“Be free in knowing that God made you the way you’re supposed to be.”
As the world turned inwards this year, we all were forced to contemplate our lives and our careers choices. Zarinah Dennis is no different. She is the creator of the the Bitter Darling collection that portrays women emotion boldly in their raw “bitterness.” To her, their expressions embody the “not so sweet” moments that black women experience in silence. Zarinah believes in creating the pallet for which the audience can create their own story in looking at her art.
As art imitates life, Zarinah delved onto a blank canvas in her career as she pursued an uncharted artform. A teacher turned visual artist, now costume designer for television/film in 2020. The decision felt natural to her as quarantine made her reflect on how “life is not guaranteed,” and the time to follow all your passions is now. Her transition didn’t make her quit painting, but it made her focus on what she truly wanted to dedicate her life to, art. Now a full time artist she is excited as she sees where her talents can take her.
“life is not guaranteed,”
Not bound by one median, she feels as one inspires the other. Her own personal message is to, “be whoever you are and be proud of who you are.” That freedom is what she hopes her audience feels in looking at her work. Whether it's hanging on a wall or worn, it is meant to tell that story. One of individuality where you're free of comparisons and fully comfortable in your truth.
When asked if that freedom is what she feels when creating her Bitter Darlings, she simply exclaimed, “it makes me feel like I have a super power!” How can anyone deny that there is, in fact, power in creating? The way that art has given Zarinah the courage to pursue life’s passions whole heartedly, making that the bright side of the pandemic. She feels empowered in what she is representing the woman that she’s still evolving to be. As a mother, she’s instilling this same courage in her daughter, her favorite creation to date.
“it makes me feel like I have a super power!”
Her magical message rings truer than ever as she feels that 2020 has been one of her best years in art. The expansion brought her a clarity of purpose. That purpose gave her a light to follow. That light continues to shine as she encourages us to never be afraid to start over and try something new. For in that unknown, beautiful things can happen.
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