Artist Roundup: Zarinah Dennis | Bitter Darlings

How did you start doing what you’re doing?

My mother graduated at the top of her class in Fashion with emphasis on costume design from L.A. Community College and received the prestigious Golden Thimble Award for her design. She was featured in the L.A. Times in 1974. She taught my siblings and I how to draw, but I stopped drawing after high school. About two years ago I rediscovered myself and everything I’m passionate about. I started painting as an outlet. I am a beautiful, whimsical mess. I’m inspired by the various silhouettes and emotions of women in all of their perfectly imperfect states. I call them my Bitter Darlings.

Name one or two struggles of doing the craft you do. How did you overcome them?

Everything is a struggle other than painting. I just recently began putting myself out as an artist and attended my first event showcasing my art with other artists in May of this year. As of July, I’ve exhibited my Bitter Darlings paintings at four art events and have two upcoming shows. It’s all trial and error for me. I am figuring everything out about the business of art as I go along.

How do you deal with creative block? What would you advise others?

I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a true creative block. I only paint when I’m in the mood. Sometimes I’ll paint two or four Bitter Darlings a day, daily. Some days I don’t think about painting. I try not to stress myself out about anything anymore. Either you can or you can’t. My advice is to do what feels natural and what makes you happy.

Do you feel like you have support for your craft, and how important is that support to you?

The support and encouragement I receive from my family, friends, and art lovers is phenomenal. The gap in my life where I wasn’t creating was difficult, because I was lacking support. Now, I am thriving in every aspect of my life. Support and encouragement promotes positive growth

What’s one thing you would’ve done differently back then, since you know more now?

Nothing, all my fuck-ups have made me who I am today. Everything I was afraid of has already happened to me. I’m not afraid of anything anymore, and I’m proud of myself for overcoming everything I’ve been through..

Do you think social media plays a big part in your success? Why?

Yes. My upcoming art show in September is in Chicago, and I have been commissioned to paint works of art through social media. Social media has a global reach and connects you with consumers and business opportunities instantly.

How do you plan on expanding? Where do you see yourself with business?

I recently received my articles of incorporation and am currently working on my Bitter Darlings website and business plan. I would love to paint a mural and have my own art show and gallery in the very near future.


More about Zarinah and Bitter Darlings :

   Instagram: @BitterDarlings








The Artist Roundup Series was created to highlight the hidden gems of Atlanta’s art community, regardless of the medium of art. If you know of an Atlanta creative, or you are one, we’d like to feature you—nominate here!

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1 thought on “Artist Roundup: Zarinah Dennis | Bitter Darlings

  1. Deborah Shaffer says:

    love my ZEE ! thanks darling for being so sweet love you did what I dreamed now my imagination is proud and awake and busting with happy xoxo mama


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