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

Hi Tara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My twenties were a mixture of teaching and learning in other people’s systems to the point of burnout. I started an arts non-profit with friends and found that I could organize events and programming on my own terms. This was like a magical doorway into entrepreneurship- where you can set your own terms for being and working. No more waiting on committee approval, I am the committee. I still believe in collaboration, but being able to move decisively is something I really cherish.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think most creatives know the long build up period where you keep working on your craft and ideas- when things start to flow beautifully it may look like overnight success from outside, but you were there for many long slow hours. I love that process now, and I have faith in it.

I credit a pile of health issues for giving me good perspective on this- I’ve had surgery many times, and my body of work- “The Bandaged Place,” is a reflection of these experiences.

Healing is not linear, you can’t force certain things without breaking them. The healing process and the creative process mirror each other for me: a scar closes up with many mundane and miraculous moments, slowly. A painting emerges with patience.

The first time you have surgery, there is a moment (about 48 hours later) when it’s time to take off the bandage, to take a much longed-for shower, to accept the new reality of your body. That first look beneath the bandage was horrible for me, to see the red puckered skin of my abdomen, the black stitches twisting through. Years later, I know how my body can heal, and the terror is replaced with understanding- that things weave themselves back together in a new way. That I and my body and my artwork can grow and evolve slowly and surely into something complex and beautiful.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First off to the Merry Shelley for absinthe and nerding out over gothic novels, then Revolution Gallery to check out some pop-surrealist art.

The Albright Knox Northland has hosted an amazing series of immersive installations including work from Swoon that shook up my whole soul. Lunch at Fresh Catch Poke for the best seafood in town.

I love wandering through Buffalo’s industrial past, so a visit to Silo City and the Central Terminal would be a must. Dinner and Jam-sessions at Ballyhoo, bouldering at Central Rock gym to work off all that food…

We would finish up at my own shop, run with my sister Anna Bystran: Snowy Owl Kombucha and Tea, we would drink tea under our star-painted ceiling and plan some park visits- from Griffith Sculpture Park to Niagara Falls, there are infinite day trips around the city to sink into nature.

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?
Shout-out to the books I return to at least once every year to keep me making things in the studio: Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” for tough love, and Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” for supportive conversation. Together they help me keep myself on track.

Website: www.TaraSas.com, www.SnowyOwlTea.com

Instagram: @tarasasart

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