Nakia Pickering


BFA Student

Major: Illustration

Graduation Year: 2023

Artist Statement:

"If it's not fun, why do it?" - Jerry Greenfield

My illustration work comes to life through mixed-media illustrations, mainly painted with watercolor, with colored pencils and ink added for depth and details. I have seen many artists over the years who use art as an outlet, and I admire those who do. Art has always been an escape for me, and my work reflects that. As a child growing up in the Waldorf school pedagogy, imagination was my greatest tool. I loved being able to visualize the people and places and creatures in the stories I heard, and as an illustrator, it brings me great joy to bring some of those to life on paper. These illustrations bring you on a journey to places unseen, from the inside of a mole’s hole to a forest utopia that might not be as perfect as it seems.


Nakia was born and raised in Conway, New Hampshire. She moved to Bangor, Maine at nearly 21 years old, soon after relocating to and settling in Portland, Maine where she currently resides with her partner. Nakia attended the White Mountain Waldorf School from preschool through eighth grade, where every moment was steeped in art and creativity. In high school, she chose to direct her focus to her academic studies, including German, but continued creating on a large scale in her personal time. After graduating, Nakia chose to take a few years off before deciding she could not wait to attend art school any longer and became part of the Maine College of Art’s 2019 freshman class. The COVID-19 pandemic placed financial strain on Nakia, so she chose to spend a year at the University of Southern Maine to keep costs down and complete some academic classes in the meantime. Nakia returned to MECA in the fall of 2021 to complete the last two years of her BFA degree in Illustration and graduate with her peers in 2023. Nakia’s work has been featured in several college exhibitions, including the MECA BFA Exhibitions in the fall of 2019 and 2021, the USM Open Studios online exhibitions for fall 2020 and winter 2020, and her piece Cardinal Copia was chosen for the USM On The Line juried student exhibition in spring of 2021. She was also invited to exhibit work in MECA's spring 2022 Merit Exhibition.

You can see additional work on Nakia's website,