Who is Angela Tahara, the person and artist?
A lovely friend suggested I write about myself and I thought, oigh, where do I start.
I am an oddball from the day I was born and I really tried to be normal and it crushed me. So much so that my life fell apart and I had such low self esteem and I was terrified. It was when I finally accepted the individual that I was, that life took a turn for the better and so too my art. My art is about the beauty of individuality and our ability to overcome struggle.
If you met me, you will see a super friendly person, likely dressed bizarrely, and working the room (as my friends describe it). My motivation is not to get attention but to be kind, respectful, positive and ensure people in the room are feeling included and seen for who they are. Connection; a conversation or a fleeting moment, even if it is just a smile to say, 'I acknowledge you'. This heals my own history and to uplift the energy of the space around me.
So how does this translate to my art? From 1985 until 2000 I was an progressive sculptor and did well for myself. I made a lot of sales, was in Galleries, newspapers, the whole gamut. However, I was depressed and severely oppressed and I was not the flamboyant person you see today. My world crashed, along with my outside job, my 20 year marriage, I felt I had no soul and was without a rudder and my art looked lifeless and sad.
In the year 2000, I took all of my remaining sculptures except 5 and hammered and smashed them before dumping them in a large garbage bin. It was so cathartic and I never looked back. It was another 10 years of many attempts but I was not able to create anything of significance because I had to work on my inner self and find out who I was.
In 2012, I bought some oil paints and supplies and tried my hand at this medium for the first time and the creativity rushed out of me like wildfire. I went nuts and incorporated my sculptural perception into painting and quickly latched onto Encaustic because of the brightness and difficulty that it possessed. I love challenges.
It was more than the medium that had ignited me. It was my intent. I knew now what had gone wrong before. With my first attempt at being an artist I had bought into the dogma of what I 'should' do to be a success. I had tried to fit in. I had adjusted who I was as an individual and artist in order to get sales and approval. You saw how that turned out!
This time, I went in as an artist that said, no more critiques, no more seeking approval and no more playing to the public view. This time I will speak from my soul. My colours, my technique, my inner voice, because that is what an artist needs to do to break boundaries and work from a place of happiness and challenge.
I came to realize that there is only a small demographic of people that really connect to my work and that is just fine with me. To have someone who has walked those steps, and then get emotional because I was able to show that feeling in a creative form, is a reward for me like no other.
It is just like when I 'work a room', I want to leave the person feeling like everything is going to be okay, I see you, and you did good. You can handle anything, just the way you are.