My Intro To Art: Natasha Najjar

Steve: At what age were you first enamored by cooking?

Natasha: I started taking an interest in cooking as a teenager, maybe around the age of fifteen. I turned vegetarian at the age of sixteen and my parents were not too keen on cooking vegetarian meals for me, so teaching myself how to cook was how I learned to fend for myself. Shows on the Food Network like Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Iron Chef America, Paula’s Home Cooking, Cake Wars, Good Eats and Giada at Home all inspired me to be adventurous in the kitchen. I became vegan five years ago.

Steve: At what age did you first cook something?

Natasha: Maybe 15 is when I cooked my first complicated meal, but I don’t exactly remember. 

Steve: At what age did you first decide to showcase your cooking as an avenue of work?

Natasha: In my mid-twenties, I posted my first food photo on Instagram. It was a bowl of rice noodles covered in peanut sauce. But I didn’t start earning income from my cooking until two years later and now have taken an interest in both food styling and photography.

Steve: Where can people see your culinary magic?

Natasha: People can see my work on Instagram, YouTube, my business Facebook page, TikTok and HideOut TV. My blog name is countcolorsnotcalories on all of them.

Steve: In addition to cooking, any other types of art that you do?

Natasha: Other than cooking, I play the violin and also enjoy dancing. For over 10 years, I played the violin and only play occasionally now while dancing is something that I started less than a year ago. The dance style I am learning is centered around hip-hop and pop music, but I would like to start learning ballet, pole dancing and jazz. At one point in my youth, I thought of the possibility of becoming a professional violinist but other than that, I never imagined that I would pursue art. Reading and writing have also been a passion of mine, but I have never truly deeply explored those. I think if I were to ever publish any type of writing, it would be fictional stories.   

Steve: Where can people see your other types of art?

Natasha: I have never posted my other types of art publicly, with the exception of me playing the violin a few rare times.

Steve: What do you hope to accomplish as an artist?

Natasha: As an artist, I hope to encourage artists and others to freely express themselves. 

Steve: Any advice for your fellow artists out there?

Natasha: One of the most difficult facets an artist faces is criticism. But as an artist, being able to express freely means their viewers should be able to openly criticize as well, so keep this in mind if you plan on sharing your art. Also, art is not solely determined by its monetary value, so do not fret if you are unable to make money from your art. In my opinion, an artist is someone who enjoys creating art, whether they make any money from it at all. If you are interested in making money from your art, then requesting advice from others who are successfully doing so is incredibly helpful.