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

Hi Tifarah, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic/creative career because it is a part of my very being. I am a creator. I am visionary. I am imaginative. I am an artist. Creativity was bound to be a part of my life – one way or another. It feels organic, simple, powerful, spiritual, and like freedom. I feel my true self when I’m creating.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My creativity was born or maybe discovered from depression as a preteen. I started by drawing, painting, making jewelry, trying to play with my dad’s guitar,  writing poems, and “plays”… lol. My mother wanted to help cultivate those things in me. I started taking classes for art and being a part of programs throughout the year. It was a struggle for me because all I wanted to do is create and regular school work wasn’t that interesting. By high school, my creative interest started evolving into acting and design. I attended a high school where I focused on Auto Cad Design and Theater. I remember Cad designs from my dad’s blueprints in his office.

Then in my 20’s, I furthered my artistic skills through an internship with interior designer Melody Vaughn. I was in Atlanta, GA now and films were being made all over the state. I recalled being cast as an extra in high school with my sister and enjoyed the experience. A colleague showed my picture to a casting director and I was cast as an extra yet again almost ten years later. I went from doing print modeling – to working as a creative assistant for a photographer. I assisted him with creative ideas, location scouting, styling, and any graphic work that was needed. I developed and discovered my purpose, passion, and began discovering my creative identity. In those four years, through trial and error, of course, I went from extra work, a creative assistant to being an art director and assistant director for independent projects. However, I needed something more personal.

So, I decided to step out in faith and pursue what my heart and soul have always wanted – to live a life that was authentic, creative, purposeful, inspiring, and impactful. I’m on that path now and this process is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. Nothing happens overnight. My spirituality has been the greatest factor and has become a lifestyle for me.

Has it been easy? 
Not at all! All the mistakes and things I went through have edified me. The world expects you to be this whole, complete, wise, all-knowing person in your 20’s or whenever you graduate school. But, the majority of us are far from it. I needed to experience things to help cultivate the spirit, person, and woman I am and will become. I’m grateful for every rejection and a closed door. I have dealt with depression in my pre-teens and in my mid-twenties. I am trying to keep my body healthy. I want to experience the life of my dreams. I have dealt with not believing in my own self, my talents, and not trusting my instincts. I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were given to me. Even when others believed I could accomplish them. I have wanted to give up completely on everything. I can be my own worst enemy at times, unfortunately. I think sometimes the process of losing yourself, even when you do have a good idea of who you are – is a powerful and freeing process when the rediscovery and acceptance start to happen. As I grew closer to my mid-thirties, I realized I was coming full circle. The passions and ideas I had written down when I was younger were reignited. I wanted to paint again something I hadn’t done in 14 years. I wanted to design jewelry again. I’m working on that now. I wanted to write and connect with people, share stories and just be me… flaws and all. That’s when I started my blog in 2010 that has now evolved into Unveiling Naava. I also wanted to produce meaningful content of my own and I started Hologram Productions. I needed my own personal outlet so I could control the creative direction and narrative. However, I needed to make money and learn. I continued to work on other people’s projects and my personal ideas took the back seat majority of the time. I discovered the feeling I get from creating and assisting others the way I do. Well, there is no feeling like it. It’s still a process to live that truth every day. To love me, have faith in myself, and be Tifarah no matter what others might think. You have to do you because either way, others will have something to say. You might as well do what you want and be truly happy, hopefully, without harming anyone in the process.

My artistic and producing style? My brand? It’s simple, authentic, and tenacious with a rebel flair. I’ll do just about anything to make someone’s desires come to life, and I promise I won’t give up easily. I want to see people happy, inspired, and enjoying the process because it can be a rough road. I want to make it possible for you to know that I will give you ways to envision your ideas, becoming a reality, and aid in the executing of them. I try to keep it light and focus on effectively producing the moments and results that naturally can occur on set to make the story believable. Years from now, I want you to look back and not only be proud of the story that was told but think back on the experience you endured during the process and believe that that experience was just as rewarding.


My Art? Naava Visionary Studio? I am building my brand and skills as a traditional artist again. This is a scary process for me. My art has been an endeavor that I was most sensitive about because it was born from my depressive state as a preteen. However, it is something that has made me feel like my true self now as a woman in her late 30’s. It feels like I’m getting to know myself again but in a new way. Discovering my artistic style and what types of mediums I want to use to express myself is exciting. There were so many things I wanted to try before I went cold turkey for 14yrs. When I started painting again, I started with the most challenging things for myself. Things that I struggled with and was fearful of. I also went big with my canvases too. My art is another way to conquer my fears and share myself. As creatives, we are very vulnerable. I believe right now all the different “collections” I have made thus far with my art are peeking into different parts of myself and my journey in life so far. I recently realized this as I passed the 1 year anniversary of returning back to my love of traditional fine art in August of 2020. I see self-love, soulmate love, wanderlust, spirituality, vibes, women empowerment, and the supernatural in my artwork. It all reflects a different facet of my being. So, I’m taking my art seriously and I started an Instagram page to show my art @tifarahnaava.art. I plan to launch a simple site and have two shows this year. I haven’t had an art show since I was 16 years old. During this pandemic, I have had the chance to focus on my personal things a lot more. I have sold some of my paintings already. I finally have a new focus planned thanks to this “new normal” we are in. I’m making myself happy. It’s just awning that it’s happening now. My biggest goal this year is to stop playing with what and who I am. With the potential, I have allowed laying dormant inside of me. The first way to conquer that was accepting to be a featured Live Artist at the All Women Everything event in Atl on Jan 30th 2021. I never thought of painting live anywhere because I thought about how exposed I would feel. But, I did it anyway. I only had 5 days to prepare for it. I still had no website, no business cards, no prints to sell, or even enough easels. I had nothing an artist would typically have at an event to properly represent themselves or their artwork. But, I showed up with my remaining originals and made lemonade out of the lemons. I sold some artwork and made great connections. I’m very proud of myself for taking advantage of that opportunity. I was even asked to appear at another event 3 days later. Now, I am going to take that same energy, focus, and faith and apply it to my jewelry line.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The TRilliest week in Houston would be enjoying an evening and night at the Sawyer Yards pop-up drive-in, Rooftop Cinema Club. Then a nice day at the Buffalo Bayou Park near the city’s Skyline. Heading towards late afternoon, we can take in some awesome visuals at Houston Street Art. For another day, we can try the Paloma Trails. But, you can’t come to Texas without experiencing horses one way or another. Later, we can catch a beautiful sunset near the Port of Houston and all that area has to offer. We are near the Gulf of Mexico, so, why not. There is also the Art Car Museum, 1940 Air Terminal Museum, The Rustic, and Destination Mound Town.

Oh, the food, we can’t forget the yummy BBQ and TEX-MEX or the mom and pop shops – which are my favorite spots to eat. Like Gatlin’s BBQ, Tex-Chick, Taqueria La Famosa, Mi Recuerdo Colombian & Mexican Restaurant, Simps, and Burns Original BBQ just to name a few.

For the nightlife, I like The Roof, Stanford Ice House, Xhale Hookah Lounge, Electric Cowboy, and Club Tropicana. Plus, you have all the places in Midtown and Downtown Houston to experience. There is so much to do and see in the H-Town.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out to my Mom and Dad, who are my biggest supporters in the entire world. It is truly because of them I am able to be who I am. All of my teachers along this creative journey. . Tiffany Patterson, DeAndre Lemans, Kelvin Rashaad, Melody Vaughn, and Sonsearai Dominique. As well as, all the YES and NO’s I have received have played their parts.

Website: www.unveilingnaava.com

Instagram: @tifarahnaava.art

Linkedin: Tifarah Naava

Facebook: @naavstudio

Other: @unveilingnaava

Image Credits
@www.tiphani.photos @tiphaniphotographi @hologramprods @hologramproductions

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.