Nadia Paredes (aka Nai)
Registered Art Therapist, Licensed Marital Therapist and Intuition Painting ® Certified Facilitator. She uses her empathic nature and creative energy to facilitate in person and online Emotional Wellbeing through Art making Sessions with groups and individuals, and designs interactive Art experiences for social events in Los Angeles, CA and Mexico City.
Nadia holds a Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy specialized in Art Therapy, is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist in the State of California and is Registered Art Therapist by the American Art Therapy Credentials Board. She also holds a degree en Psychology and a Certification as an Intuition Painting ® Facilitator. She brings 10 years of experience working in the Mental Health Field, where she has worked with Adolescents, Adults and Seniors. She has focused her work on bilingual and bicultural Services supporting with emotional wellbeing and physical health, immigration and cultural adaption within the Latino and German Community.
Intuition Painting ® Facilitator
As a young child, I showed a profound interest in drawing and music. My mom would keep me busy for hours as a child with a pencil and any surface she could find for me to create on. However, as I grew older, society led me to believe I was not an “Artist”, as I I didn’t show a natural talent for representational visual arts – ino thers words, I didn’t draw things as they looed in the world. So, I believed I shouldn’t make Art anymore. Instead, I focused on my talents in music, and I received encouragement, therefore I felt that was where I belonged. Music came to define me. It wasn’t until college, where I rediscovered my love for paint and visual expression.
I moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles in 2010, in part because of my love for the Arts. Before leaving Mexico, I had spent many years trying to fit in the world of Psychology and something always seemed off – that is until I encountered Art Therapy. What a revelation! I had discovered a way back to my love of art, without having to be what society calls an “Artist”. This jump into Art Therapy launched my path to understanding how incredibly powerful Art is on many different levels. I started to notice how having a daily art making routine during Grad School was helping me overcome years of physical symptoms related to Stress, such as Insomnia, never ending Heartburn, persistent coughing and Muscle Contractures. I witnessed how creating was more effective than I thought when I stopped taking daily dosages of medication to help control acidity in my stomach and the recurrent intake of Muscle Relaxers.
Upon completion of my Master’s as an Art Therapist, I continued deepening my clinical knowledge and practice while working with immigration and cultural adaptation in the Latino community – even though it became clear that what I really wanted to do was to create more Art.
At my most desperate hour, when I was feeling bored, frustrated and most importantly, disconnected from my true self, I started looking for classes that could teach me how to use art as a pure expressive medium. I did not want to go with technical skill Art classes that were not giving me what I wanted from the Art World. I was craving raw creative expression, not aesthetics! I felt ready to become the Artist I was meant to be and not continue to fall prey to what society wanted me to believe.
I immersed myself in Intuition Painting® classes and fell in love with the process, as it combined Visual Arts with Movement and Sound. Three years later, I completed certification as a facilitator and started designing smaller workshops that include Expressive Arts to help people increase their self-knowledge and awaken their dormant creative.
I started to experiment with other materials and decided to go into Experiential Art. I realized food could also be used as a material to help people engage in self awareness and create meaningful experiences with others. With the help of a friend, we hosted our first curated art and food event in 2015. It was a fun and delicious environment. Guests loved it and a couple of months later, Art.Food.Dreamers was born and we have been designing interactive art experiences for social events ever since.
Now I can say I have found my true path to art, expression and personal wellness. I have found the key that has allowed me to remain calm as I move through my life’s challenges. It is the tool that helps me access my higher self, puts me in the direction that I am supposed to be while I accomplish my goals in alignment with my true self. But most importantly, it has allowed me to become the Artist I wanted to be: one that can share with others the power we all have within.