If this naturalista could describe her work in three words, they would be: raw, intriguing, and amorous.
A New York native and happily married mother of two, Artist Ria has commanded the attention of the social media community, fascinating thousands of Instagram followers with the standout style of her drawings and paintings. Most of her pieces are centered on the versatility within the natural hair community.
“I draw a lot of Afro art but I also draw a lot of abstract work. I guess you can call me an ‘everything artist,'” the artist shared in an interview with 4c Hair Chick.
She said her craft is self-taught and something she began perfecting during her childhood, without attending art school.
“I truly have been drawing since I picked up my first Crayola crayon around 4 years old,” she said.
When she’s creating another work of art, almost anything can serve as a source of inspiration. However, life experiences, music, and scenes are a few of the things that motivate her.
The late Ernie Barnes, a celebrated black painter, also inspires her.
“His paintings made you hear music, dance, sing, and the movement he created was incomprehensible.”
It can take Artist Ria anywhere from 15 minutes to one month to create a new piece, depending on the complexity of the subject. It’s clear from her Instagram photos that she doesn’t always need a full-sized canvas to express her creativity – in some cases, a post-it note will suffice.
“I just draw to draw and sometimes I am surprised at the end result,” she said. “I seldom sketch before laying down the paint or other mediums. I literally sit down and get in a zone.”
She has been a member of Team Natural since birth and said her hair care regimen consists of washing her hair once a week and applying Cantu‘s leave in conditioning repair cream, alternating between the Shea butter and Argan oil versions. She uses products from the Mixed Chicks collection as well. The artist big chops every two to three years, according to an Instagram post.
Drawing and painting are hobbies and stress relievers for Artist Ria, who works a 9-to-5. But she doesn’t have any plans to stop creating the pieces like the ones that have put her in the spotlight and continue to attract followers.
“(There are) people that I may not have even realized have either reposted my work, followed me, or supported my art. I love their humility and support; it helps me to thrive.”
When asked what she hopes people will take away from her work, she had this to say:
“I want people to feel my art in their heart. I want it to excite their senses and draw out of them the very same emotions that I used to create each piece; to let them read my art like a good book.”
For readers interested in viewing or purchasing Artist Ria’s work, check out the following links: