Northeast Ohio artist finds healing through art

CLEVELAND — Stina Aleah says she turned to art after suffering an injury that ended her high school athletic career.

“Back then, people wrote down their feelings. Write them down. I really couldn’t,” Aleah said.

What do you want to know

  • A Northeast Ohio native said she uses art as an outlet for her stress and anxiety
  • She said her work reflected the mental health effects of recent events such as the Uvalde school shooting.
  • Mental health awareness has grown due to the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and, more recently, school shootings

Aleah said art has become a way to heal oneself. She said taking up the brush in 2016 gave her a new purpose.

“I wasn’t good at art at all, but that feeling I had when I was creating something out of nothing, I just couldn’t let go of it,” Aleah said.

This feeling pushed this self-taught artist to open her own studio, Stina Aleah, in 2021 and she has since found success. She said she has provided artwork for major brands such as Disney’s Marvel, Complex, Bleacher Report and the NBA.

She said that through art she found much more than success. She has found an outlet, a place of peace as she works on pieces that reflect her inner thoughts, anxieties and emotions.

She said her emotions have been heightened by the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and, more recently, school shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas. She said these events hit close to home, causing her to immediately turn to a canvas.

“When my son learned about the shooting at school and the fear he started having about school and felt unsafe and confused, I needed to say that for us two,” Aleah said. “I needed the power to express what he felt in my art with my own feelings.”

Aleah said she uses her arts and talents to inspire others, including her son, to seek an outlet. She said she teaches them coping techniques based on creativity.

“I feel like it’s the best representation of my son and my young children who might have the same or similar feelings,” she said.