In the hustle and bustle of today’s stressful and demanding society, de-stressing can be achieved through clearing your mind and meditating. Typically, when you think of meditation, you picture a person closing their eyes, taking deep breaths, and thinking positive thoughts. However, Nicole Farber, 19, achieves this state of zen through creating art. She is an avid artist, often creating several drawings each week with her trusty Prismacolor markers and pencils.

When she is creates artwork, she enters what she calls her “flow stage,” which occurs when her mind and body are working together as one. She feels more confident within her own body, in a certain rhythm with herself.

“When I’m doing math, for example, I feel insecure because I don’t know how to proceed in the problem,” she says. “But when I’m drawing, I always know exactly what to do next. I’m confident, and my mind and body are in tune when I take an idea from my mind and make it real on paper.”

As an introvert, Farber often feels drained and exhausted when she’s around other people for too long. Once she’s home, free to be alone and start drawing, creating art fills her with energy and happiness.

“It makes me feel like the best version of myself, when I’m filled with creative energy,” Farber says.

With all of the problems prevalent in the world today, Farber makes art in order to create “the culture” that she wants to see in the world. With nature, bright happy colors, and humans acting as prevalent themes and subjects in most of her work, her art portrays a simpler and happier life. She takes what she thinks are the most beautiful aspects of life that might not be present every day and makes them real in her surrealistic and dreamlike drawings.

Farber emphasizes the fact that there is no specific message she wants people to take away from her artwork.

“My artwork isn’t morally based,” Farber says. “I’m happiest during the simplest moments in life — like when I’m out with my friends or traveling with my boyfriend. So I don’t want my art to become complicated – I just want people to simply be happy when looking at my work and leave with that feeling.”

No specific mentor that pushed Farber into the artistic world, but she is influenced by creators such as painter Charmaine Olivia, author Haruki Murakami and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. Her artwork shares certain aspects and ideas of each of these creators, their influence noticeable in her work. Miyazaki often incorporates the importance of nature into his films, and Olivia’s paintings include vivid colors and human subjects. Most of Farber’s drawings also revolve around nature and humans, and she adds bright colors with her trusty Prismacolors. Her drawings capture the beauty of human features and the world around us. 

Farber enjoys capturing the beauty of human features and how they blend with nature. (Jessica Pham)

Farber enjoys capturing the beauty of human features and how they blend with nature. (Jessica Pham)

Art shifted Farber’s outlook on everyday life. 

“As I began to create more artwork, I started to look at life a bit differently,” Farber says. ”Like when I see a flower, I begin to think of what colors I should layer in order to recreate the real thing. I notice the composition of certain trees. When I meet new people, I begin to think of how I could capture certain characteristics to accurately portray them in a drawing.”

Farber’s biggest art dream is to one day produce her own zine, a self-published booklet full of original pieces of artwork. Though not the most glamorous and ambitious art dream, Farber is happy with her work staying, for the most part, unknown.

“I wouldn’t want to make a real career out of my art,” Farber says. “Then creating art wouldn’t feel like something that belongs solely to me.”

Though Farber is happiest when producing art, there are always negatives to every field.

“I don’t like how people only respect art if it fits a certain category of what society considers good. If the work isn’t ‘socially acceptable’ or well known, it’s not considered good art,” Farber says.

But she doesn’t let that fact faze her. As she creates her art, she truly becomes a happier person in general.

“It’s a little space I can go into without anything or anyone bothering me – kind of like meditation. I build positive energy that no one can touch, and once I’m out of that space, that positivity stays with me for the rest of the day,” Farber says.

As she creates her dreamy and hypnagogic artwork, Farber simultaneously creates happiness and serenity within herself. Each person has their own way of de-stressing after a long day, and producing art is hers.

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