Today we’d like to introduce you to Taline Tuzee Shahinian.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Growing up, I thought I lacked the artistic gene that both my older sisters got from my architect father, who also practiced photography and painting. I figured that I got my mother’s genes, which were still creative, but with words. I would write short stories and re-write classics with my own twist. But after my father taught me how to use his film camera, I dreamed of becoming a photojournalist one day.
Throughout high school, I was never at the top of my class and struggled in almost every subject. When it came time to apply for college or university, I only sent out three applications. I somehow got accepted to my dream school in Paris but was unsure if I wanted to commit or to take it easy, stay local and go to a community college. On a whim, the night of the deadline to commit, I decided to accept the offer. A few months later, when I was only seventeen, I moved to Paris to study journalism.
As freshmen, we were required to take a few classes designed to broaden our mindsets. I was placed in an intro to art history class which inspired me to change my major to art history. The following year, I took an intro to painting course as an elective. This course opened my mind even further to the joys and wonders of painting. I realized that painting was the most fun thing I had done in a very long time and decided to take on fine arts as a minor.
I took courses in materials, techniques and drawing. I also began painting at home on my own, experimenting with all sorts of things, such as linocut, digital illustration, and different media, like acrylic, graphite, charcoal, gouache, sanguine, watercolor, and more. I made an art Instagram for myself, and got my first commission requests. The fact that anybody believed in me and thought that I had actual talent blew my mind and helped my self-confidence immensely.
Now, I am home in southern California for a few months before I head back to Paris. This summer, I am lucky enough to be working and learning alongside the talented artist Patty Weaver. She has already taught me so much, not only about art and personal creativity, but about myself, and how to connect my head, heart and hand to translate my innermost feelings onto the canvas. Turning my mind off, getting in tune with nature, and trusting my body enough to write its own narrative on the canvas is the current project I am working on.
Please tell us about your art.
Currently, I am working on large canvases with acrylic paint. My mentor, Patty, has been teaching me about the connection between our mind, heart, hand, and all the possibilities that nature holds. Right now, my painting is about learning how to be free and letting my hands explain what is going on in my mind. I have been painting with everything but a paintbrush. My hands, old credit cards, kitchen utensils, spray bottles, plants, you name it, are my tools. This continues to help me ‘unlearn’ how to paint.
I also do digital illustration, which I am taking a step back from right now to focus on my larger scale fine art pieces. However, in my digital illustration, I often focus on puns or comic-like drawings. I also make illustrations about plant-based lifestyles and veganism, as I am a big advocate for both. I am in the process of putting my designs on canvas totes and alike products to be able to raise money for organizations that help animals in need.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
As an artist, I define success as having your artwork be an effective outlet for your thoughts and emotions. I believe that art should have meaning and intent behind it, even if it is solely meaningful to the artist. For me, the most important aspect of creating is that it is explanatory of my feeling and emotion. Sometimes people will not like your art, and that is totally fine. It is important to realize that other people’s opinions do not matter as long as you have a connection with your artwork, and that the process of making it made you happy.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a website as well as an Instagram page, where I post some of my artwork. My work has been exhibited in Paris at a multi-media student showcase. To support me, you can follow me on Instagram @tallustrations and check out my website at www.talinetuzeeshahinian.com. I do take commissions requests, so if you are interested, or anybody you know may be, please email me! Further, if you are interested in buying one of my artworks, please let me know.
- Website: talinetuzeeshahinian.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: tallustrations
Riley Starr Photography