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Meet LaDara McKinnon

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaDara McKinnon.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Japan and Hawaii, where my love for art began, as a member of a military family. My Mom has always said that I was artistically inclined and I took several art classes growing up. When I got to high school, I became discouraged based on the idea that I needed to focus on going to college so that I could get a “real job.” So, I initially enrolled in college as an Accounting student, which was a bit of a struggle. My partner saw a sketch that I made one day and suggested that I change my major to Art.

After receiving that advice, I made the change to follow my long-lost passion for art. I graduated from Pitt Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Fine Art. I then enrolled in UNC-Charlotte Fine Art program where I decided to study abroad in Ireland. I returned from abroad with confidence in my artistic abilities and with the realization that the only “real job” for me was to be an Artist in some form. During my college years in Charlotte, I worked several fine art related jobs so that I could gain hands on experience. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from UNC-Charlotte and after college decided I would eventually pursue art as a business.

Has it been a smooth road?
As a Black Abstract Fine Artist, I struggled with finding my community at first, because there weren’t many role models to choose from. The artists I saw being highlighted were always Black Artists creating portraits or Afro-centric subjects. I wanted to challenge the stereotype surrounding Black artists. Eventually, I was able to connect with like-minded artists through social media. While in college, I worked fine-art related jobs so that I could gain hands-on experience in the art industry. I made the decision to become a full-time artist at the beginning of this year and had to navigate my entrepreneurship during a pandemic. I am the owner and artist behind LaDara Fine Art, which is completely self-funded, so I still struggle with managing certain aspects of my business, but my passion for art drives me to work toward success.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
LaDara Fine Art creates timeless, original abstract paintings, designs murals, and hosts art events or workshops. I specialize in expressive mark-making and the use of vivid colors that inspires hopefulness in the viewer. I am known for my free-spirited use of color, great client testimonials, and ability to deliver high-quality art work. The aspect that makes me most proud about my business is that I can affect people’s moods and environments with an artistic creation. I think what sets me apart from others is that I create layered and textured artwork that always leaves something new for the viewer to discover and that I grew up living abroad which allows me to connect with people from diverse backgrounds.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that Atlanta has so much Black history and a large art scene. I think what I like least about Atlanta is that the population is growing so quickly, which could also be a good thing.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
-(the horizontal portrait)

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