Tabbatha Tabbatha Bella, an award-winning author and visual artist, has exhibited her art in galleries both nationally and abroad. Her painting, Resurrection, a tribute to the souls lost in the September 11th tragedy, was presented to the New York City Mayor’s office in 2001 as a gift to the people of New York. An interesting fact about Tabbatha Bella, she is an Atlanta native and grew up hearing her grandmother’s memories and stories about her third cousin, Margaret Mitchell. Her cousin (Gene), had many stories also.
Tabbatha Bella is active in bringing awareness to dyslexia, dyscalculia, and the importance of literacy. Her paperback books are formatted to aid people with dyslexia, Irlene Syndrome, those who often get headaches when they read, vision issues, and readers who enjoy an easier read with generous formatting and white space. Her hardback books are formatted in a more traditional style.
Tabbatha Bella is a member of the Georgia and Florida Writer’s Associations, the Atlanta Writer’s Club, the Color Pencil Society of America, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ten Interesting Facts About Tabbatha Bella:
1. Yes. Atlanta author, Margaret Mitchell, is Tabbatha Bella's cousin. A few years back the family genealogy was done, and if it was done correctly, President Jimmy Carter and Elvis Presley, are distant cousins also. Being related to Elvis made her mom happy and is interesting considering Fact #2 below.
2. Tabbatha attended her first concert when she was four. The concert was in Atlanta and the act was Elvis Presley. Yes, she does remember the event.
3. Tabbatha Bella has dyslexia and dyscalculia. The dyscalculia still presents problems from time to time, but the dyslexia is no longer an issue. When she began writing at three years-old, she would start on the right side of the page and write from back to front. This concerned her mother who was constantly correcting her. When Tabbatha was a young girl, she also found it much easier to read upside down than right side up.
4. By the end of Tabbatha’s 5th-grade year, the State of Georgia made the decision to skip her to the 7th-grade. Tabbatha was excited because she really wanted to be a patrol. However, her mother wanted her to remain with kids her own age. The State told her mother she had no say-so in the decision unless she wanted to pay to put Tabbatha in a private school. Although funds were tight, her mom scraped up enough money to place her in a private school for one year while they relocated to another county. Tabbatha was not happy about that decision.
5. When Tabbatha was eleven years-old, a man attempted to abduct her, and her friend, in their Atlanta neighborhood. This happened during the time of the Atlanta Child Murders.
6. In 1983, Tabbatha’s All-Stars softball team, were the Georgia State Champions. They represented Georgia at the U.S. Nationals in Arkansas, Governor Bill Clinton welcomed all the players with a letter (she still has her copy), and her team placed 25th in the nation.
7. At age eleven, her softball coach (who was Lieutenant of the College Park, GA Police Dept.) was able to secure his team a spot at the first Little League Night for girls at the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Her team was one of four that played a three-inning game. Her team had the honor of playing on the infield. She was a fan of both the Braves and Hank Aaron. She remembers being excited stepping in the same batter’s box where Aaron had hit his history making 715th home run. Some of Hank’s power must have rubbed off on her because she proceeded to hit an infield home run herself. She even made it on the stadium’s big video screen, although, she didn’t see herself on it. Tabbatha said it was her greatest play.
8. Tabbatha Bella was a Homecoming Queen. Of course, she was only eight-years-old and they drew her name out of a hat. However, Tabbatha says it still counts because she won the title and wore the crown.
9. While Tabbatha was growing up, she wanted to be an astronaut and a Disney animator. She has yet to fly through space, however, in April of 1985 Disney informed her that they had selected her artwork―of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs―to be displayed on the Disney Channel during the month of May. She was thrilled to see her drawing on the Disney Channel.
10. In September 2014, Tabbatha was bitten by a shark at a beach in Florida. It was a small shark, a minor bite, and no stitches were required. When she returned to the safety of the sand after the incident, she looked at the bleeding puncture wounds on her left ankle and thought to herself, Well, now I’ll have bragging rights in Australia. So when then ask, ‘How did you get those scars?’ I can answer with my best Aussie accent, ‘Shaaaaaark.’
DON'T DESPISE SMALL BEGINNINGS
Tabbatha Bella started drawing and coloring with her grandmother at the age of three. Her grandmother was a natural artist. After her work as a 'Riveting Rosie' during WWII at Fort Gillem, she worked in Atlanta for a local designer drawing his fashions for commercial sales runs.
Tabbatha was inspired when she watched her grandmother draw the rose in vase that was on the kitchen table. She begged her grandmother to show her how she did it. This single event started a childhood filled with countless hours of tutelage under her grandmother's watchful eye and creative hand. However, Tabbatha just thought of it as fun weekends drawing and talking with her grandmother.
A drawing of her trip to Atlanta Dairies. (age 5)
TABBATHA TOOK UP CHALK PASTEL AND OIL PAINTING AT THE AGE OF NINE IN BETWEEN HER VARIOUS SPORTS' SEASONS
Tabbatha Bella's mother tried to find her outlets to pursue her art. As family funds were limited, she couldn't allow her daughter to explore many avenues. However, she found a woman who taught adult chalk pastel art classes at the YWCA. The teacher agreed to allow Tabbatha to attend. Classes went well until that fateful day when she made Tabbatha draw the bird so large that only half would fit on the paper. Tabbatha preferred to draw on small scale, but this class required large scale drawing on news print paper. Tabbatha was so distraught, that she completed the piece in tears. That was the end of adult chalk pastel classes.
Several months later, her mother found an adult oil painting class and ask if her daughter could join. They agreed. Tabbatha attended the class, and she promised her mother she would not cry if they made her paint off the canvas' edge. Tabbatha's grandmother, who taught her to draw, was excited and wanted to take a class with her. Tabbatha really enjoyed oil painting, but limited family finances did not allow her to continue painting.
Tabbatha's first oil painting. (age 9)
Tabbatha's painting from the class she took with her grandmother. (age 10)
Portrait in graphite. (age 17)
DURING HER TEEN YEARS, TABBATHA CONCENTRATED ON DRAWING CARTOONS AND PORTRAITS
Tabbatha Bella spent countless hours drawing during her teens years. She was seriously considering pursuing a career as a Disney animator. At the age of fourteen, her artwork was selected for the 'Small World' segment on the Disney Channel. Tabbatha saw her work on the TV once and was thrilled. However, the more she studied animation the more she decided that she was a colorist more than an animator. She concentrated more and more on portraits as she grew older. She started a new computer programming course being offered by Apple through her school when she was twelve. She thought about going to college to study computer science, but she decided to look into another school that offer videography; as she wanted to make videos.
While attending an open house, the counselor, after discovering her love and experience on computers, inform her of a new program they offered called Graphic Design. She was excited and wanted to take both. However, as was so often the case in her life, the tuition and fees were beyond her family's financial situation. Student loans were not an option as it was a private institution. Tabbatha left crushed, but started studying both subjects on her own and taught herself as much as she could. She took a year off after high school to work and save money for college. She attend a local university that offered a computer technology degree.
TABBATHA STARTED A SMALL COMPANY BUILDING WEBSITES, LOGO DESIGN, AND VARIOUS GRAPHIC DESIGN PROJECTS
Tabbatha Bella taught herself HTML. She then designed and published her first website in 1995. This site was used to display and sell her artwork. She went on to form a company that designed websites, logos, and offered various other graphic design services. The logo design services proved to be the most successful.
Logo for a figure skating industry publication. (age 20's)
TABBATHA BEGAN DISPLAYING HER WORK IN GALLERIES IN THE US, CANADA, AND AUSTRALIA
Tabbatha Bella started entering her paintings in juried competitions in 2000. She did win awards, and the first award she won she gave to her grandmother who taught her how to draw those many years back. In 2001, Tabbatha Bella presented a tribute painting to Mayor Giuliani's office in New York in honor of the souls lost on September 11, 2001. In 2002, she took part in an exhibition at the Woodruff Art Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a formal introduction of four new artists; two painters, a photographer, and an installation artist. She later left the art exhibition world. She found it restrictive and frustrating as people kept insisting on boxing her into a specific genre, style, and medium. Tabbatha saw no reason why she should be limited in her artistic expression.
TABBATHA BELLA PUBLISHED HER FIRST BOOK IN 2015
Tabbatha Bella first considered writing following her father's advice in 2002. She finally found the right fit for her by illustrating her books for children. The artwork for each book/series is different. This outlet has allowed her the freedom to explore different techniques, mediums, and styles. She enjoys working in both traditional mediums and computer art.
From Coloring with Tabbatha Bella Vol.1. (2016)
From Goodbye Poonjab. (2015)
From Misha the Brave. (2017)