Priya Hazari is a watercolor artist and one of Princeton’s newest Ambassadors! We thought there was no better way to kick off World Watercolor Month than by highlighting Priya and her beautiful art. Learn more about Priya and get a free watercolor tutorial from her below!
What was your journey like to become an artist? Whatinspired you to start?
I’ve always been an artist at heart. Growing up in a family of engineers and scientists, I always felt a bit out of place, but was still 100% supported and encouraged to pursue artistic projects and hobbies. I loved drawing, painting, and working on fuzzy posters (those were my all-time favorite!) but it wasn’t until 2018 that I started painting with watercolors and taking my practice more seriously. I spent hours watching Skillshare classes and YouTube tutorials in the evenings after work and fell in love with painting loose florals.
After a few years of dedicated practice, I launched my creative business, Petals by Priya, and started selling my artwork. I ended up taking my business full-time last year and haven’t looked back since! I now teach my own watercolor classes on Skillshare and produce my artwork into prints, greeting cards, stickers, and other products that are sold through a variety of retailers! I feel very blessed to be doing what I love every day and am so thankful for the support from my family, friends, and other artists in the creative community. What a journey it has been so far!
In the spirit of World Watercolor Month, why watercolor?
Watercolor is a very forgiving, freeing medium. I find it relaxing and meditative to watch the paint glide across the paper and bleed into other colors when using the wet-on-wet technique. It’s also a very surprising medium that keeps me on my toes and reminds me to be patient and trust the creative process!
I would describe my style as soft, loose, botanical-inspired watercolor art. I’ve never been one to get too lost in the details of my paintings. I much prefer the intuitive, free-flowing painting process because I find it more relaxing and enjoyable. I gravitate towards using soft pinks, peaches, and deep greens, but more recently I’ve been infusing some of the vibrant tropical colors from the nature around me!
I also want to note while I do believe every artist has their own natural style, I also think it is very important to not get too hung up on “finding your one true style” and only creating work that falls within that. Being an artist is about falling in love with the process, running with your creativity, and following your artistic intuition. A lot of my favorite moments and final pieces as an artist have come from experimenting with a new medium, painting an unexpected subject matter, and stepping outside my comfort zone!
What are your creative inspirations?
I am deeply inspired by my outdoor surroundings. I’ve always been drawn to flowers and leaves and feel truly blessed to live on the beautiful island of Oahu where I’m surrounded by vibrant, tropical flowers, plants, and trees in every direction. I take hundreds of photos everywhere I go and love to use them as references when I paint!
I am also truly inspired by the other artists in the creative community that I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with over the years. During times when I feel unmotivated or am experiencing a creative block, I find myself diving into blogs, podcasts, and vlogs from other artists and learning about their creative processes and artistic journeys. There are so many wonderful, passionate artists out there and the creative community is seriously the best!
What are your Princeton Brushes of choice?
The Princeton Neptune round brushes are the BEST! Velvetouch brushes are a close second, but there’s something about the Neptune series that makes painting in the loose style effortless. The bristles are very thirsty and that allows me to paint big, fluffy florals with several strokes before having to dip back into my palette and water jar. After using the Neptune line, I have found it very difficult to go back to anything else!
What’s your favorite thing to paint? Give us a tutorial!
Loose florals, hands down! I created this tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the process of painting simple, beautiful, loose-style florals with only a few brush strokes! It’s a great way to practice painting delicate petals and fine-tuning your water control. I hope you enjoy it!
Where can we find more of your work?
Thank you, Priya for sharing your art journey with us. Happy World Watercolor Month fellow creatives! Need some inspiration and painting tips for this month? Check out our Tips & Techniques blog.