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 their field, and continues to be a shaping force in the work of American henna artists. They have authored several groundbreaking pattern and history books on henna art, with a focus on the traditions of North Africa. They are one of the only American henna artists to spend time studying with their counterparts in Morocco, and they brings a rich understanding of the symbology and significance of traditional Moroccan henna design to their work.
Nic attended art school beginning at Naropa University and continuing their studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. Their 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, they continued to expand their professional practice to realize the dream of working independently as an artist, at the whim only of their vision and the constraints of time. Training as a tattooer since 2015, they work with clients to create unique expressions of their inner landscape on the body. Also working as a silversmith and illustrator, they chose Boston as their home and they continue 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 their signature on paintings and other work. Nic wears a total of 5 scorpions tattooed on their body, including one of the monogram version. They are a personal totem.
About the pronouns – Dear reader, you have no doubt noticed that the pronouns used throughout this website are not of the standard “he/she” set. In keeping with their creative expression, Nic chooses to identify as neither male nor female, and to use the pronoun set “they/them.” For more info on they/them pronouns, refer to this helpful guide published by Teen Vogue: All Your Questions about Gender-Neutral Pronouns Answered.
Find Nic on Instagram @nictharpa
Find Nic on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/NicTharpaCartier