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Rising Stars: Meet Shadale Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shadale Smith. 

Hi Shadale, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I am a Nashville native and self-taught artist. I have dabbled in art for as long as I can remember and was heavily influenced by art mentors and family. In 2017, alongside my corporate job, I decided I wanted to focus more on my art, so I chose to do paint parties because it was something that I always had interest in. I continued through 2018 until my focus on art shifted when I went through a difficult time, losing my mother. This life change caused me to focus on why I was doing what I was doing. At that time, I began to paint for purpose. I continued to paint personal paintings that highlighted my drive for painting. In 2020, I was laid off from my corporate job due to the pandemic. Although unexpected, I feel it gave me time to focus more on my gift and opportunities began to pour in. The past 2 years have been challenging, yet amazing. I am an advocate for youth arts and 2020-2021 has given me opportunities to work alongside youth groups. I feel art has been brushed to the side for our youth and it is a great time, more than ever to get them involved in the importance of self-expression and creativity. I have been given opportunities to partner with many organizations and groups in Nashville doing murals and art projects. With so many more parents and mentors being involved in youth art activities I am excited to see where it goes because our young ones have a story to tell and I am here to help illustrate in every way and everywhere possible. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Entrepreneurship is not smooth by any means. There are ups and downs and lefts and rights. I am fortunate to have a good support system, which helped me through times when I second-guessed, didn’t see where it was going, or had difficulty remembering why I even started. For me, it is about trusting the process and keeping faith. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I create work that expresses my perspective on social justice and the need for awareness of equality and positivity. I have my own artistic style, using bold colors to capture the viewers’ attention, making collages that address specific areas of culture that can spark necessary conversations, and including text in my work to encourage positivity. What sets me apart from others is that my art is my story. No one else has the script for my experiences. I choose to paint my story, therefore, no one else creates my art. 

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I have a great support system of family and friends that help encourage me to be me and to continue to share my gift with the world. 

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