Explore

This Art Teacher Turned Her Passion Into A Business While Living Overseas

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

Natalie hails from Miami, Florida. She currently lives overseas, working in Abu Dhabi. She’s lived there for six years and teaches art in schools.

We spoke with her about life abroad and growing her art business in the process.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

Travel Noire: What inspired you to move abroad?

Natalie: After studying art in France and China, I knew that traveling abroad was for me. That experience opened up my eyes and gave me a whole new perspective on the world and life.

People were asking me why I would want to move away from the Miami lifestyle. It had the art scene, diversity, sunny beaches, celebrities, and most importantly great food. Miami is a culture of its own. I have lived a good life there, but it became redundant, so I needed a new experience both professionally and culturally.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

TN: How did you secure your position as an art teacher?


Natalie: In 2013, A few friends told me about teaching abroad and recommended several resources. After further research and many discussions with family, I took a chance and applied that May. I interviewed in June, got hired in July, and moved to Dubai in August. My family was fearful. My mom thought I was moving to the war zone in Iraq and my grandmother thought I was moving to Africa. No one knew or had ever heard of Dubai or UAE until I moved there.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

TN: How were you able to get your personal art brand going overseas?

Natalie: It all started with teaching. The students that I teach have not been exposed to a lot of art or techniques, and resources are nonexistent. As a teacher, I make sure to be resourceful and bring my passion into class so the students can see how much I enjoy painting and fashion designing in hopes to inspire them to want to learn more.

My students began to love my work so much they wanted to buy it, which inspired and motivated me to turn my passion into a business. They wanted to see my work published, so I began branding simply by displaying my work and students’ work on social media. This action turned into a business when followers inquired about commissioned work. I named my brand DeziredDezgns.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

TN: Tell us about your time teaching in Ghana?

Natalie: Traveling to Ghana was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had by far. I met some good people who guided me around the country throughout my entire trip. I had a mission to give back to the community by visiting a school in Accra, studying the education system, donating art supplies, and volunteering to teach for a day.

The feeling was magical. I felt welcomed by the principal, staff and children. I even received a welcome chant as I entered the classrooms. I felt at home. I taught lessons in a P3 class along with an art lesson where I surprised the students with the art supplies. They were very thankful to have received them.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

TN: What’s next for your brand?

Natalie: While making a purchase in Ghana, I had an epiphany to bring business to the region by combining my talents with a manufacturer there. I have printed my artwork on fabric made into handmade bags in Ghana which are currently on sale. I am currently working on swimwear and head wraps made from my Afrocentric prints as well. I want to incorporate more cultural diversity in my art and fashion lines and bring awareness and business to other countries. In other words, cultural awareness through art.

Photo courtesy of Natalie

 

Related: Best Things To Do In Dubai

TN: Where can we find you online?

Natalie: You can find my art & fashion page on Instagram @dezired.dezigns as well as my travel page @nats.worldtour.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

6 Times These Traveling Black Fathers Were Family Goals On Instagram

6 Times These Traveling Black Fathers Were Family Goals On Instagram

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some black fathers who are inspiring us all to the see the world and they’re doing it with their spouses and children by their sides.   1. James and his wife Monet run the travel blog “The Traveling Child.” Together, with their two daughters, Kennedy and Jordyn, the […]

Parker Diakite

How To Get A Spot At Some Of The Most Exclusive Clubs In The World

How To Get A Spot At Some Of The Most Exclusive Clubs In The World

There’s exclusive, and then there’s exclusive. We’re talking about year-long wait lists, celebrity and dignitary members, and annual fees in the thousands of dollars. Here are few of the most prestigious private clubs around the world, their perks, and how you can become a member. Silencio, Paris, France Silencio is a private club dedicated to […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

12 Destinations You Can Visit For Less Than $100 A Day

12 Destinations You Can Visit For Less Than $100 A Day

Looking for a budget-friendly getaway? Here is a list of the most affordable international destinations around the world with incredibly low hotel fares and meal prices, leaving you with more money to explore and experience the local scene and culture. Lisbon, Portugal Portugal has become the hottest travel destination in recent years for its stunning […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin