Born in New England to Sicilian, Roma, and Mohawk ancestry, Nic Tharpa Cartier became a world
citizen as a child, yearning for travel and drawn to the artistic expressions of far flung corners of the globe.
Raised in the body art industries since the tender age of 13, tattooers and body piercers quickly became a second family, and this is where Nic’s talents for adornment emerged. Originally working in henna art, Nic became a well known artist in his field, and continues to be a shaping force in the work of American henna artists. He has authored several groundbreaking pattern and history books on henna art, with a focus on the traditions of North Africa. He is one of the only American henna artists to spend time studying with his counterparts in Morocco, and he brings to his work a rich understanding of the symbology and significance of traditional Moroccan henna design.
Nic attended art school beginning at Naropa University and continuing his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. His fine art practice is wide ranging as a result of exposure to many incredible teachers and traditions, encompassing performance, painting, book arts, and related disciplines.
After art school, he continued to expand his professional practice to realize the dream of working independently as an artist, at the whim only of his vision and the constraints of time. Training as a tattooer under master Horikei since 2015, he works with clients to create unique expressions of their inner landscape on the body. Also working as a silversmith and illustrator, he chose Boston as his home and continues to travel the world whenever possible. Favorite destinations include Morocco, New Zealand, and France, and future plans include India, Nepal, and Tibet.
About the scorpion monogram – The monogram visible on many pages of this website is a combination of the artist’s initials with a scorpion symbol which is traditional to the tattoos of the Rabari people in India. It serves as his signature on paintings and other work. Nic wears a total of 5 scorpions tattooed on his body, including one of the monogram version. They are a personal totem.
Find Nic on Instagram @nictharpa
Find Nic on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/NicTharpaCartier
Find Nic on tumblr at orixxxa.tumblr.com