Tati Soares chooses to live life in full color. A Brazilian TV producer turned watercolor painter, Soares (who now resides in Charlotte), realized her passion through her paintbrush, impressing vibrancy, joy, and faith with every stroke.
Tati’s thoughtful creations, whether they live on a canvas, a piece of clothing, or on a throw pillow, illustrate her Brazilian heritage, her love for community, and her story of personal resilience. Her art is a fine balance of light and whimsical, of uplifting and empowering, and we couldn’t help but be captivated by how Soares’ once passion project became a reminder for us all to live a little more colorfully.
What brought you from Brazil to Charlotte?
During my career as a producer in Brazil, I met my husband, a filmmaker, Brazilian and American citizen. He was living in Charlotte and went to Brazil just to film this music video… we got married in six months. On April 11, 2011 I arrived in the US for the first time. I recognize this place as my home, my people. I belong here and don’t have any other place yet in America that I wanted to live more than in Charlotte.
Your work is beautiful – how did you get started?
I was craving something new and fresh in my life, so I asked my mother-in-law, a Brazilian artist who taught studio art, to teach my son and me to watercolor. Six months later, I was at Staples scanning my paintings onto my computer when a woman asked to see my work. I nervously told her, “I’m not an artist,” to which she replied, “Yes, you are!” She asked if I had an online shop where she could buy my paintings and gave me her business card, and I noticed she was an interior designer. With her words of encouragement resonating in my mind, I realized that this was the new thing that I had been longing for! That woman, Davetta Moore, has been my friend and mentor ever since.
How has your Brazilian heritage influenced your art?
It has encouraged me to be spontaneous. Brazilian people have this amazing ability to mix color into everything, to see patterns everywhere, and to combine them so a space becomes fun, colorful, and cozy. This year, I have been especially confident in my heritage and decided to go wild with my art, my color, and my purpose.
Can you tell us a little about your new series, Foundations?
“Foundations” talks about my life experiences. I wanted to bring something personal to my art. The Biblical book of Isaiah was my main inspiration; this book brought me life, healing, and redemption when I was a victim of domestic violence in my first marriage. In this series, I introduce scarves and table runners with Bible verses added to the pieces with the hope it may bring healing to someone who needs it.
Tell us about your recent involvement with West Elm and how that began.
I was invited by West Elm in January, 2018, to join local artists in a pop-up show at the store. I was already planning to launch “Foundations” so, with this invitation, there was no better setting than West Elm for people to be able to experience my new collection. This day was epic and the highlight of my year so far!
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to become an artist?
Don’t be afraid to create something new. I believe everyone has a unique mark, a singular way of expressing themselves, that the world needs to see. I really trust that everything I paint is for someone, for someplace, and has a purpose to be there. Because of this, I commit myself to paint every day.
What are you working on next?
I will continue to work on more apparel accessories like scarves, and to expand the experience at the table with new accessories like tablecloths, napkins and more. There are no limits to where the art should be spread!