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South African Artist ‒ Exclusive Interview With Brenda K. Johnson

As a mentor and coach, I have unique clients that span the globe. One of them is a very creative artist determined to broaden her reach with new clients. I’m helping her expand the businesses to a broader audience. I want to introduce you to Natasha Lombard known as ‘Tessa or Megs.’ She is a self-taught artist and surface pattern designer based in South Africa. She proclaims “her work is mainly inspired by the natural and the vibrancy and culture rainbows of my South African homeland”. As a talented artist, we will discuss her successes, setbacks, life and future.

Brenda K. Johnson, Powerful Women's Business Coach

Tell us about yourself.

I am a self-taught artist and surface pattern designer based in South Africa. As a little girl, I started sewing ball gowns for my dolls and sculptured figurines from clay or glue. But the thing that art often got me into trouble, with was my love for drawing on my school desk. I was always scribbling, or making patterns and of course, at the time, I didn't know what it all meant.

Never having pursued an art career, just before COVID happened, I joined a community called World Pulse as part of its mission statement: “World Pulse is an independent, women-led, global social network for social change. We are a safe online space where women are logging on, speaking for themselves, and lifting each other up. On World Pulse, women from across 227 countries and territories are taking collective action…” they are located in Portland, Oregon, USA. At the local group, I created a painting to honor a female-driven community in my region of South Africa.

To my surprise, they featured my painting by gifting copies to their partners and supporters and paid me $250. This was huge! The first monies that I had made as an artist, then COVID-19 happened. In the middle of celebrating my joy as an artist, I was stricken with Covid-19. This was the hardest time in my life. I had a very aggressive bout with COVID to the point where I thought I was going to lose my life, twice! Struggling to breathe became a part of everyday life, while even struggling to remember... I was officially diagnosed with Long COVID. Which increases blood pressure from normal to higher levels on a daily basis.

Tell us about your business.

My business is TAM Creations, which is an art and design business. My canvas art paintings are dreams, love, light, imaginary places, and nature. Painting my art, allows my creative abilities to go wild, so to speak. I can create my own world in more than one particular painting style. I paint ocean views, people walking on the beach, children playing, the night bright moon on a dark night lighting the ocean or a lake with mountains silhouetted against the darkened sky. Also, so much more including African art and artefacts.

I also create digital patterns for fabrics/textiles and products. Surface pattern design is the act of creating art for the surface of products. Examples of these products are wallpapers, floor coverings, upholstery and fabrics. I even have created digital patterns that all match kitchen décor, dishes, table placemats, table clothes and curtains. The same could be in a bedroom or bathroom, with bedspreads, curtains and rugs to match. In the bathroom, shower curtains and window treatments match. To expand my reach in the marketplace, I am currently contacting various world-renowned businesses with my services. So far, a company Society 6 has my digital patterns with various types of designs for sale on their online website.

Giving back is equally important, as the Founder of the Shara Rose Arts Foundation, we have created a platform for traumatized girls and women to find healing and development through art. We offer mini "self-care through art" workshops as a free service to them. Art for them is a healing tool.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

The fact that God helped me find my true gifts. Being an artist and digital pattern fabrics/textile designer is such a blessing for me. I can paint, and sometimes I paint on the house walls beautiful ocean views or thick green forests allows me to express myself and share myself with the world.

My next greatest accomplishment is having a major company pick up my digital patterns textiles to sell worldwide. I am calling that into existence.

What’s your biggest challenge?

I do not look at life as a challenge. I call it an opportunity. As a remote worker, working from home with ‘load shedding’ in South Africa is when the power’s off for blocks of time sometimes daily. While our lights go out and our electricity cuts out, I choose to shine. Those are the times that I paint. At some of those times, I created some of my best paintings.

Is there something special that keeps you motivated?

The feeling of satisfaction and joy, that I get from finishing a painting or pattern design motivates me. Another thing that keeps me going is the mentorship from like-minded women in my field. They are the best! Sharing knowledge is a divine act and for that I am grateful. The success stories of other black female entrepreneurs who share their stories of resilience are remarkable. They are my heroes.

Also, contacting major companies promoting my pattern designs when they respond back with ideas and thank me for being diligent in my efforts of getting my business name out in the market. I know I will reach additional companies for contracts very soon.

Do you have new projects coming up?

I am excited about the launch of my new sneaker brand GAMER. This will come out in late September 2022. The idea of the unisex Gamer Sneaker is inspired by my energetic and game-loving boys. The boys are in constant need of shoes/sneakers and when I saw my 10-year-old one day admiring his friend's sneakers, my heart just melted and then the idea came to me. "Design sneakers"!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Women are making their mark in this world. And I use them as my examples of success. Every milestone is a celebration of life. Every little success is big and I celebrate. In 5 years, I see my art being sold worldwide and my pattern designs in major industries online and sold in high-end stores worldwide.

What is your long-term financial goal?

To expand the Shara Rose Arts Foundation for traumatized girls and women by purchasing our own land, building a building and hiring a mental health provider for the women and girls. I’d also like to include a dorm for those who are forced to flee dangerous living environments.

Natasha and her husband Shane have been married for twenty five years and have five sons.

Links for contact:

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!



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