Tishaun Griffith is a 29-year-old artist, businesswoman and model whose sights are set on becoming an international artist.
Her six-year-old company, Tish Theodora, was started in 2014 after she realized that art really is her first love. She has attracted customers both locally and internationally.
Tishaun never had formal schooling in art except for a National Cultural Foundation (NCF) workshop, but she has managed to create an art brand which concentrates mostly on surrealism and abstract art.
These are two concepts which Tishaun enjoys exploring. Having done art at primary and secondary school, and then having worked with well-known artist Ras Akyem Ramsay and Victor collector, Tishaun has created a particular style of her own. Experimenting with colour and style, she has started to master the use of oil paints which she enjoys working with more than any other medium.
Her art is expressive and memorable, and her concepts are gained from life’s experiences. This was deeply ingrained in the artist as she was interested in studying psychology when she was younger. Her approach to art is, in a way, psychological. Initially, when she meets people, she automatically starts to get a feel for their aura.
“I started sketching from around age seven but felt a bit apprehensive about painting. Normally when you sketch, you can see the bare bone concept, you can see the shape or the form, but when you paint, details start to rise to the surface. For some reason, I didn’t want to see the details yet. Later on, I started filling them all in. It was a cathartic moment for me,” she told Bajan Vibes.
Even though she had this passion to draw and paint, life intervened and she put her paint brushes aside and began job hunting. Although she was employed, her love for art was always in the background and so six years ago, she took up her paint brushes and decided to paint again.
This was around the time that she met Victor Collector, who gave her quite a few tips and told her not to have any apprehension but just to work. “I would sit with him and he would show me different techniques and I would go home and explore the canvas with my brushes.”
Two mantras keep the past student of Frederick Smith Secondary striving for excellence. “I say art is instant therapy and through art you can find healing. Also, I live by the statement – a wall is only a door, but only you’re ready to go through.”
One of Tishaun’s other passions is modelling. She has been the face of the brand Tiyi by Design for almost ten years.
“I have been involved in the modelling industry since age 19. I work with this particular brand (Tiyi by Design) mainly when the designer has produced a new collection. She is one of my mentors and a fantastic metalsmith and art jeweller. I have the privilege of owning a few of the pieces myself and I have learned a lot from her. But while I love modelling, my love for art will always be my priority.”
The past student of Roland Edwards Primary School said she also wanted to be a fashion designer and interior decorator. But now her vision is to be an established artist, and to own her own art gallery. She wants to continue mastering her skills and experimenting with different techniques.
Outside of art, the entrepreneur is an avid reader and a fan of good music. Her favourite books are novels by Nora Roberts and Stephen King. The artists that she enjoys listening to include Slipknot, Disturbed, Avril Lavigne, Teff Hinkson, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Inner Circle and Nicki Minaj.
Though she is encouraged by music, home drums beat first and family support is most important. “The support from my friends and family was tremendous. My parents were supportive. My dad was a bit more cautious because he understood the journey of an artist but encouraged me to pursue my dreams.”
Tishaun is also inspired by the renaissance period artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, and Titan.
She said some of her business highlights are meeting like-minded creatives and having clients who have an appreciation for her art and style.
One of the challenges is pushing through the boundaries. “People have a more difficult time understanding your concept especially when you are not doing traditional art, when you are doing something like abstract or surrealism.”
The model explained that with abstract art she loves the blend of colour and the movements of the brush. “It is almost hypnotic. With surrealism, my main goal as an artist is to bare the soul, lifting the veil showing my perception of mankind’s journey from man to god and woman to goddess. [I want] to show that beauty can come from pain and suffering as long as we practice acceptance, forgiveness of self-balance and determination.”
Tishaun intends for her work to reach a regional and international stage; she has started exhibiting here in small ways. She has shown her work at the Life with Ink Studio and Tiyi by design Studio. She intends to encourage other emerging artists to paint fearlessly and showcase their true talents. (MR)