Naomi is an Ethiopian artist, designer, creator, curator and lover of all that is art. Her work includes pieces that can hang, reflect, shine and be worn. She is adept in a variety of techniques and across an array of artistic mediums. While often drawing from Ethiopian influences, her work is so simply complex, so artificially natural, and so traditionally contemporary that it allows others to experience art in a way that is both new and unique defining elegance.
In her most recent collection, Naomi has shifted focus to the design and development of what she calls “Functional Art” – everyday items enhanced with artistic elements to appeal both aesthetically and functionally. Her work has been showcased individually and in conjunction with other artists at bridal and art shows in Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Naomi was fortunate and grateful to grow up in a loving, supportive and creative home. Her leisure time was filled with travel, adventure and projects that included gardening, painting, sewing, building, cooking to floral arrangements. From a young age, she learned to think outside the box. Her artistic curiosity was fueled by the questions “Why not?” and “Have you ever tried it?”, while her craftiness was guided by the mantra “If you can’t find it, create it.” Her mom also thought her: “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
As a young woman, Naomi moved to the US to pursue her artistic interests. After brief stints in District of Colombia, Kentucky and California, she settled down in Atlanta, GA to pursue her dream. She completed a few formal training programs in fashion and interior design, but was not satisfied with the notion of limiting oneself to a specific medium. With that in mind, and after 20 years of side jobs, hard work, dedication, trial and error, she decided to launch her own artistic venture.
Design & Inspiration
Naomi’s artistic inspiration reflects her Ethiopian heritage and her eye for more contemporary stylistic elements. Her particular design is drawn from a number of Ethiopian influences, capturing the essence of the ancient art and rich culture and translating those elements into every day functional yet elegant pieces. As such, a great deal of her work incorporates the Ethiopian Coptic Cross, the angels of Debrebirhan, the ancient relics of Axum and Lalibela the old age Ethiopian script with distinct appearance.
By way of contrast, Naomi incorporates many modern and forward-looking elements into her design. Her ability to use a variety of materials, fabrics, mirrors, accessories and colors, combined her artistic curiosity have allowed her to create-one-of-a-kind pieces. This fusion of new and old, ordinary and unique, contemporary and modern is what she likes to call Design With a Flair.
A word of gratitude
Naomi is forever grateful for her family, friends and numerous sponsors that have supported her along the way. Naomi credits her parents for her success as an artist – for their unconditional love and support throughout her life allowing her to pursue her dreams. Naomi is continually grateful for the love and support of her husband, Kibru Senbetta, for believing in her to do what she does best as shown in his photography of her website. Last but not least, she's also grateful to her canine companion Dino for always being by her side.