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My Story 

The Full Story

Naomi Shanti began her love affair with tattoos well before she was 18. Spending most of her formative years involved with the tattoo industry, watching and learning from her late brother Henry Bertka, who owned Hardcore Tattoo in Cedar Rapids, IA. 


In 2008, Naomi’s brother passed away suddenly from a tragic car accident that shook up Naomi's existence. As a young mother and wife, who was working as a hairstylist at the time, she had to find a way to heal and move forward. ​

The tragedy felt as if it could take over, allowing depression to seep in. The only thing Naomi knew to do was to create something. All she wanted was to feel close to her brother again. Not having been an artist herself before this point in her life, Naomi was pulled towards it and began to draw and paint every single day. She discovered that art gave her solace, a safe space to grieve, and an avenue to transform into a stronger woman because of it. Art and this creative process paved a path to healing and transfomation. 


From there, Naomi Shanti followed this path to become a trained fine artist, as she earned a studio art degree from the University of Minnesota. Over thirteen years later, she is an active painter, tattooer, and art educator, bringing what she has learned and cultivated through this journey to every aspect of her work. 

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