to go through with her passion for art.
Robert also says that he never felt concerned about Chloe’s future, as far as career goes.
“I came from a country where artists might not be as well off, but are usually treated very well,” he said. “In Russia, to be an artist is a good thing. It’s a privilege to be an artist.”