Meet Nadyia Duff

Nadyia is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout June. Learn more.

 
 

What's your background?

I am from Kingston, Jamaica. I spent the earlier part of my childhood there and then I moved to the United States at around the age of five. I've called Miami my home ever since.  

As a child I loved drawing cartoon characters, video game characters, celebrities I liked, etc. I loved art in elementary school and I was also in the art club, but it was just something I did when I had nothing else to do.   

 
 

After going through cancer at a young age, I decided I wanted to become a doctor and help people who were ill like I had been. I went to a magnet school for biomedical sciences for middle and high school. 

Art went on the back burner until my final two years of high school, when I received my schedule and noticed I was put into art class. I didn't fight it. I excelled in the class, things were coming naturally to me. I would often finish assignments early and be told to help my classmates and I loved it. Art class was my joy.   

My final year of high school I signed up for AP Art and I've never looked back at being a doctor. I went to Art School for college, and I am currently a practicing artist and art educator in the public school system of Miami. I can still tell you everything I know about the human body, too.

 
 

What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?

My go to items are:  

  • Pigma Micron Pens size 005 in all colors
  • Watercolor markers in brands like Copic, Concept, or Tombow 
  • The basic 44 color watercolor set
  • White acrylic paint or white Jellyroll Pens
  • Magnum Size Sharpies and Fine Tip Sharpies in all colors
  • Highlighters and crayons
 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

When I'm not feeling creative, then I surround myself with the creative. I always wish to have some grand creative idea come to me in a dream or vision, but the chances have been slim. So I do things like listen to music, I Pinterest, I go to the library, visit a gallery, watch a documentary, watch someone else draw or paint and most of all I learn. Keep at least a toe in the creative realm the best way you can.

If you hit creative block, create small goals and assignments for yourself. My goals are not grand – they're small and attainable. For example, I tell myself I have a to do a work of art this week or at least one for the month. I mark it on my calendar, and I do it if the situation is right.

Creative ruts are unpredictable and can last any duration of time, but getting out of one is one of the best feeling an artist has. Color something, draw random lines on a page and create something from it.

 
 

Which of your recent artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

Any work from 2017 to 2018 expresses me as an artist now. I have pushed my experimentation with materials and incorporated my fascination with narratives as well. I have developed a style I can really call my own...for now.

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