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Meet Naté Allen of Naté Allen Originals in South Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Naté Allen.

Naté, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I remember as a child that my dad was really good at drawing and sketching. As a five-year-old, I remember him teaching me step by step how to draw a finger in 3D. I tried it and actually grasped it pretty well!

From there, I was constantly sketching or doodling in class or at home, drawing people, animals, and flowers. I was lucky because I had some amazing art teachers all throughout elementary school and high school. I was always book smart, excelling in math and writing and winning spelling bees… but it was something about art class that always excited me. I loved doing art projects and giving them to my mom and grandma for Mother’s Day or Christmas. It warmed my heart. 🙂

In high school, I made sure to enroll in focused art classes, which included Studio Drawing & Painting, Mixed Media Concepts, and Digital Imaging (shout-out Mrs. Beatty and Mrs. Oversmith at Brooks College Prep!). These classes focused on techniques such as gridding, shading, portraiture, sculpture, and photo editing. I excelled in these classes, and as a Junior in high-school, my teacher recommended me for a free Interior Architecture course at the School of the Art Institute. What an honor! It was in this class that I fine-tuned realism and perspective drawing techniques.

Fast forward to my early twenties… I ended up in the hospitality industry with big dreams of becoming a Hotelier or Restaurant Owner. Somewhere along the way, my passion for art got pushed to the side and I was inactive as an artist for several years. Only within the last couple of years have I tapped back into my creative side, using painting, photography, and creative writing as a therapeutic outlet to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

I’m so thankful that I’ve reconnected with my passion and I’m looking forward to continuing on this artistic journey.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’d always been introverted when it came to my art. I never really liked to brag about it or share it with the public. It was very sacred to me, and I feared that if I shared it with others, it may not be fully appreciated or understood.

I also struggle with anxiety, which would many times contribute to my lack of motivation and creativity during the years that I was inactive as an artist.

Just recently, I came to the realization (with help from close family and friends) that its ok to be vulnerable. That most people welcome and appreciate the honesty of artistic expression. That art could actually inspire someone or brighten their day. I’m so thankful for this realization.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Naté Allen Originals – what should we know?
Naté Allen Originals is multifaceted. I specialize in acrylic and mixed media art on canvas, abstracts and portraits, cityscape and portrait photography, and paint parties.

I’m most proud of is the rate at which my company has grown. I’ve built and launched a new website, accumulated a significant social media following, and sold out at my first art show. I couldn’t be happier!

What sets me apart from others is that I spend countless hours ensuring that what I present to my customers is of high quality. When someone purchases a photo print or piece of art from Naté Allen Originals, I want them to cherish it forever. They are essentially taking a piece of me… my time, my creativity, my spirit, and bringing it into their homes. I want to make sure it’s quality.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Barbara Scott: Mom, creator, cheerleader, supporter, nurturer, QUEEN!!

Nathan Allen Sr: Dad, always supports my dreams and the one who got me interested in drawing. 🙂

Nathan Allen Jr: My brother is so proud of me and tells me every chance he gets.

Angel Byears: My best friend who knows me in and out. She has gotten me through many difficult times in life and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Amber Snearl: My good friend and sister. This young woman inspires me in more ways than she knows. I look up to her entrepreneurial prowess and unapologetic creativity.

Kira Williams: My wonderful friend and mentor who’s taught me so much about marketing, social media, photography, and how to be a good person.

A host of other friends, family, teachers, employers, and coworkers. Too many to list here!

Pricing:

  • Acrylic & Mixed Media Paintings: Starting at $150
  • Original Photo Prints: Starting at $20
  • Paint Parties/Paint Classes: Starting at $30 per person
  • Photography Sessions: Starting at $100 per session, discounted introductory pricing

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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