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

Hi Tiffaney, every day, we think about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The Art and Paw started as a fun way for me to make gifts for my family and friends. I created small oil paintings of their furry best friends and they were a hit! Everyone loved them and it was such a joy creating them that I decided to start the business. This pet portrait business gives me the opportunity to blend two of my greatest loves, painting, and pets. My favorite parts of the business are connecting with people, capturing the special spirit of the animal, and the joy it brings the pet parents when they see their painting. People and pets share a special bond, many are looking for a way to honor and memorialize this relationship. For some, it has even been a way to heal from the loss of their pet. Knowing that I can use my creativity to create special portraits that have the potential to heal and bring joy gives me and my work a purpose beyond traditional portraiture.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

My focus is to bring to life the unique personality of the pet and to honor the special relationship between humans and animals. What I especially love is connecting with the pet owners and hearing the stories of how their pets have touched their lives. We all have a story to tell and capturing a story in a portrait is a wonderful way to remember our furry companions. I seek to transform people’s most joyful memories of their pets into a beautiful painting that serves as a touchstone for taking them back to the good times and joy.

I decided to launch The Art and Paw in 2021, but have been an artist, art teacher, and art historian for much of my life. I blend high-quality detailed portraits with timeless art styles taken from the great painters of the past and present. Artists such as Gustav Klimt, Kehinde Wiley, Vigee Le Brun, Jaques Louis David, and Frida Khalo are a few of my inspirations.
I love using oil paint and blending the traditional glazing techniques of the old masters with my style. I am also fond of using gold leaf along with rich colors and textures to elevate the portrait.

One of life’s challenges is feeling overwhelmed, especially when we have a lot of roles to play such as mom, wife, art teacher, and artist entrepreneur. I have realized that life is just like creating a painting! When we work on a painting we work on the entire painting at once, sometimes we zoom in and work on a specific section but then we zoom out to take in the whole piece and make sure the space and colors are balanced. When I look at my life in this way I don’t feel overwhelmed because I know that each part will get the attention it needs when it needs it.

I want the world to know that art is an integral part of our lives, it can bring joy, capture memories, teach, and heal. When you work with me you can trust that I will listen to your story and create a painting that is uniquely special for you.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When friends come out to Huntington Beach for a visit we always go to the Tuesday night Farmers Market on Main Street. There you can have a great meal of Pupusas or grab an ear of roasted corn. You can stock up on fresh fruit from my favorite fruit stand and even pet some farm animals. Of course, we take a walk down the pier and take a look at the waves and catch a great sunset.

A hike at the Bolsa Chica is much needed so we can get some fresh sea air and see the amazing wildlife. We can get breakfast at Park Bench Cafe where we can dine al fresco at this dog-friendly restaurant in Central Park.

We can then do some shopping at Pacific City and get drinks at The Bungalow, I’ll definitely have the Beach Bunny, please!

The next day we can spend some time on the water on stand-up paddle boards in the harbor, then head on over to Dog Beach for some more fun! If it happens to be near my friend’s birthday we will celebrate at Captain Jacks with some Alaskan King Crab legs and a giant mud pie. The nautical decor will make us feel like true mariners.

To fill our culture bucket we would drive up to Long Beach and visit the Long Beach Museum of Art and have lunch at Clairs overlooking the ocean. While we are there we will stroll up and down 4th Street, Retro Row for some great unique finds. We can’t leave Long Beach without checking out what’s on display at the Museum of Latin American Art.

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?
Wow! As I reflect on my journey there are so many people to thank. My mother has always been supportive of my creativity and open-minded about my path. I’d love to thank my husband, mother-in-law, and two daughters for giving me the time and space to work and create. I appreciate my dear friend and artist Lissa Marinaro for our awesome critique sessions! I have deep gratitude for Coach Mario Che and the entire Goat’s Win community. There I learned to step into my own power in choosing my life direction and moving forward one action at a time. Lastly, I’d like to thank Tania Dilmani for her guidance in spiritually aligning my power and for holding the space for me to grow as an entrepreneur.

Website: https://www.theartandpaw.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theartandpaw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theartandpaw

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