Accidental Artist: Ta’tiaana by Breeana Draper


Ta’tiaana Watts was born and raised in Alton, Illinois.

After marrying her high school sweetheart in 2014, a marine she moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina. When her husband retired from the Marine Corps in 2016, they moved to Greensboro with their now three year old daughter.

Watts is currently enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University as a biology student but works on her art in her spare time. She expressed that she has always been creative.

In high school she would take her mother’s old high waisted Levi jeans and distress them. She also used to make birthday boards and now she’s painting.

“It was by accident actually,” Watts said as she explained how she started painting.

She recalled a time where she was in Michael’s, an art store, where there was a 70% off discount on all canvases. She bought a large number of canvases that day and went home and started to figure out her own painting style.

Her paintings started to gain popularity on social media. She has sold paintings to several people outside of the Greensboro area. Watts’ paintings hang in a nail salon in Charlotte and there was also a buyer from Texas.

She also did a painting as a surprise for a woman in Charlotte who has leukemia. “ She was just down and I felt like she needed it,” Watts said. She said that the woman hangs it on her front door because it brightens her day enough for her to want to leave the house.

Watt’s artwork is centered around black women and empowerment. “We should be acknowledged more than we are,” Watts said. Her grandmother is also a big inspiration for her paintings. Her grandmother adopted her when she was two years old, and at the time, she was working two jobs.

When discussing her grandmother Watts said explained “she’s giving, big hearted and humble. She pushes me.”

The black women portrayed in Watt’s paintings typically have big afros. This was also inspired by her grandmother when she expressed that she wanted to have more hair during a time when her hair was falling out.

Watts is very particular about her paintings. She uses different sets of paintbrushes with each painting and will sketch things out before she starts painting.

She also communicates with a customer along the way making sure they will be pleased with the finished product.

Her paintings take a good amount of time to finish. It can take two to three weeks depending on the size of the canvas.

Earlier in the semester, Watts had done a back to school special where she had seven orders. Luckily, her husband is also a painter and lent her a hand to complete her paintings.

He used to draw tattoos, and his paintings are more detailed. Her husband enjoys her paintings and gives his artistic opinions about them as well.

While her paintings take time, they can also create a mess. Watts said her work desk was originally just for school work, but it is now all different types of colors.

She says she enjoys painting and she will probably keep doing it for a while.

Keep up with Ta’tianna Watts and her art on her social medias:

Twitter: @jst_tatianna

Instagram: jst_tatianna

Follow Breeana Draper on Twitter and Instagram @MizzBree276.

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