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(Image: Nida Ansari)

Artist of the Week: Nida Ansari

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with different mediums?
Nida Ansari: I have been painting ever since I can remember. I passionately believe that you do not choose art, but art chooses you, and it is up to you to put in the work to refine your skills. After college, I got my degree in fine arts as I thought it was my true call. As a part of my art curriculum, I have dabbled in different mediums like oils, acrylics, charcoal, etc., but I prefer watercolors the most. I think it is a very spontaneous and direct medium, and I like the challenges it presents as an artist.

Tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work in it.
My process is simple. I make a light sketch first and then add layers of washes as I add more details each time.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
Since childhood, I have had this unique attraction to lights and shadows. As I matured, different places, incidents and emotions greatly affected my paintings. Since I moved to Seattle a few years ago, I find myself painting landscapes and nature-inspired by the beauty of PNW more than ever. The extreme contrast in light here creates bigger contrasts to the seasons. I love the constantly changing seasons. Each season has its own beauty. The beautiful balance of light and darkness is my greatest source of inspiration.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
Nature — landscape and still life.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
The very first painting that I sold has an interesting story and the lesson it taught me. I painted a ballerina. I was not confident enough to post it as I felt it was flawed and was not perfect. But I still posted it on my Instagram account and was surprised by the love and appreciation I got for that painting. A lot of people reached out to purchase that painting, and very soon, it was sold. That day I realized art is subjective, and what may seem imperfect to one could be perfect for another.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I have been painting as a hobby throughout my school days, but I never thought about it as a career option. During my college years studying accounting, I realized my true calling for art. That is when I decided that after I complete my accounting degree, I will pursue a career in art and enroll in an art school for a degree in fine arts. This experience in my life made me realize it is never too late to pursue your true passion. I am proud of that decision today.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it? Currently, my Instagram account is where I am most active, but I plan to post more on my Etsy shop soon. I also accept commissions via email,

What is next for you? Anything you are working on right now that you are excited about?
I am excited about participating in the West Seattle art walk.

Lastly, how do you have your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
With milk and sugar, but I love tea more.