Each month the MOB Nation collaborates with a different MOB Alliance artist. The featured artist is asked to share a piece that shows what the MOB means to them. This art piece is placed on limited edition mugs in the MOB Shop that are only available during the month they are featured. Go here to see this Lea K. Tawd's MOB collaboration mug.
February’s featured MOB artist, Lea K. Tawd, describes herself as an artist, author, and Reiki Master. “I love to combine energy healing with art! I use Reiki ("Ray-key," a form of energy healing) to help me connect more easily with the Muse, and I infuse all of my artwork with it. I also love to guide my clients to find their own creativity and let go of creative blocks by offering them healing and making art together, “ she says.
Lea’s art is heart-centered and focused on the spiritual exploration of the Divine Feminine. She uses acrylic and mixed media on wood panels. She explains “I leave the wood grain exposed (but stained to stand out) as the skin tone of my figures. In this way I get to display the original beauty of the wood and offer a more diverse interpretation of many of my figures.”.
In addition to being an artist, Lea is also a married mom of two who has lived in Portland, Oregon since 1997. She creates her art in her studio which stands in the back of her property and looks out onto a magical apple tree.
When she’s not working she loves to read, wander the neighborhood with her six year old, and have meaningful conversations with her friends.
Lea has always been creative and has written poems and short stories. Despite being shy, she even did poetry readings in high school. In college, she double majored in art and writing. She later dropped writing when she moved to Portland due to her new college not having a creative writing program at the time.
She knew making art was in her soul, and despite how difficult it was to get started she was determined to be an artist. She worked all kinds of different jobs from catering to working in a grain elevator, until tendonitis forced her out of traditional work in 2006. At that point she started an eBay business with a friend and over the years has lots and lots of side gigs helping other artists and artisans make their products. Working for herself gave her the time and space to heal, to be home for her oldest when they needed her, and to very slowly grow her art business.
“I could have quit so many times. When I started, it was before the internet was much of a thing and I learned nothing about actually making money as an artist when I was in school. But I always knew there was something in my heart that I had to share with the world. Not to mention the fact that if I don't make art often I start to get very grumpy! I always had the sense that the more time I could focus on my art, the happier I would be and the more good I could do in the world. When I began to study Reiki a few years ago, that feeling increased even more.
Fast forward to 2020, and I found out that was true. After struggling for so many years, ironically this strange and difficult year proved to me that my art and my Reiki practice were not only my life purpose but that they are needed by the world and fully sustainable. I wrote and self-published my first book, "Creativity Unstuck: a toolbox for making more art," and substantially grew my art and Reiki practices,” she explains.
Lea says she looks up to her parents - all four of them. “My parents divorced when I was four and I have step parents, too. My mom was a single mom and I really look up to how hard she worked to make life good for my brother and I. She also always left out crafty projects for us and encouraged our creativity. My dad and stepmom are artists and have always been such an inspiration to me! I have been really lucky to have so many creative and supportive people in my life.”
She says supportive friends and family and being stubborn have kept her going when things are challenging. “If you knew how little money I made at this for how many years, you would wonder why in the world I kept at it! I just knew that it was my calling, and I couldn't ever imagine doing anything else.”
The advice she would give to her younger self is “Don't wait so long to let go of everything that's holding you back, and just dive in!! Find a mentor who is already doing exactly what you want to be doing and ask for their help so you don't have to keep reinventing the wheel. Also, you are right! All of your hard work will get you right where you want to go.”
Lea says the MOB makes her feel like a rockstar. “Since joining the Alliance in July, I have felt so incredibly supported. Every new thing I have to offer is well received and my sales have shot up. I have been able to collaborate with several other MOBs by cross-promoting each other's work, doing giveaways, creating products together, sharing heart-felt testimonials for each other's businesses and so much more.
This is the most supportive community I have ever been a part of, and I am especially surprised because the diversity of women and types of businesses is so vast. I have been inspired to support more MOB businesses, and use less big companies for as much as humanly possible. The MOB is not only an incredible support system, but has helped me become more aligned in my business,” she shares.
Her favorite MOB Alliance benefit is intangible and shows up in the form of having access to an incredibly talented and big-hearted group of women that are all focused on lifting each other up. She also loves the Meetups and educational aspects of the MOB.
Order Lea's MOB mug here.
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