When people meet Leah Tinsley, they always describe her as ray of sunshine, passionate, strong, creative and inspiring. But what most people don’t know are the stories that led up to her becoming the beautiful person she is today.

When people meet Leah Tinsley, they always describe her as ray of sunshine, passionate, strong, creative and inspiring. But what most people don’t know are the stories that led up to her becoming the beautiful person she is today.

“The reason this is important for me to share is because one of my core values is honesty and I believe that when we are transparent with one another it brings others encouragement and strength,” Tinsley said. “I don’t feel sorry for myself, and I don’t regret my past because that sort of thinking keeps you heavy and bound.”

Tinsley had some challenges growing up, but these challenges are what made her the artist she is today.

“During these younger years, I struggled with anger, loneliness, rejection, self-hatred and unhappiness,” Tinsley said. “I didn’t know how to talk about my feelings, so I expressed myself through creativity. Creating gave me purpose, joy, peace and pride. I also formed a close relationship with God while spending hours exploring outside. I could hear His voice through nature and always felt His presence with me.”

Tinsley’s art is inspired by the challenges she has faced in life and how God helped her through those challenges.

“I had many encounters, visions, dreams and supernatural experiences with God during those years knowing Them,” Tinsley said, “which is what led me to start painting. I would see so many beautiful things and try to express them through words, but it was never successful. Although I had never really painted before outside of high school classes, I felt the Lord leading me to paint what he was showing me. As years went by, I conquered my fears of rejection, being misunderstood or not having the level of skill that I desired. As I shared my artwork with others, they were touched by the images and the deeper meanings within them.”

Eventually, people started to buy her work and commission her to create custom art.

“I’ve painted live at churches, concerts, conferences and studios,” Tinsley said. “My most recent one was at The Resting Place in Brandon, FL. They hold a worship night every first Friday for all. People from different churches come together and unite, it’s a beautiful experience. I hope to continue to have opportunities to paint live at churches because it’s one of my favorite things to do as an artist. When I paint live, I basically feel like I disappear into a different zone and the creativity overtakes me and comes out onto the canvas. When I’m done, I step back and look and see a beautiful painting full of life. I also really enjoy connecting with the community and having the opportunity to speak with others.”

If you would like to learn more about Leah Tinsley and her art, you can visit her website at www.thecreativeartnest.com.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.