Nadia Chevrel – The Artist’s Interview
Totally original ideas, beautifully realized with bold and bright colours, and lavishly created with a digital medium. Nadia Chevrel’s ethereal artwork is a delight for the senses.
From animals to scenery, fantasy, portraits, and more, Nadia takes her inspiration from nature, the urban environment and the outdoors. She uses her skills and her imagination to create unique art that is displayed on canvas, prints, and a whole array of giftware, including clocks, bags and ladies boots, which creates fashion wear that is exciting and artistic.
You can browse her selection of gifts and purchase Nadia’s artwork on her website:
Nadia has an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/fr/shop/AtelierLesBeauxJours
She is on Facebook
Check her work out on YouTube
Nadia is on Twitter
She is also on Twitch
Nadia also uses Canva
Please talk a bit about where you are from and where you live now…
I was born in Brittany, at Rennes. I grew up there between the fairy tales of Broceliande and the Celtic culture.
I also spent a few years at Saint-Malo, where I used to work in a photo shop (a shop where people brought their photo film, in order to get the photos on paper. I was processing the films)
I moved ten years ago to the east of France, I’m still living there.
How did you discover your passion for artwork?
I’ve always been drawing as a child, and never stopped as I grew up. I really started to enjoy drawing when I was a teen, about 16-17 years old.
I loved drawing star portraits with a pencil. I remember having made Jim Morrison, James Dean, Che Guevara, by reproducing posters of my bedroom. I found my friends liked my drawings and it encouraged me to continue.
When I was 20, I bought a few oil pastels and made my first artwork with this medium. I really loved this medium and made a few more.
What kind of artistic education have you had?
After secondary school (I was 18 years old, in french we say “Lycée”), I went to an art university, and also frequented a Fine Arts school. There I learned academic drawing and had nude living model sessions. I also spent hours to study various objects, toys, statues, to learn how to observe and draw.
I finally decided this school wasn’t really for me, because I didn’t want to become a full-time artist, and was neither interested in teaching nor design. It surely would be different today!
So art has become a hobby, and I started to work in other domains. Though, I’ve continued to take part in evening lessons in several studios, to improve my skills.
What does art mean to you?
I’m not very good at talking about myself, and art is a way to express things I can’t say. It’s a wonderful way to get concentrated on something fun and to relax.
I also love the way it’s allowing me to meet people, other artists and people who get interested in my work.
I think I’ll always be able to improve myself, and learning is never-ending. Each piece of art seems to me to be better than the previous one.
Where do you find subjects to paint?
Everywhere! My biggest problem isn’t “what to paint”, but “what to paint now”, and choosing between the ten ideas I have at the same time.
I can get inspired by music, some songs draw in my head. Books also can be a great source, sometimes just a landscape description is enough.
I also spend a lot of time looking at other artist’s works and analyzing what I like in pieces of art I see (the colors, the drawing, the composition,). Then I melt all I have seen and try to make my own, with my colours and style.
Maybe that’s the reason why my paintings are so eclectic.
What do you enjoy about digital art as a medium as opposed to traditional painting methods (such as oils, watercolors)?
I began digital painting because I didn’t have time anymore to paint traditional. Then, I found this medium was much closer to traditional than I would have believed.
As I was a complete beginner with digital, I spent one year trying to reproduce the traditional method with digital, first I draw, then I paint several layers, exactly as with oils.
A painting I would I have realized in 30 hours with oils was made in 10 hours. No need to wait for the drying, no brush to wash, instant colours mixing, this was a great time saver.
Then I realised this medium could not only be a time saver but also authorized me to experiment many things easily, I can always go back when I don’t like the final result. I can crop my picture, or resize my “Canva“, this kind of things aren’t possible with traditional methods.
Also, digital art seems very “young”, I mean it seems there are still many many things to discover with it.
What tools do you use to create your digital art?
I use a Wacom Intuos Art tablet, and a stylus. It’s pressure sensitive and reproduces real brush strokes.
My computer is a PC, and I work with Photoshop CC. I only use the Brush and Mixer brush tools.
Which artists do you admire and why?
My favourite is Van Gogh. Studying his paintings and brush strokes has brought much to me.
I love his colours, and compositions, I think he was a genius! So sad nobody noticed him when he was alive.
My favourite digital artist is Aaron Griffin. He succeeds to keep a natural traditional result with digital. He has an extraordinary way to compose his artworks. (he has a Youtube channel, you can watch stunning time lapses on it). I would love being able to learn some parts of his method and to adapt it to my work.
Which of your artworks is your favourite and why?
Well, it seems my last one is always my favourite of the moment!
Though, if I had to keep only one (except my last one!), I think that would be the red-haired girl portrait. This was my first portrait without any reference, full made by imagination. I spent many hours on it, and I feel there is so much of me in it! I often chose this painting as my avatar when I need one.
How do you market and publicize your work?
I started with an Etsy shop (here: https://www.etsy.com/fr/shop/AtelierLesBeauxJours ), one year ago.
Then I launched my own website.
I try to get as much visible as I can, exposing on many free web galleries in order to drive traffic on my website.
I have a Facebook page (here: https://www.facebook.com/AtelierLesBeauxJours/ ), which is my site’s voice. I publish there my new artworks as soon as I make them, works in progress etc..
I try to get connected with other artists, mainly with Facebook and Twitter.
I also have created a Youtube channel (here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3zjpbGq0L7NmZYGHxwjzCw ), where I sometimes publish time lapses of the making of a few works.
I have created a Twitch channel (here: https://www.twitch.tv/nadialbjpainting ), which I ‘ve had to pause for a while because all of this was too much to drive!
I began my activity one year ago, and there is still much more to do!
What plans do you have for the future?
I would love to develop my artist activity, and have more time for it. Maybe a day it will be possible to become a full-time job?
At least a half-time job would be great!
I want to improve myself even more, I guess the better the art is, the more people notice it.