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Meet Tafy LaPlanche

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tafy LaPlanche.

Hi Tafy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am an Afro-Latina portrait artist based in NYC and Savannah, Georgia. I paint unique and vibrant portraits for unique and vibrant people!

At the age of thirteen, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I was considered to be one of the older patients and did not have priority over the Nintendo 64. I was given paper and pen instead. My days at the hospital were filled with drawing people as they passed by my room. This prompted my mother to put me in an art school. However, I was placed in a school where they only spoke Mandarin! There I learned to draw portraits and paint landscapes. Despite the language barrier, I realized how art in itself was a universal language.

As someone of Haitian descent, there were interests in my art skills and possibly becoming a Haitian painter. The pressure to be someone slowly made me dislike painting landscapes despite my skills in it. During pre-college, I went abroad to Tuscany for a change of scenery. It was here when I had my canvas and paints out, overlooking a stunning landscape, when the sound of buzzing surrounded me. Moments later I realized I got stung by a bee because I couldn’t see out of one eye. I WAS ALLERGIC! My eyelid had blown up.

An old Italian woman came to the hill where I was, and offered me to come to her home to remedy the bee sting by placing an onion over my eye. Naive and hopeful I followed. As I watched the woman interact with her family and go about her daily tasks, I realized there and then my passion for telling people’s stories through portraiture. From creating portraits, I could communicate an entire story about someone without having to say a word. And to connect despite where we may come from.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For the most part, it has been a smooth ride. And I believe that comes with a strong resilience to keep at it. You do gain the rewards when you put the work in. I would say the toughest part for me was early on in my art career when I would compare myself to others. The lack of confidence in myself made others feel the same toward my work. Once I stopped comparing, and focused on what I was providing, and felt confident in my work- that’s when the road smoothed out and has been ever since. I know it sounds easy! But changing the narrative within yourself changes the narrative on the outside as well.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I create unique and vibrant portraits for unique and vibrant people. Most of my work is from the stories of people I’ve connected with during my travels. How one perceives themselves versus how others do. Portraits are personal in the sense that it is of a specific person, yet a window that allows everyone to connect and feel what they are feeling despite who might be depicted.

I truly enjoy getting to know those I create portraits of. It’s one thing to capture someone’s likeness, but to sit down with them and understand their core being- that’s what I use to drive the energy of my work. I feel like capturing the spirit comes off strongly and more genuine in my work. And thus- we are left with a one of kind lively piece of art.

I believe what sets me apart from others is not only my attention to detail- but my attention to someone’s heart.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
To be true to yourself. Understanding why you do what you do and reminding yourself that reason will soar you to some amazing heights. I used to do art because everyone around me told me I was good at it. But, my heart was never in it. I let it be on the back burner for about ten years because of it. I always loved it just never knew why. Once I figured that out I had my passion reignited and the force that helps me continue to create. What could be more important?

Pricing:

  • $80 Commissions start at
  • $20-$100 for Prints
  • $1500 and up for Original Paintings
  • $3-$12 for Stickers/Pins/Postcards

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kristen Lengel Photography

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