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Blacklight: How Northeast Ohio artist Stina Aleah turned her coping mechanism into a thriving career

When she broke her leg in high school, she thought her life was over....little did she know, it was just beginning.

CLEVELAND — It’s no secret the healing power of the arts, whether it’s music, literature or painting. For Northeast Ohio native, Stina Aleah, art completely transformed her life. 

Growing up, Stina admits that much of her focus was on running, being on the track team and striving to be the best athlete she could be. All of that was taken away though when she broke her femur in her junior year of high school.  At that point, she was forced to look at things differently. 

"I was sat in the art room and that's when I discovered that I really enjoyed creating something out of nothing. I was using recycling materials, creating, like, woven baskets, sculptures," Stina explained.  The Elyria native didn’t start painting seriously until 2015, after a successful track career and earning a degree in Psychology from Purdue. Following graduation, she took a leap of faith and decided to bet on her herself and focus intently on her art. 

"When people look at my art now, they think that, oh, you must have been painting from like three, four years old. And that's just not the case for me," she explained. Completely self-taught, Stina says it was her competitive background that allowed her to turn her passion into a thriving career. “I told myself just like in track and field, if you wanna be elite, you have to focus on it, be a student of your craft.”

With every stroke of the brush, Stina Aleah, further cements her career as a full-time artist, something she didn’t even believe was possible. “My goal is to use my art to kind of inspire, motivate, you know, bring beauty to the world.”  Today, Stina has made a name for herself using her oil paintings. She’s landed deals with State Farm, Facebook, Excedrin, and even Disney’s Marvel. "The reality is, people don't think there's success in art. And so I'm really happy to be able to show that there is," said Stina. 

Most recently, she’s worked with the NBA ahead of All-Star weekend here in Cleveland. She has spent the past month customizing basketballs at The Land and Complex Shop in Tower City.  After tackling brand partnerships and large-scale murals, Stina continues to conquer Cleveland and much of Northeast Ohio, but her vision is global. “I wanna be a global recognized artist. Yeah, that's next for me,” she explained 

In addition to furthering her career, Stina is also dedicated to helping other artists. In 2017, she wrote a book called "Artrepreneur: Making Your Dream a Business" where she discussed how she got started from starting her LLC to building her brand. It's available on Amazon for $11.99. 

To keep up with Stina Aleah and her art endeavors, you can check out her website or visit her gallery located at 1115 Detroit Avenue. 

*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous, unrelated report.

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