Tamana Riviere


Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I mostly do oil paintings but for the purpose of Truly Only Yours, it's mostly sharpies for now.


Heterosexual / Afghan-Canadian woman

As a womxn or womxn of color, why do you think it is important to create? 

As I am getting older, I’m starting to realize how much harder it can be for a woman of colour in life and how many boundaries there are. I think that it is important to create because there are no boundaries to what you can create.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?  

I recently opened an Etsy shop selling custom designed phone cases. All the profits will be donated to Women for Afghan Women, a non-profit organization that helps improve the lives of Afghan women and children. For the longest time, I was afraid of opening this shop in the fear that it would fail. Over time, I’ve come to realize that we should not let the fear of failure stop us from doing anything.  

How do you define love?  

Love to me is unconditional unequivocal acceptance.

What is the space that you like to create in?

To me, my best work comes as a result of feeling an urge to create. So, I do it wherever I can. I’ve painted on my bed, on the floor, on an actual canvas stand, you name it. I have to say that the bed might not have been a good idea. It’s REALLY hard to get oil painting out of bed sheets.

What do you like to listen to while you create?  

It really depends on my mood but more often than not, it’s Edith Piaf.

What or who keeps you inspired?  

My family left Afghanistan when I was a little child. I often think as to what would have happened if they hadn’t left. Because of that, I always have felt a kinship to Afghan women and children who are still in Afghanistan. If it wasn’t for my parents’ split second decision, I could be one of them. Whatever I try to achieve or I try to create, I have them in mind.

How do you define art?

Art is about the process for me. It allows me to zone out from the world and focus singularly on the painting.

Thank you Tamana for reminding us to recognize and persevere beyond the fear of failure. We wish you all the best with your work to support more Afghan women like yourself.