About the Artists

Trinaty Wakefield

Born in Santa Barbara in 1952, Trinaty started doing art as a child. In her teens, while at the California Youth Authority (CYA), she completed a mural for the facility. She took art classes at the CYA. At 18 she says, "I had my first manic episode, related to my ambition to become a music superstar."

For many years she experienced psychiatric hospitalizations, though was able for the most part to continue with her art. In her 20s, she attended California State University in LA with a focus on art. She says, "One time my teacher announced in class that I was an artistic genius!" One of her paintings was part of an exhibition at Cal State LA.

During the 21 years she was using heroin, her art often contained primal, dark and imaginative themes. She says she has always liked to work using acrylics. In her mid 30s, she started to take psychiatric medications on a regular basis, while she was in a residential treatment program.

Part of her art education was at Santa Barbara City College, where she says the artist Bonnie Blau was her muse for 4 years. Describing the experience, Trinaty says, "When people come to art school they often stick to introductory classes. Bonnie pounded on me to do independent study, which I did. That separated the men from the boys." She says Prince and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vetter were her inspiration for many years.

More recently, a significant influence on her art was Susan Sallade. Says Trinaty, "Susan was the most perfect technical genius. In my 50s I decided to dedicate myself to art. I said I was going to get real. Susan and I worked with forms and dimensions, for example with an apple. I really miss her. She died in 2009."

In the Santa Barbara area, Trinaty was a member of Art Soup and had shows that they put on. She has exhibited at the city's main Public Library, Café Roma, and the Arts Forum. She also has exhibited at Ventura City College.

She lives in an apartment in Carpinteria, California, which has its own art studio, and has a cute little dog, Mona Lisa.

Since being featured in the film, Crazy Art, she says, "I have done a lot of art, painting about 9 hours a day. I have a serious dream of being a real artist. The movie has helped me move in that direction." She says, "art is healing" as she describes its role in how she copes with mental illness.