We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadia Paredes, Registered Art Therapist & LMFT and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nadia, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
Giving myself space to make art weekly, even if only 5 minutes, to work on my Mental and Emotional Wellbeing. Children learn by example, so I decided I need to behave in a way that is congruent with what I am aiming to teach him about health and self-love. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a process based artist and I teach other how to use the arts as a meditation and mindfulness practice. I am a true believe that Art is more than a pretty picture on a wall and that it is a fantastic tool for self-healing and empowerment because I have lived it. In my journey to become an Art for Wellness educator I have faced difficulties, disappointments and have felt lost at times. However, continuing to focus on my own art making helps me reconnect with my purpose and become a better, more focused entrepreneur. I believe the arts are there to nourish us and help us become the best versions of ourselves. My mission is to let the world know that you don’t need to be an Artist to engage in Art making, because for me how your art looks don’t matter. What’s important is that you learn how to use art materials for self-healing and self-transformation.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Griffith Observatory is a must when people visit us! The best sunsets happen there for sure! We also love to take them to Urth Cafe on Main St in Santa Monica to grab a quick bite and/or drink and then walk to the beach all the way to the Pier or towards Venice. We also love to Visit the Canals! Also love to take people to DTLA to check out the Walt Disney Music hall and the Broad Museum. Afterwards, eat some amazing carnitas at Grand Central Market or go grab Drinks at the Far Bar in Little Tokyo. If we are closer to Arts District, just walk around shops and Art Exhibits is a must. If we are closer to that area, we like to eat a nice burger from ERB and get on of their drinks of course. If we have budget, we also love to take people to Bestia and get the best Gnocchis in town!!!! And last but not least, we love to take our people to eat Ethiopian food, since most of them haven’t tried it. They are always blown away by our favorite local spot called Awash, close to Fairfax and Pico. It’s hands down the best and most authentic food you can get. It was recommended to us by Ethiopians and it is always packed. Service is slow, but SO WORTH IT! We recommend to plan accordingly.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I know I would not be where I am today without the constant support of Paige Asawa, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, a strong and inspiring Mentor whose belief in me keeps me pushing forward as a professional in the Expressive Therapies field. I also feel that Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC, with her book and teachings have changed my life and the way I see parenting. I now know and teach that the arts can help you become a better and stronger innovative Parent.

Website: https://www.artfooddreamers.com
Instagram: naiscreativejourney
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadia-paredes-197b1515/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Art.Food.Dreamers

Image Credits
David Moreno

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA 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.