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Daily Inspiration: Meet Tara Nantais

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Nantais.

Hi Tara, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a self-taught visual artist and creative. I have been creatively expressive ever since I was a little girl. I was always drawn to activities like drawing, painting, writing, music and dance, playing dress up, and overall creating new things. I struggled a bit growing up because I was typically categorized as more “shy” than most, which I identified with for the longest time. As a result, I had close to no self-confidence. It wasn’t until high school and college that I broke out of this “shyness”. Minus the fact that I disliked school and felt lost in regards to my future, I broke out of my shell and did my best to enjoy those years to the fullest. I leaned on alcohol as a social crutch in breaking free from the “shyness” I so deeply identified with. In doing this, I ended up feeling like I needed alcohol to be outgoing, exude confidence, and be myself. Although it temporarily made me believe it was doing all those things, internally it was actually doing quite the opposite. After many years of this, I knew I wanted to change this but only dreamt of a life free from alcohol. It wasn’t until August 2021 I finally let go for good. I replaced drinking activities with painting. With an open heart and some practice, I was able to tap back into the artist within me. There was so much creativity that I was unknowingly blocking when I was drinking alcohol. This is the reason why I genuinely attribute my growth and success in my art career to my decision to stop drinking. My mission now is to use my story through creative expression to inspire others to turn their pain into their purpose, like I did. I intend to show others that they can and will overcome whatever it is they are growing through, too.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not always been a smooth road. For the majority of my young adulthood, I really struggled to put my finger on what it was I wanted to do with my life. Aside from my own personal struggles, I felt an immense amount of pressure from society to fit in a box and follow the footsteps of most other people. I constantly compared myself to the people around me who seemingly knew what they wanted to with their lives without question. Knowing in my heart I wasn’t somebody who would be content being put in a box but not knowing what I wanted to do, this made the road to where I’m at now incredibly challenging. I still wouldn’t change a thing.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?

My intention with every painting I create is to touch someone’s heart with a piece of mine. My artwork is intended to make a viewer feel something deeper and stop to appreciate the little things. I have been told by viewers of my work that they could feel my energy radiating through each piece, and to me that is everything.

While I make and sell paintings that exude my love and personal energy, I love doing commission artwork as well. In my opinion, commission artwork is one of the best ways to create a one of a kind piece only that nobody else will ever have. It’s also a great way to honor a fond memory, or bring a vision to life that means something special to my client. I am honored when someone chooses me to be a part of that process.

I feel I am known for how quickly my work has improved in a short period of time. Seeing as I’ve shared most of my alcohol free journey publicly, those who are familiar with my story can attest to this. My work is a direct reflection of how I have taken and used my past struggles and some of my life’s hardest moments to draw on my strengths. This is what sets me apart from others.

In my desire to guide others in exploring themselves on a deeper level and bring people together in the local community, I have recently collaborated with another artist to host a monthly painting workshop called Art for Everyone, starting on June 5. Art for Everyone is a totally judgment free and alcohol free space. In this workshop, you will learn how to get in touch with your intuition and creativity in a safe space, as well as make new friends! Here you are free to be yourself and let your fullest expression be known through your painting. You will learn more about our stories and why we are so passionate about this event, but more importantly about yourself along the way. We feel you will be able to take what you learn in this workshop and use it in everyday, real life situations. Our goal is for you to leave feeling inspired, creative, and supported. Click the EventBrite link below for more information on this event. Hope to see some of you there!

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Put yourself out there and do not be afraid to ask others for help. Find someone who has been successfully doing what you are striving to do and ask them for some tips. When it comes to building up your portfolio, do not be afraid to ask for an opportunity! If you want it, sometimes all you have to do is ask for it. Keep asking for opportunities until you get one. In other words, make people tell you “no.” Sure, a lot of success may come from who you know, but it can also come from just having the courage to try something new on your own. This mindset has worked wonders for me personally and I know it will help someone else out there too.

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