We had the good fortune of connecting with Natara Bjaranson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natara, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I think knowing when to move on is different for everyone, it may be determined by past experience and levels of motivation. I often ask myself, “Have you tried everything?” “Have you asked for help?” “Is this process teaching you something from trial and error or is this process holding you back from moving forward in a different direction?” It is important to consider your level of effort and be honest with yourself when weighing if something is adding or taking away from your life. Personally I have a hard time giving up on people and projects and its only when my sanity and my solutions have fallen short and decide its best to start something new.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Becoming who I am today has not been easy, like many others as a young person I had no control over my home or sadness. With no one waiting for me after school I began to hangout for snacks and support and by no means was a naturally gifted according to the demands of scantron . Once I was in high school I learned through the Avid Program my opportunity for control was through my education and determination. I went to Sonoma State my freshman year through academic and private scholarship undeclared and unprepared for what was about to happen in my family. By my sophomore year I found myself in my first painting class at my hometown’s local community college after the loss of my Grandmother Sonja Bjaranson in 2015. From 2015-2018 I found myself taking 2-3 art classes in addition to my general education just to be motivated to go to school in the first place. After recognizing the pattern I was no longer unsure of the subject I wanted to study. I am so grateful to all the educators and wonderful adults who saw me struggling and taught me the tools to survive and thrive on my own terms. Art and education are powerful, they continue to help me through my past, present and future. I want people to know how important it is to study what makes you happy, learn about something that will add to your soul not your wallet.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
-I would take my friend to the San Diego Zoo with our sketchbooks in hand, spend the morning drawing and taking reference photos for future art concepts. -I would take them to Salud Tacos in Barrio Logan and listen to live music and walk through park to talk about and experience the art. -I would visit Balboa and or Liberty Station and we would tour the museums and open studios and pack a picnic and have charcuterie plate. -I would go to the sketch party at Whistle Stop in South Park and my friend and I would meet with my favorite local professors and artist to catchup or critique. -On a Thursday we would walk through North Park’s farmers market and buy new books or plants. -Go hiking through San Penasquitos Canyon with the family and dogs.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would thank the Art Department at MiraCosta Community College in Oceanside California, Thank you to all the students and staff for creating a community and safe space to feel heard

Website: https://natarabrieonna.wordpress.com/
Instagram: @Littlems.seuss #PhasesofViolet
Linkedin: Natara Bjaranson

Image Credits
@Natara Bjaranson

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