Nakia Pickering


BFA Student

Major: Illustration

Graduation Year: 2023

Artist Statement:

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

My name is Nakia Pickering. I create illustrations with watercolor, colored pencils, and fineliners that I add for depth and details. I have seen many artists over the years who use art as an outlet, and I applaud those with the strength to do so. For me, art has always been an escape. When I am sad, I seek out artwork by artists that I enjoy on Instagram and YouTube, because seeing others creating beautiful work that they’re happy about always makes me happy. My main artistic goal is to create illustrations that will make people happy and make people smile, because making people happy makes me happy.


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, Nick, and their pet rats. 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 will be returning 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 Exhibition in the fall of 2019, 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.

You can see additional work on Nakia's website,