Name: Dita Montana
Location: Houston, TX
Bio: Dita Montana is a mixed media abstract artist born in raised in Houston, TX. From early on, she knew that she had a gift and wanted to pursue art to the highest levels. Although Dita was never interested in school studies, she always had a strong fascination with her art classes. She credits much of her artistic motivation to her high school art teacher, Mrs. K, whose class was her home away from home and where she learned the fundamentals of mixed media. Currently, the purpose of Dita’s art is to tell a story that cannot be limited to words in hopes of positively impacting the art industry as a whole while encouraging people to build upon their own interpretations.
Describe your experience as a current artist
I’ll always consider myself a full-time artist. Regardless if it’s me putting physical work into my art or mental work, I'm always working and that’s never partial. I’ve been pursuing art professionally for about 4 years now but have been creating all my life. I had an extensive art background that originated in mixed media and still life drawings. Before I picked up a paint brush, that #2 lead pencil was my beginning. My art has always been abstract and my purpose is to stay true to my origin.
What was your occupation prior to becoming an artist?
Prior to pursuing a career as an artist, I was in college majoring in psychology. I was and still am fascinated by behaviors and intricacies of the mind. I believe I subconsciously try to collide the two worlds often when I “freestyle” a piece. I am currently not studying that anymore but I kept all of my college books (psychology, sociology, anthropology) because something in the back of my mind told me I would need those again. After college, I sat down with myself to figure out what I was good at. That put me right back into the mind of art and I retaught myself art. I had support from my girlfriend Breezy, she always motivated me to work harder and thrive through my art. My parents and immediate family support me as well so I'm very blessed to have people around me who are genuine and see the vision.
What was your biggest obstacle in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was and is balance. I have always had a full-time job and pursued art full-time. Working towards the betterment of the company that you work for is cool but when do you have time to work towards the betterment of your own dreams? Jobs already suck the life out of you, you’re going to be running on fumes trying to stay motivated and clear-minded enough to work towards your art. It's so easy to become complacent and lose that vision. It’s important to use them to get to where you need to go and look out for yourself.
Describe your biggest milestone you’ve achieved since pursuing your art.
My biggest project was being commissioned by Google to paint live at a dinner during the Grace Hopper Tech conference. The conference was dedicated to women of color in the tech industry and was held in September of 2018 in downtown Houston. I was also commissioned to create about 100 prints for the guests and centered the live painting around the diversity and unity that was represented by those women in the tech industry.
How does your personal style and identity translate into your artwork?
My personal style translates to my work immensely! My pieces are strategic, everything is purposeful. My lines are deliberate, edges are clean, colors are solid and opaque. I learned from one of my favorite artists Kaws, that a drop shadow will give the piece depth. This translates into my art because I am very organized and deliberate with my actions and words. The more concentrated and focused I am, the more my work will be solid and clean.
What is one thing that makes your art unique?
One thing that I believe makes my art unique is the fact that it’s contemporary. It reflects the world we live in today in many subtle ways. I also make sure to mix mediums and do what hasn’t been done. My favorite art techniques are pop art/semi realistic portraits (I only paint POC) and abstract faces. I also enjoy using acrylic and watercolor. I am a fast painter so I needed paint that worked as fast as I did. I really enjoy using watercolor, especially recently, because I can manipulate the paint with water and change the outcome.
How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration?
Me painting is me maintaining my mental health. I value my art journey so much because I pour so much of myself into my work and create these magical pieces. I can channel my energy into a piece of work and it resonates in many ways.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals and/or owning her own business?
One piece of advice I would give a fellow BGWP is stay true to yourself and create the art that will make your soul happy. Never compare yourself to another artist and being consistent is key.
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
Being a black girl who paints means representing your community and your culture symbolically through your work. Black girls and all girls of color have such God-given talents to show the world, all we need to go is stay consistent and unified!