Titianna Barclay’s mom knew her daughter was destined to be an artist one day. “My mom says when I was just a little baby, I grabbed a pencil and drew a smile on a piece of paper! I was drawing before I could talk!” Born in East Orange, New Jersey on August 12, 1995, this self-taught artist is a promising, young talent to watch.
As Titianna (nickname Tilly) matured, her passion for art expanded. She won several art contests and her teachers grew obsessed with her work. “Art shifted my personality and perception of beauty. I fell in love with the flaws of life and human emotions and interactions. Nowadays, I paint what I feel or different stages of my life.”
Tilly is inspired by renowned artists Salvador Dali, Agnes Cecile, and Jean Michael Basquiat. She dreams of becoming a known name just like her favorite creators, “I want people to connect and vibe with the art I make. I see my art being discovered by someone and me hopefully becoming known someday. I hope to create sculptures and travel and also meet with other artists and create huge collaborations.”
Music is an important part of her creative process, “Without music, I don’t know how I could make good art. When I put on my favorite playlist which consists of FKA Twigs, SZA and Chance the Rapper, my art tends to run wild.”
For Tilly, a piece of artwork is never finished and art is like a story. There’s always something that she feels she can add to her work.
When asked to name the sole tool she couldn’t live without in her studio space, Tilly tells us her imagination and perception of beauty trumps any physical device, “Without my imagination, I believe I would be creating very bland art. When you let your hands run wild on a sheet of paper it not only creates a story but it creates your words and thoughts into a picture.”
Tilly is the daughter of an American mom and a Liberian dad who hails from Monrovia. She is proud of her Liberian heritage and plans to travel to Liberia one day.