One can’t deny the healing power of creativity to get us through those hard times. Many creatives can relate to this idea and remember a time when you were at the lowest point in your life, most likely, creativity was and still is your saviour.
Whether this be writing, painting, drawing, photography or something beyond the ordinary like collage making, fire twirling or body painting. Creativity has been a contributing factor to the life that you lead, whether you recognise this directly or indirectly, it can’t be denied.
Tashi Honnery has always been creative from a very young age and wasn’t afraid to express her creativity, no matter how that looked to other people. She found body painting artistry at a moment in her life when she was at her lowest.
For Tashi, creativity was her lifeline, when her vision of the future was cloudy when compared to the hell she faced while growing up.
‘Creativity hasn’t helped, it has saved me. After a lot of misunderstanding and mental health issues, physical issues and pretty much being at the depths of the depths, I guess I brought myself back to life in more ways than one,’ Tashi said.
‘It pulled me away from the horrible things that I was in before. It was my escape and it was a good escape not a bad one.’
Tashi has been dealing with mental health issues since she was 7 years old. As things progressed, high school was of no help and only added to the misunderstandings she already faced.
This hasn’t stopped her from doing something that she loves, she has come out fighting. You don’t need to be able to read and write properly to be a success, to find what you are passionate about and to live again.
‘2012 and 2013 was when I was at the lowest point. I don’t really remember it all because it was that bad. Then I found a make-up course. Authority figures wanted me in the institutional environment,’ Tashi said.
‘I’ve been held back by rules and regulations and protocols that dictate how you are supposed to live your life, to succeed and that was killing me.’
‘My creativity is now a normality. Whatever normal is. It’s just so weird, I don’t even know what normal is. I created my creativity to be my normal.’
Tashi made the transition into body painting artistry after completing a make-up course. Having always loved art but hating the theory behind it. She found a medium of creativity where she was able to express herself, she found her canvas, the human body.
‘It was a really lovely environment and I really loved the face panting part and so I kind of made everything that I’ve got right now out of that make-up course,’ Tashi said.
‘I want to make a person into an art work that is living. Whether it be a living robot or a giant piece of grass that’s living, that has a personality, a soul. That is what I want to create.’
Tashi is inspired by people who have journeys, who have proved all odds, who have made a living out of something that is not looked upon as a job.
‘My creative process is different, it’s about living in the moment,’ Tashi said. ‘I find what I want to do and I just get inspired.’
‘I get a vision and I just go with it and if it happens it happens and if it doesn’t than I just change it.’
In 2014, Tashi found herself in Austria, for the World Body Painting Festival, her first time overseas. Experiencing a surreal moment of being in a foreign country, not speaking the language and being the youngest artist to participate, adding to this, she had only been body painting for 3 months at the time.
Expecting to be judged based on her looks or her past experiences and truly believing that the other artist will object to her participation because she hasn’t been doing it for long.
Upon her arrival, her perception changed and it was there, in Austria, Tashi found a family and lifelong friends and a sense of belonging, making quite the impression with the other artists.
‘I got there and everyone was so welcoming. There was no questions about who I was, what my past was, what I looked like. There was no judgments. There is a lot of judgement here [Sydney],’ Tashi said.
‘To have some comments that I had gotten over there by some amazing body painting artists and photographers, was the best.’
Tashi had six hours to complete her art on the body of a live model, centred on the theme of, pop art – the art of popular culture. She created a pop art butterfly.
‘It was the transformation of the old pop art to the new pop art, of the traditional Andy Warhol, the Campbell Soup tin versus now, which is technology, that’s what I was trying to show with that body paint,’ Tashi said.
Tashi is on a creative journey, one that is inspiring, always pushing herself to get better and create amazing body of works, finding beauty in the ugly and the grotesque.
‘I love most of the things that I’ve done because they have a story behind them. I did one that was an allusion face paint. When you look at it, it’s a painting of a person, painting a landscape on another person,’ Tashi said.
She had her first exhibition a few weeks ago at the opening of the Cool Mac Café. Showcasing a few photographic pieces of her work. Some of which she had painted onto her own body and face.
Tashi has also done lots of events and art shows. The band, Kallidad, were so impressed with her skill, they hired her to paint the faces of their audience, transforming them into Day of the Dead, Zombies.
She has also worked on the Alaskan Rock Vodka commercial that is coming out soon. She is also doing work on an upcoming music video, directing and putting her own unique creative touch.
‘I’m working on a couple of music videos at the moment. They were like, ‘we got this piece of music we want it to be weird like your work, you inspired us to do a music video like that, can you do it’,’ Tashi said.
‘Collaboration is really important, I mean you don’t know where that can take you. It is also about everyone helping each other out. But money gets in the way with a lot of people, but I am determined for it not to.’
Tashi has a busy year ahead of her. Full of excitement and new experiences and getting reacquainted with old friends. She has the World Body Painting Festival in June, in Austria, with the theme being, the games people play.
‘I will be travelling to America, in October, for the Raw Artist New Orleans and I might also take part in the Atlanta Body Painting Competition,’ Tashi said. ‘I also have many video clips coming up that I have a lot of creative reign over,’ Tashi said.
Tashi is also working on a book, that’s coming out. The book will have images of her work, looking at the process of her work and how far she has come and how it has saved her.
‘That would be a big one, really excited about that. But I want to look at getting my art, maybe printing it out and even modifying it even more for galleries,’ Tashi said.
‘I want to collaborate with a lot more artists. Start making more of my own projects and photo shoots and get them out there.’
Through all her trials and tribulations Tashi’s father has been her biggest supporter and motivator, going everywhere with her even though he knows nothing about body painting.
‘He is happy that I have got something that is my life and I am actually doing something. It’s so great to see him watch on and be so happy with it and he loves it which is the biggest for me, to make him happy,’ Tashi said.
If you want to find out more about Tashi Honnery and her work, you can visit her website www.tashihonnery.com , Facebook, Instagram and you can add her on Twitter. Say hello, you might find yourself doing something you didn’t expect and loving it.
‘My vision is of a world where nothing is real, a world where nothing is, there is no explanation for things. Where imperfection is unique perfection,’ Tashi said.