May 2023 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Tia Riva
by Lindsay Gifford
“Don't be afraid to make waves, the moon does it all the time.”
Tia Riva has been creating artwork for as long as she can remember, in every form, with every media, in every creative way she could imagine.
She initially fell for watercolors, and after years of riding her artistic wave in life and graduating with an Associates in Fine Art, Tia discovered her niche: a mixed-media watercolor illustrator. This self-titled genre is a melding of happiness, combining her love of whimsy, positivity, and fulfilling quotes. Her artwork comes alive through layers of watercolors, ink, salt, Prismacolors and bits and pieces from old and new. The vibrant colors, textures, symbols, words, and patterns provide inspiration beyond paper. After the pieces dry, she meticulously details each one with Prismacolor and metallic markers. Deep feelings and emotions resonate with each of her one-of-a-kind pieces.
You’ll find the theme of water throughout many of Tia’s artworks, like on our May cover “Mother and Child,” which features a beautiful sunset just beyond the rolling water. A resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tia said, “I live in the Great Lakes State! Michigan is surrounded by huge freshwater lakes. Almost all of my summer shows are spent along Lake Michigan in various beautiful beach towns. I was born and raised here and live about 25 minutes from the lake. The beach is part of my soul!”
Tia worked for and was mentored by world-renowned artist Paul Collins and his wife Carol for 12 years, learning the ropes in art sales and marketing. She adopted Paul’s firm belief that everyone should be able to own art from an artist they love. Tia’s customers have enjoyed her art through numerous juried art shows in Michigan and surrounding states for more 20 years, as she utilizes her images to bring life and function to everyday objects—magnets, wall plaques, trinket boxes, fine art prints and the first children's book she illustrated, I Like Bugs...and Bugs Like Me.
Tia believes art should find its way into anything it can beyond just a painting hanging on wall. She sees art in everything and continues to create and grow. “I let the art find its way out of my hands and find its way to the homes and lives of those I’m honored to share it with!” Tia continued, “I love my art shows—relating to people, talking about my work, and seeing everyone connecting, laughing, smiling and sometimes even getting emotional over my pieces—it’s the absolute best!”
Enjoy more of Tia’s work at her Etsy Store: Geniene Inspirational Art (etsy.com/shop/GenieneFunctionalArt) which sells magnets, fine art prints, wall plaques, trinket boxes, her children's book, art posters and original art. Visit her store: The Art of Life Studio, 1134 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI, and if you’re there, consider taking one of her many art classes! You can also follow Tia on Facebook at “The Art of Life Studio Store.”