Hello, my name is Nesrine Ziadi and I am a self-taught artist and dentistry student from Tunisia. I have been into art for as long as I can remember. From preschool to high school, I’ve attempted different subjects and mediums. I’ve tried colored pencils, markers, gouache and I loved them all!
I usually copied illustrations from children’s books or other artists’ works for practice. I always enjoyed having quality “me-time” when I can be creative but unfortunately, I didn’t draw that often. My only audience were my parents, my younger brother and a very few friends of mine. They were always appreciative and extremely supportive and told me that I had potential. But that’s all it ever was for me, a mere potential that never got the chance to blossom.
Until one day last July 2018. I was on instagram and came across a Dutch artist named Tina van Dijk and I immediately fell in love! Some voice screamed in my head that I also wanted to do that. I never used watercolor in my life and knew nothing about the medium. I also had low self-esteem and confidence.
So, I bought the cheapest watercolors ever and regular paper. I painted my first portrait and posted it on my personal instagram. It was quite decent and I loved it! My friends were really encouraging which inspired me to paint more.
Then I decided that I wanted to buy professional materials so I got myself a Royal Talens Van Gogh watercolour pocket box, a single round brush size 12 and Canson watercolor papers. It was expensive, but I knew that if I wanted the best results, I needed the best products out there.
I then created an Instagram account for my art and posted my first real watercolor painting. I participated in the “one hundred days of watercolor” challenge and painted every day. I followed tutorials on YouTube and Instagram to sharpen my skills. And I got to know amazing people from all over the world who shared the same passion as me.
By the end of that summer, I had 800 followers and was very proud of myself. When I went back to college, I kept painting on and off and posted very little. However, I was always dreaming of watercolors and I kept watching other artists paint. When this year’s exams were over, I jumped to my pallet and paper and started painting right away.
There’s this artist that I like a lot named Maria Smirnova. I took some of her skillshare classes and practiced a lot from just looking at her works. I was having a lot of fun but I always felt that something was missing. I kept comparing my work to others’. Everyone seemed so talented and already had their style all figured out. And here I was, struggling and constantly running out of inspiration.
One day I challenged myself. I chose a very beautiful photograph and decided that I wanted to paint my own version of it, with no pressure. I just wanted to paint the colors I was seeing. And so I did. And magic happened! For once, I was satisfied with the results. But most importantly, it was completely mine. The response was HUGE. Everyone was so supportive! And it gave me the courage to try harder and take risks that I was long afraid to take.
I am currently painting every single day and I now have a very sweet family of followers. My biggest inspiration is nature and I try to capture its beauty in the best way that I possibly could. I love painting sceneries especially the ones that include sunrises/sunsets. I am also fascinated by trees and greenery.
Every day, I feel myself evolve and my art taking better shape than the day before. I am beginning to see bits of myself in my paintings. I feel like I’ve found my voice. I’ve always been more on the reserved side when it came to emotions and I feel like I’ve finally figured a way to convey my feelings through paint and paper.
Today, I am happier than I’ve ever been and I want to spread that happiness through my art. My advice for the person reading this is to follow your passion and to never fear failure or judgement. Just enjoy yourself and what you do. It’s all about having fun! Personally, I really like to watch colors flow on paper and bleed into one another. It’s very therapeutic and fascinating. There are just infinite possibilities and techniques in watercolor which makes every piece of work a unique learning experience.
We all need some sort of creative outlet in our lives, something to turn to when life becomes a bit tense. I’ve tried painting and it worked out for me. And I know something for sure: if I can do it, so can YOU!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!