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.