Byline : Kayley Weeks / Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Nakia Pickering

Art has always been a part of Pickering’s life, “I remember when I was little my dad and I would watercolor Pokemon together before school,” she said. Pickering attended Waldorf School growing up. The Waldorf method of teaching focuses on creating well-rounded students through a broad curriculum including a lot of working hands-on and creating; “I pretty much did art everyday growing up when I was younger. Then, I got into high school and they threw more math at me,” said Pickering. 

Nakia (Kia) Pickering transferred from MECA to USM to earn her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in painting and drawing. Pickering grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She is currently residing in the Arts District of Portland, ME.

Pickering’s art style is cutesy, stylized, imaginative and less realistic. A common theme in her artwork is children’s book illustration. Her medium of choice is watercolors with some pencil on it, although she does dabble in other things. 

Art Courtesy of Nakia Pickering

Pickering’s art is mostly inspired by her admiration for other artists. She owns an obscene amount of art books, and she follows a lot of other artists on Instagram. Seeing other peoples artwork that she perceives to be a higher skill level than her own inspires Pickering to push and work harder on her own artwork. 

Pickering’s favorite piece of art she has made is a collage project from her Drawing Media and Strategies class last semester. The collage featured the singer in a band known as Ghost, “They are a really weird pop-metal band. They all look really intimidating. I did a collage of a character the singer of the band will portray sometimes. Doing collage is a love hate relationship for me. But the way that the piece ended up coming out when I was finished with it I really like because I was able to get likeness in his face and I played with some techniques that I hadn’t really used before,” said Pickering. 

Last semester, Pickering enjoyed Experimental Mixed Media, ART 399. “The class took away the pressure of being an art student, and it gave students a space to play and mess things up and have it be okay, which is something I hadn’t experienced before in art school ” said Pickering.

As for being an art student during the pandemic, Pickering described it as a double edge sword. “I have more time to make art because I am home more. But I also have so much art-block. When I do have time to make art I often find myself feeling like I should be doing other things instead,” said Pickering. 

Typically, Pickering enjoys making art in the studio with the presence of her friends, but since Pickering recently transferred, she has yet to attend an in person art class at USM. There are benefits to being at home too, “it’s warm, there’s snacks, I don’t have to go anywhere, and I don’t have to drag all of my supplies with me,” said Pickering. 

This semester, Pickering is excited for her Introduction to Painting class and her Illustrations class that she will be taking at SMCC; “I really love doing illustration. I also don’t really know a lot about painting with acrylics. I am really excited to actually learn how to do that, so I can use it for things,” said Pickering. 

Art Courtesy of Nakia Pickering

Pickering is still trying to map out her future, although she has a lot of ideas, which include further education to become a college professor, further education in illustration, freelance, or working for Arts and Craftsman until she finds something else in her field. 

If you are interested in seeing more of Pickering’s art, her instagram is @kiapickeringart. 


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