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

Hi Nadin, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My business partner was hit by a car in January 2017 as a pedestrian. She shared her experience with me about physical and mental trauma. After her accident, she was confined to her home because of her injuries. She felt debilitating pain and experienced limited abilities to move. Turning to art as her form of therapy, Rawan became a self-taught artist. This inspired The Art Spread’s conception.

I saw Rawan’s transformation from someone who was scared, in pain, and lost, to an entrepreneur with purpose. She and I committed to sharing about the impact art has on people with physical, mental and societal challenges. Our organization supports artists through mentorship, sharing their stories and promoting their artwork. Our mission is to spread awareness and perspective to encourage an empathic culture.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our mission is to support artists with mental, physical and societal challenges by showcasing their experiences through art. We spread our mission by promoting underrepresented artists, hosting exhibitions, leading family-friendly events and curating art tutorials and templates for the public. We also post blogs that improve well-being and art practice. We provide mentorship to advance art careers. Part of the mentorship is helping our artists make the right connections and helping them create a platform that is self-sufficient. We support them emotionally and mentally through their art journey and advancements. We also provide a database of opportunities and grants for artists. We have built a sophisticated and easy to use shop for our artists to sell and promote their artwork. We have an open mind, as does our artwork. Artwork includes painting, drawing, poetry, writing and music.

Creating The Art Spread was more challenging than a game of chess! Rawan and I started The Art Spread by ourselves. I had never created a business, let alone a non-profit organization. Rawan and I worked from the ground up to bring The Art Spread to life. The process of filing and completing IRS forms was a nightmare. From finding a domain, to creating visual/audio content, to designing a website and shop and to writing grant applications, our vision became a reality. Everything that could go wrong or become complicated, went wrong and became complicated. At one point, our website crashed. We could not get anything to work correctly. Setting up payroll was a disaster. This is all in addition to the physical challenge Rawan and I faced. Rawan experiences body and arm pain that limits her movement and ability to design. Rawan is in Michigan while I am in California. We have a three-hour time difference that makes working together nearly impossible because Rawan constantly works past midnight to accommodate my schedule.

We also created The Art Spread during the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced us to work on The Art Spread remotely. Throughout 2020, mental distress skyrocketed globally, and people were forced to adjust to a new way of life in solitude. So did we.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would have to visit the must-see Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Los Angeles. It is incredible that LA offers us the opportunity to see Vincent Van Gogh’s Art projected over 500,000 cubic feet! Afterwards, we would go to a Clippers game at the Staples Center. I’d bring my foam #1 sign to guarantee a feature on Jumbo Tron. After the game ends, the classic Smashburger at Smashburger would be screaming our name. What a perfect day! Over the week, we would visit Venice Beach. There is so much art to see along the beautiful coastline. Venice offers exotic foods and variety of shops. It brings together people from all backgrounds. The city is rich in diversity. We would say hello to the guys working out at Muscle Beach and maybe even see someone famous. At the end of it all, I would take my friend for the best, most affordable ice cream and cookies at Diddy Riese in Brentwood.

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?
Rawan Ita Diaz is most deserving of recognition. Her mental and physical progression motivated me to create innovative ideas and build a business model for our non-profit. After a full day’s work as an attorney, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday of every week, Rawan and I have our conference calls for The Art Spread. By the time our call begins, I am already tired and exhausted. But as soon as we speak, my exhaustion is replaced with excitement. We always have great ideas to bounce off each other. Her ideas and conversation brought purpose in my life where some parts of it were still empty. Rawan helped me find what I always wanted to do, give back to the community that meant so much to me.

Website: theartspread.org

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.art.spread/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-art-spread-2021

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheArtSpread/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCox_-xSSda8WKxW8jJWNSzw

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.