HOWDY and HEY Y'ALL!! We are back with another Blog Feature Friday! Today we have an amazing artist with love for the outdoors! Marisa LaRen is someone we should all get to know! Let's dive right in!
Marisa is originally from a small town in Western Colorado. She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Marisa had a rough childhood and was shy and alienated. She had a hard time fitting in or being seen. She said "I grew up on a farm and was home schooled until I was 10. My mother was an abusive alcoholic so it was really traumatic. I didn’t think about pursuing art as a career path until I was about 17. I graduated high school at 16 and my first year of college was heading towards the dental field. I really hated that and it was at that point that I redirected back towards art. I just wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to go at that point and as much as I loved art I didn’t want to be a starving artist. Especially since I was already pretty
much starving. Tattooing honestly didn’t make much sense at the time. I just had the thought that if I found someone who was really good to teach me, and I myself could be good at it, that I think it would be a career that could provide me some happiness. I feel fortunate I made the decision to pursue tattooing because it gave me so much freedom and opportunity as an artist. I think you can really find inspiration in anything if you are open to it. Nature and wildlife has always been a big source of that for me. Most of my paintings are inspired by western culture, that’s a huge inspiration for me. Also music, literature, other artists. There is so much out there if you are willing to look for it."
As an artist we all go through our creative processes and we also have those creatives blocks. We asked Marisa if she ever has any and how does she get out of them. She said she has creative blocks all the time. "I have noticed that most of the time when I hit a creative block it's because I've hit burn out. I don’t take
enough time to refill my cup or take time off and the amount of stress that causes creates that mental block. Essentially I don’t have the mental capacity to create because there is so much else going on. Now I make sure to carve out time where I travel, I get outdoors, I explore and I don’t work during these times. This helps me not feel burnt out and I always come back with a full cup ready and wanting to create.
Let's get a little more insight on you! "Well, I am originally from a small town in Colorado. I grew up on a farm doing 4h and FFA and showing horses. I left home at 16 and at 19 years old I started my apprenticeship to become a tattoo artist. At 23 and with only 2 years of tattoo experience I got offered to be a contestant on the show Ink Masters. Which was a pretty horrible experience but it did help my career. I have a substantial history of abuse and I have made it a point to break generational cycles along with helping others where I can. I am on the board of a new non-profit
called, War Party Ranch. It's designed to take women from their abusive relationships or existing, dangerous circumstances and provide them with transferable skills to create a new life. These skills are rooted in stockmanship, horsemanship, agriculture, and other related activities necessary to work on ranches or outfitting operations. This holds a special place in my heart and when we get the funding to start courses next year, I know we are going to make such a huge difference.
I asked Marisa what is a major highlight she has had thus far. "A major highlight for me was opening up my own private studio here in St. Louis, called Common Place. I decided to move across the country in the midst of 2020 and open my first brick and mortar. I put a lot of work, blood, sweat, tears, and money to make it exactly how I wanted. It was a beautiful space and I was incredibly proud of it. Unfortunately, about two months ago it was destroyed in a fire that originated below my space and I suffered a 100% loss. It has been trying times and I am faced with yet another rebuilding phase of my life." That is truly amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. Learning all of this about you though, I just know that you are going to get through it. Now, we asked Marisa what is one thing that means the most to her and her answer was just (chef's kiss). TIME! Let's get some more on that! "Time. I truly value time and making the most of it. I often say I feel like I wasted a lot of my life due to being in abusive relationships, being fearful and not living my life for me. Now I value time above all else. We only get a finite time here so I make sure to make the most of it. That includes what I do, who I do it with, where I am. I really want to surround myself with positive people and experiences and try to make a difference as much as possible."
As if Marisa wasn't cool enough by being a tattoo artist. She does all of the things! They are just amazing. She loves the outdoors, hiking, exploring and traveling. BUT she always does competition shooting, archery, hunting, riding horses, free diving. She said, "honestly the list is long. I love living life to the fullest." We want to know what this whole experience has taught you from beginning to end. "Well it's not over yet, but so far I think what life and these experiences keep teaching me is that you cannot give up when things get hard. There will always be a new obstacle to test you. Life is not always going to go the way you want, things will be hard, but we are always stronger and more capable than what happens to us."
We asked Marisa who her hero is. She had a damn good answer for it too. "I have never had a hero and I don’t idolize other humans. I am however blessed to have met and made friends with some wonderful people that inspire me every day." You my friend inspire me to try new things. So thank you!!
A random fact about Marisa is that she cannot stand chewing gum. "I don’t like
smelling it or seeing someone else chewing it. Really grosses me out lol"
Marisa leaves us with this additional advice. "Spend time being alone. Truly alone. It gives you introspection about who you are and where you want to go. Self reflection allows us to grow as humans, and/or as artists. I always implore people to be uncomfortable being lonely for a while so that you can find yourself outside of others."
That's so damn good advice Marisa! I'm so happy that you agreed to this feature! If you want to see more about Marisa's life and art. You can follow her on Instagram.
That's all for today! Have an amazing Friday and a great weekend! Don't want to miss out on our Friday blog posts? Be sure to subscribe to our emails to stay in the loop! Have a bad ass day!