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A’Driane Nieves in her studio
March 20th, 2021

A’Driane Nieves on “The Human Factor”

A’Driane Nieves was recently interviewed for CNN’s The Human Factor with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Read the transcript below:


WHITFIELD: All right, we’ll have more news in a moment, but first a can of paint and a canvas helped one woman with bipolar disorder find balance. Now the self-taught artist is helping others. Here is this week’s Human Factor.

A’DRIANE NIEVES, ABSTRACT ARTIST: When I’m painting my pieces, I honestly experience complete freedom. I started experiencing the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety pretty severely after the birth of my second son. I remember his cries being such a trigger for me, and I couldn’t understand why suddenly my heart was racing, why suddenly I felt detached.

I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in July of 2011. The intake psychiatrist explained a treatment plan. I’m going to start you off with this medication. It is a mood stabilizer. My therapist suggested that I build or create something constructive with my hands. I just remember putting the paint on my hands and on the canvas and moving it around. I felt completely different than I had before, a really transformative moment.

Since I started painting in 2012, I have probably done over 1,000 pieces. I established Tessera Arts Collective to support and amplify the work of black and brown women and nonbinary artists who primarily work in abstraction. Because I was looking for something therapeutic, painting continues to be that. It’s my career, but really it’s still therapy.


A’Driane’s website
Three Abstract Artists
Available work