From braiding hair to making sculptures, meet 'Don't Touch My Hair' Issue 12 featured artist, Tamarica Washington. After spending six years as a full-time hair braider, one day Washington decided to decorate her shop with art, but instead of going out to purchase the artwork for her shop, she created it herself. Painting a blank woman's face and added braiding hair on the canvas she created a masterpiece, sparking her to embark on a new professional journey. After a year of painting with braided hair, she noticed 3D art had become increasingly popular among other creatives and the hair industry. Hair braiders and painters alike had started creating art and adding hair on it. Inspired to create unique artwork, Washington took this as a wake-up call to do something different. Taking her love for painting, 3D art, and hair, she began making sculptural masterpieces.
"God placed sculpturing in my mind, I did my research and just went in. Sculpturing has changed my life, I love everything about it."
Read her interview with ColorBloc Magazine:
Who is Tamarica Washington?
A woman of God, wife, mother, and artist, but if I can sum Tamarica up she’s just an empty vessel living to please God.
What inspired your 3D paintings? How did you
decided the hair would be the accentuated part of your pieces?
I was a full-time hair braider for 6 years and during that time I had my own salon suite. One day I decided to create some art for my shop so I painted a blank woman's face and added braiding hair on the canvas, basically combining my art skills along with my hair braiding skill to come up with a masterpiece.
Prominent pop culture figures often show up in your earlier works, Like your Beyonce piece. What inspired that creation?
I was very inspired by Beyoncés hairstyle I loved the beads and the beauty in the picture so I immediately pictured that on a canvas. Creating that piece was so satisfying, I was in love with the outcome.
You sold that painting, what was that like?
Selling that piece was confirmation that I will be success in my artistry career. It also sold for $100 more than what I was asking for which put the icing on the cake
You've recently have taken up sculpting, a little over a year now, how did that come about what sparked the transition?
After a year of doing just painting with braiding hair, I noticed on social media 3D art had become very popular A LOT of people were doing it. Even hair braiders we’re creating art and adding hair on it. So that was my wake up call to do something different. God placed sculpturing in my mind, I did my research and just went in. Sculpturing has changed my life, I love everything about it.
How do you decide what features your figures will have?
I create what I see, and I’m completely surrounded by black people. Black is beautiful! I use my features, my husband, my children, family, friends and come up with different faces for each masterpiece I create.
We find that hair once again plays a crucial role in your sculpting work, was this a conscious decision to carry this theme over?
Yes, I intentionally chose to add hair to my art, black hair is beautiful, I love the versatility we have with our hair, and being a hair braider made me love hair even more.
How have your husband and son helped with your work?
My husband is my number one supporter! From helping me come up with ideas or giving words of encouragement to keep me going and even carrying my pieces and making sure they get transported safely he is definitely a major part of this journey I’m on. My children are always wanting to do what mommy is doing, I have 4 children now I do notice my son Prince is really artistic he loves to draw and be creative just like me. His spirit just helps me keep going. I’ve had times I wanted to give up and he would come home from school with a beautiful picture he drew that makes me keep going.
Your recent work has become more big and bold, where do you plan to take your work next?
I’m not sure what’s next I just take it one day at a time and one masterpiece at a time. I do have goals of creating extremely large sculptures that can be displayed at museums and outside of buildings. Only time will tell.
Follow Tamarica on Social Media