Nia Perry is an artist and visual designer currently living and working in Jacksonville, FL. Originally, Perry is from California but has spent a significant chunk of her life in upstate NY. In 2017, she moved to Florida to be closer to family, and shortly after moved to Jacksonville for love. In her newfound home of Jacksonville she works as a User Experience expert and visual designer. Outside of her digital creations, most of her art is made by creating beautiful textures through light and dark strokes of watercolors. Although her career as a designer takes much of her time, Perry never forgets to take the time needed to express through her brush and perfect through practice.
Perry has always been an artist of sorts. Perry thought her talents would lead her to be a musician though she has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Her musical talents brought her great opportunities, but it took an art class and time for her to realize her true passion really lied in visual arts. Once Perry found her passion, she knew only dedication and discipline could nurture her talents.
Perry hasn't been living in Jacksonville for very long but she hopes to see more young artists coming together and displaying work in public events! My hope is that we all are able to see her art go from Instagram to being shared at our local events as well. Perry's Instagram aesthetic and artistic abilities is what drew me to her and I'm sure getting to know her will draw you in too!
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
Maybe soft, and dreamy with a hint of natural spirituality? It's hard to answer this question because each piece is inspired by a feeling or a specific song. If I had to choose one song to describe my body of work it would be “Stand Still” by Sabrina Claudio. I’m inspired by my environment and my dreams. By music and nature - especially the beach and the sky at sunset.
Watercolors seems to be your main medium, how did you develop a love for watercolors?
Watercolors became my medium of choice through necessity. I love oil painting, but because they take a lot of preparation and can be quite expensive I couldn’t paint as often as I’d like. Watercolors are simple to set up and I can take them anywhere. Beyond logistics, I love that they’re challenging! You can’t control watercolor like you can oil or acrylic and because of that each piece never ends up as I expect, and that element of surprise is always exciting.
How do you develop your skills as an artist?
Creativity is a daily practice for me and comes from a very intuitive place. I’m very aware that whatever you focus on will inevitably get better. While some folks practice distraction and are experts at that, I’ve set my intentions on becoming a better artist by consciously making the decision to create art often. I don’t watch tutorials or anything like that because I learn best through direct experience. Needless to say, a lot of my art never makes it in front of an audience, but I enjoy the process, it feels very intimate.
What is your most important artist tool?
My eyes. I’m always looking for inspiration, whether that's observing a stranger in a daydream, or the wind blowing in the tree outside my window. Witnessed moments often serve as a sort of visual poetry that I try to encapsulate into my work. A lot of times, my color palettes are inspired by things I’ve seen, like the beach, or the sky at sunset.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your art?
I just want people to FEEL good! I don’t want it to be intellectualized or to put some grandiose meaning behind my work because I feel like thought can be a barrier to happiness.
I’d like to imagine someone walking up to one of my paintings and having a brief moment of introspection where they smile to themselves quietly without knowing why. I’d love for people to be reminded of their own dreamscapes, and to be moved by the creative potential those spaces imply.
What is your ultimate art career goal?
My ultimate career goal is to teach design to others. Specifically, I would love to teach design to low income individuals and in underrepresented communities. There is a wealth of opportunity that lies at the intersection of tech and design and learning creative problem solving skills is a gateway to success in the field.
If watercolors did not exist, what would be your medium of choice?
If watercolor didn’t exist I think my ideal medium would be interiors. I’m obsessed with creating ambience and curating experiences. Through my job as an UX designer, I use technology to do those things, but I’m slowly becoming more aware of how our tangible environments influence mental health and behaviors. That realization is actually what encouraged me to pick up my paintbrush again - I wanted to provide something tangible that evoked positive emotions so people could put it in their environments.
Nia Perry is always uploading new artwork so follow her work and watch for updates for future shows on her Instagram @nia.perry.