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Paintings + Mixed Media

2014 - Present

It was the middle of my last quarter at Stanford, and I was stressed out from all of my classes. The need to paint began to consume me; it was like I couldn’t function normally again until I painted. So no matter how busy I was, I made time to paint.


The problem was I had artist’s block. I like to call it "Nikiya’s Block." I couldn’t come up with an idea or concept that inspired me enough to paint. The subject of my future painting(s) dominated my thoughts, and I reached the point when I was thinking about it 24/7, but my brain would still turn down any and every idea that I came up with.


I started analyzing myself, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. And that was when I remembered. At the end of my freshman year, after taking my first art class at Stanford, my art professor/mentor, Leo Bersamina, told me, “Your greatest strength, which could also be your greatest weakness, is you try to make everything look beautiful.” And that was what I was doing. My brain would turn down all of my ideas because none of them looked “beautiful” enough for me.


To face this, I decided to paint reality, but reality that I would already naturally think was beautiful. And so I gravitated towards my siblings. “Beautiful” is an ongoing series for years to come, as I plan to paint family, close friends, and loved ones.

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