Nadine Safa’s graceful illustrations

Thanks Nadine aka @vuvie__ for taking part in our illustrators’ interview series!

How long have you been drawing?

I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I chose to study Graphic design because I always knew I wanted to pursue a creative career in which I can use my illustrating skills. I worked for a packaging design studio, and I would hand draw whenever I got the opportunity and was lucky enough to illustrate for some major brands!

What is your process?

I sketch loosely until I am happy with the concept and composition. I mix and test my colours and create my colour palette. I then re-draw with clean light lines onto good quality watercolour paper and paint away!

Digital or traditional? 

I love and enjoy both, however personally I have more of an appreciation for traditional. I enjoy the challenge, of creating by hand a texture or effect rather than have a digital brush do it for me. It’s a lot harder to fix mistakes and you can’t just tap two fingers to undo! So it definitely gives me more of a sense of achievement or accomplishment. Which is a great feeling and one of the reasons I enjoy painting so much.

I also feel like traditional is a whole experience in itself. Mixing paints, the smells, the textures etc. it’s much more enjoyable and fulfilling to me.

How long does it take to create it?

I like to paint with a lot of detail! so it takes quite some time. I also parent my two kids solo for a few months at a time, due to my husbands work travels. So I’m limited to painting only when they’re asleep as they are still pre-schoolers and need a lot of attention and care. 

Is it a hobby or a career?

At the moment it’s a hobby as my priority is my children until they’re in school and I have some more time to commit to it. I’m currently in the process of setting up an online store. The plan is to start selling some high quality art prints and see where that takes me!

Why do you draw?

I always drew because it was something that I loved to do, something I felt good at which made me happy. However, after having children my reason to draw changed and my art evolved and found its purpose. 

Motherhood transformed me and nature awakened me and my art became almost like a spiritual practice. I felt excited to translate the way nature made me feel into art, and try and spread that feeling to as many people possible. I also like to paint with the intention of raising awareness to climate change and protecting nature/oceans/wildlife whenever I can, and inspire others to want to make a change.

What is the proudest moment you have achieved?

My proudest moment in my personal life would be having my two daughters, parenting has taught me a lot about my self and my strengths.

My proudest moment in my career would’ve been seeing my illustrations on a whole range of LUX products in Japan, and also on some other major supermarket brands. It was such an incredible feeling seeing my art on supermarket products and store shelves!

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

In terms of my art and skill, I guess my toughest obstacle was to silence my inner critic and believe that my art is good enough and worthy of being shared.

What inspires you?

Nature is my greatest inspiration. I have always been drawn to nature. However, it wasn’t until I noticed how my toddler (at the time) was so curious and fascinated by a flower, or a leaf. That I began to look a lot closely, just as she did. And I started to see all of these incredible details and all of a sudden it was so much more than a flower, it was like a living work of art and I became mesmerised and I really connected with Mother Nature on a spiritual level. 

How can people contact you?

People can contact me on my Instagram page @vuvie__ or email me on vuvie.creative@gmail.com.

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