Nadyia Duff: Winner of the 2021 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists

Nadyia Duff: Winner of the 2021 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists

In today’s episode, we feature one of our six 2021 NRA grant-winners, Nadyia Duff! Nadyia is a Jamaican-American artist who hails from Miami Beach, Florida. Nadyia's portraiture work, like her personality, exudes passion, energy, love, joy, and style.

Click play button above to hear Nadyia Duff talk about her incredible artwork

In our conversation with Nadyia, we talk to her about her portraiture style depicting detailed subjects against simplified, cartoonish backgrounds and how it evolved. She gets into the bright colors she uses and the way they connect to her Jamaican heritage. Nadyia has also had her fair share of struggles and we hear about health scares she had as a child and how they influenced her course of studies.

“I don’t just want to do landscapes. I love faces. I want to draw faces. So then I started doing the backgrounds but then I was like I don’t want to do a detailed background because I feel like that would take away from the portrait. So I was like, ‘Maybe if I simplify the background and just made it these random solid shapes. I don’t want it to be any kind of right perspective or anything. Just something there. They are in a space and I want that detailed person to be in that space.’ So that is where I am at right now with the detailed people in cartoonish, simple backgrounds.” — Nadyia Duff [0:18:31]

Nadyia Duff is a proud arts educator

On top of being a brilliant artist, Nadyia is also an art educator, and we speak to her about the current state of art education and what she is witnessing while hanging out with the younger generations in a creative context. Wrapping up, Nadyia speaks to the experience of being an artist, sharing the things that she truly values about the process and the lessons she has learned that she would share with her younger self. Here’s to a world filled with more of Nadyia's incredible portraits!

Key Points From This Nadyia Duff Episode:

  • The focus of Nadyia’s podcast; creatively lamenting inventions like time and money.
  • Slowing time down through meditation and how Nadyia meditates with tinnitus.
  • Nadyia’s creative routine and how she balances art-making with being an art teacher.
  • The subjects of Nadyia’s paintings and where she finds the models that she draws.
  • How Nadyia got into painting and how her style has evolved into its current form.
  • Nadyia’s path of education which began with medicine but transitioned into art education.
  • How Nadyia’s Jamaican heritage plays into the art she makes through the colors she uses.
  • The current state of art education; state support and conversations in the classroom.
  • What makes Nadyia excited about the younger generations she is teaching.
  • The issue of there being no pacing guides that regulate the teaching of art in stages.
  • Obsessions with realism and how the artist in kids is being squeezed out of them.
  • Advice from Nadyia about how to be an artist and what to value about the process.
  • Why Nadyia is not a fan of commissions and prefers to make art for its own sake.
  • The process of choosing NRA grant-winners and what is in store for Nadyia.
  • Where to find Nadyia online and see more of her beautiful work.

“I feel like the colors I use play into my Jamaican culture because if you look at traditional Jamaican art it is very colorful.” — Nadyia Duff [0:23:29]

2021 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists Winner Nadyia Duff

“It all depends on the higher-ups. If the higher-ups are for art, then art will get a lot of funding..” — Nadyia Duff [0:27:06]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

“Commissions I really don’t like because people are telling you what to do.” — Nadyia Duff [0:42:23]

Scott "Sourdough" Power

Scott “Sourdough” Power is the the creator and executive producer of NotRealArt.com. He is also the co-founder of Crewest Studio a digital media company in Los Angeles dedicated to creative culture and the $2T creative economy.