From Bullied Teen To Celebrated Art Student: LaNia Roberts’ 5 Ways to Step Into Your Power

Photo by Dina Ben-Nissan

When LaNia Roberts sketched her first really good self-portrait in 5th grade she had no idea it was the start of something that would carry her through the happiest and most challenging times of her life.

Today the Syracuse University student is being lauded for her artwork and her lessons in self-love. She’s been featured on, The Daily Mail, and The Huffington Post.

Beautiful self portraits, by LaNia Roberts. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis

But receiving that sort of praise wasn’t always a part of her story. In middle school she was bullied so badly for her size, she began to shrink and hide her true personality. Art was her therapy, but things changed when she began high school and realized the only art class was overcrowded, causing her to stop drawing for some time.

“At the end of my sophomore year, Instagram was slowly starting to become popular and the few friends that I had somehow encouraged me to create an instagram page,” she said. “I ended up seeing all of these artists on there and these were like amazing artists. When I looked at these artists I thought, I can do that.”

Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis

Her Instagram page attracted thousands of followers, which gave her confidence to continue with her artwork—but on her own terms. By the time she started college where she’s a painting major, her bubbly personality began to emerge. While battling the bitter cold of Upstate New York, LaNia picked up her phone one day and filmed herself giving a mini weather report, then uploaded it to Snapchat.  Her friends loved it and encouraged her to keep going.  As more and more people began to tune into “Weather By LaNia,” she became a campus celebrity. Her fondest moment in college so far was delivering a motivational speech to more than 100 of her peers on campus.

“My memories see it as I’m sitting down watching myself, because I had always been the person that was looking at the girl or the guy that was funny and perfect all around, having so much love and attention from everyone and just wondering, why can’t people look at me like that,” she said. “All I ever wanted was for someone to come over to me and be like, ‘hey what’s up? What’s your name?’  No one every came over. I learned that you’re the person who has to come over.”

Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis

Despite her amazing talent, Roberts says she’s certain her destiny involves more than being an artist, though she will use it as a tool to fulfill the vision she has for her future.

“I see me at an art show with a lot of cameras, a lot of lights flashing with this big old fur coat looking extra classy, extra elegant, just knowing who I am in God, in myself, in everything,” she said with confidence. “Looking around I see all these beautiful big old self portraits surrounding me and all these people just wanting to see LaNia’s face all over the wall because LaNia’s face is so amazing. I see this being a thing. I don’t see it being all of it, because art is my teammate.”


Overcoming years of self doubt and low self esteem takes practice, says LaNia Roberts.  Here’s a list of LaNia’s 5 Ways To Step Into Your Power:

1. Recognize that you have power by feeding your mind positive things about yourself through your thoughts. Instead of thinking ‘I don’t think I can,’ think, ‘I know I can,’ until you believe it!  Believe that you have the same power flowing through you that fuels the greatness of Oprah and Bill Gates!

2. Realize that no one controls your power but you and the things that you choose to surround yourself with.  Some things in life we cannot control.  But we can control the way we see things.

3. Choose to surround yourself with only positive energy so you can create positive things! Creativity is not just linked to drawing a picture. It is also linked to creating love and success for oneself and others.

4. Invest time into yourself: Read books, go to seminars, try your best, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else–all so you can create beautiful things to positively contribute to others.

5. You receive what you put out there: Strive to only give great things to others by being the best that you can be.


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