Artist: Shanna T
Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Shanna T is one of Arkansas' up-and-coming artists who has very unique designs that really make you think while enjoying the true beauty of her art. Data Diva Designs caught up with her to ask her about some of her artwork and inspirations behind the pieces.
Data Diva Designs: My 2nd favorite movie is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You have a painting titled “Chocolate Factory”. It is actually my favorite painting of yours. Mr. Wonka was a dreamer who had fun and was carefree but always dressed up in a blazer, tie and top hat and was all about business. When I look at it, for the first time ever, I see a representation of myself. I think that’s what art is supposed to do. Pull us in and have us envision ourselves in it or surrounded by it, etc. Like, what if it would have been Ms. Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Or maybe they need to do a part 2. What made you decide to create this piece and what does it mean to you?
Shanna T: "I'm really into fairy tales. I like things that are appealing and interesting to me. I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and thought his outfit was really neat. So I thought, "let me put that on a black woman". I like the Blazer, the bow tie and the top hat. She's a black woman and the chocolate factory theme really tied into that."
Data Diva Designs: “Roses are...” is another piece of your work that I admire. The colors are so rich. At first glance, I wouldn’t have ever thought about the roses dying. They appear so full of color and life. But that’s what roses do after they are picked; start the dying process. However, your piece displays so much more than that when you look at the woman’s arms. This piece is deep.
What does this piece mean to you?
Shanna T: "This reminded me of a brides bouquet. Here, I painted them dark to resemble them being dead or fake. But fake roses are just as beautiful as real roses. I named this piece "Roses are..." so people could fill in the blank themselves."
“Prisoner of the Mind”
Data Diva Designs: The last one I want to ask you about is “Prisoner of the Mind”. It’s a very interesting piece because there really is a lot going on and it makes you think. It’s almost like she’s dealing with a 2 dimensional world within herself while all along, she holds the power to free herself from herself. Now that’s just my thoughts after viewing it several times. I’m very analytical and love things that have a great amount of meaning and make me have to do some thinking. What inspired this piece and what do you hope the observer gets from it?
Shanna T: "This piece is one of my favorites. She is feeling trapped and like a prisoner of her own mind. She can get herself out. She can free herself from her mind. You know, get outside of her thoughts and everything that's going on in her head."
Data Diva Designs: I've noticed that many of your paintings are either missing eyes or they have their eyes closed. Almost all of them have intense cheek bones. What is it about the eyes and their cheek bones?
Shanna T: "The eyes are the windows to your soul. If they aren't there or you can't see them no one can tell whats inside. I like the blankness that it gives my artwork."
"I love high check bones. I think they are gorgeous. I try to make sure I bring out the cheek bones."
Data Diva Designs: Many of your pieces are of women. Is there a reason why you often paint women?
Shanna T: "I think women, especially black women, are beautiful. We don't really look at ourselves that way all of the time. I like to create colorful women and express their curves. We as women are interesting creatures."
Art is therapy. It's an escape. Cleansing; purging. -Shanna T.
To view more art or make a purchase, visit her website, shanna taggART, and follow her on instagram, @annashay_art, to keep up with new pieces as she creates them. We look forward to seeing more interesting designs from this artist!