About the Artist

"My life started when I realized art was not a hobby, nor valued merely as just a passion, but was who I am. That as long as I am honest with myself and with my art, I am full."

Photo from "I AM, WE ARE" opening reception, District Art Gallery, 2018

Photo from "I AM, WE ARE" opening reception, District Art Gallery, 2018

LaTonia Shanee Allen

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, LaTonia Allen moved to Houston, TX in January 2012 to pursue her dream of being an artist. At Texas Southern University, LaTonia majored in fine art while minoring in business marketing with goals of working in advertising as a graphic designer. She graduated with her BA in 2015.

LaTonia worked for various small businesses as a graphic designer before deciding to become independent, and freelance in 2016.  As a freelancer, she found success from creating her own design business called, Allen Illustrations. Along with graphic design, she also began creating custom paintings for clients around the country. Her connections lead her to be commissioned to create original wearable-art pieces for three of Houston's most prominent African-American women. That opportunity then lead to an invitation to attend Tina Knowles-Lawson's first annual, Wearable Art Gala at the California African-American Museum. From 2016 to 2017, LaTonia accredits her independence to allowing her to grow and develop as both an individual and an artist. Most recently, she has worked within NRG Energy, as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator.

When asked where her inspiration derives from, she profoundly states that it is presently "unknown". She speaks that she has

" ...reached a point where I, as a person, am changing and because of that, my art is changing. While I'm still becoming comfortable with who I am today, I am not clear as of yet what my voice is to be amongst the many conversations in art. I'm a little nervous with the uncertainty that comes along with that process, but still confident, that as long as I am honest with myself, I will find it." .


Kadir Nelson Graphics Award, Texas Southern University Department of Visual & Performing Arts, 2015

HMAAC Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Competition: 2nd Best in Show, 2014

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Semi-Finalist, 2015

Royal and Langnickel Junior Painting Competition 1st Place National Winner *Commissioned, 2006

Best in Show Arizona State Fair, 2006

Winner of Theatre Works Poster Design Competition *Commissioned, 2005


Tina Knowles-Lawson 2nd Annual Wearable Arts Gala

Citywide African-American Exhibit

Tina Knowles-Lawson Wearable Arts Gala

Community Arts Collective 'Self Love' Exhibition

Evolversi Art & Music Fest

All Access Art Show

Texas Southern University Senior Fine Art Exhibition

Chips and Beer Art Festival

Pancakes and Booze Underground Art Show

HMAAC Artisan Award Show

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Competition