Nara Tiang – The Bronx Brand

Nara Tiang

What part of the Bronx are you from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Montefiore up in north Bronx and grew up in the projects on 183rd and Webster ave.

How has living in the Bronx inspired or influenced your work?
It influenced my work in many ways. I've been inspired by graffiti street art from a young age because it was all around me. The place I was raised has made me the person I am today, though I didn't choose to follow the paths that most of my peers growing up with did, towards drug addiction and violence. The arts was a tool to keep me occupied and my mind focused away from all of that, it was my personal drug. I also love when i see artists work being promoted on subway train stations. The Bronx has a vibrant culture that influenced my taste in both visual arts as well as music. It wasn't unusual for me to go to sleep with my neighbors blasting R&B, Hip Hop, and classic Motown jams til 4am in the morning. It became a lullaby that put me right to sleep and was weird if I didn't hear it. When I'm not drawing I also like to jam out with my guitar and cajon(box drum).

What's your creative process?  
It varies. Also depends on what I've recently been exposed too, or whatever's weighing in my heart. I heard someone say once that making art is like waiting for a nice breeze. I feel like that sometimes. Some days I'll create a masterpiece and I think to myself "how did I just do that??" I think it came with the wind.

What ideas, if any, do you want to inspire with your art?
I definitely like to express my faith through my work. I'm not the best at conveying what's in my heart through words, but I think I do it best through art. I like to inspire messages of positivity, hope, as well as love. Especially in the society we live in, no one likes to be told what to do or what to believe in. Some people perceive Christians to be imposing, but I think that through my art, I'm able to reach out to people in a certain way that I wouldn't be able to with words.