Art

Defining What’s Dope With Tina B By Tashia Ariel Visual by Porter Brown Jr.

What is Dope with Tina B? The DUPE indie Artist!

Walking into Tina’s home was like entering a private gallery, as there was a collection of finished works adorning her wall. Her style of art is larger than life, fresh, vibrant and inviting. With the offer of a cup of delicious red wine, I sat down with her to learn more about how she became this amazing visual artist.

About a year and a half ago, her passion for art was inspired by a bout of depression she was going through at the time. Painting was a unique form of self-therapy that allowed her to express her emotions when needed. Over time, her work evolved from “splatter work”, as she puts it, to what you see today. Being the true epitome of a self-taught artist, she casually expressed how she didn’t formally go to school for art. I thought this was very intriguing, as her natural talent translates as a seasoned artist who has been doing this for years!

When asked how she would describe her style of artwork, she said, “It’s a mood and depends on what I’m feeling at any given time. From the time I sit in front of my canvas, to the time that I actually start painting, the vision always changes based on how I am feeling. Every piece represents something I’ve been through and tells a little bit more about myself”. Although she was inspired by local art greats such as Jerell Gibbs and Peter Smith, she never thought that something she decided to do as an emotional outlet would take off the way it would.

At the start of this year, she started getting invited to feature her work in various gallery shows. With more exposure under her belt, she then started to naturally attract more opportunities for people to experience her work. She was recently featured at the RAW Artist Showcase in August and also had her artwork featured on a billboard in collaboration with LED Baltimore near Penn Station. “I wasn’t even expecting to do all of this, I just was doing it to get my mind off of some things and it just flourished”, she explains.

As I inquired about the collection she had hanging on her wall, filled with melanin-rich tribal goddesses and more, she started to open up about how her art has also developed into a source of empowerment for her daughters. “I started painting black women from different cultures because I want my daughters to know that black women are beautiful, especially my oldest daughter in general. I realized that this was the best way to show her that. I always love the input she gives while I’m in the process of creating my artwork”, she explains.

Tina’s story of how she discovered a natural talent during a dark time in her life is definitely an inspiring story for those who may find themselves in the same situation. When asked what advice she would give someone who may be suffering

from depression, she explains, “Everybody’s level of depression is different, but the only thing that worked for me, was to find myself. If I could tell anybody anything, it would just be to find yourself and look to God for guidance.

As her work continues to grow, she sees herself traveling worldwide doing art festivals, opening up her own boutique and having her work featured in the home décor industry. To check out more of Christina’s work, please visit her website at www.definewhatsdope.com or contact her at definewhatsdope@gmail.com. On social media, her page is Define What’s Dope.

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