Summer Artist Feature: Priya of Pri's Paints

Every season we feature a new artist to collaborate with to create gorgeous collectible postcards that come packed in every Tease order.
This season Priya of Pri's Paints has created a summery scene of a woman bathing florals being poured from a tea pot (!!).
Today we're interviewing Priya on her creative process and how she finds time to for self care.

An introduction to Priya

Hi! I’m Priya, the artist behind Pri's Paints & Prints. I work full-time in the world of public science policy and in my spare time I like to make art, hike with my dogs, rock climb, and eat lots of chocolate.

What was your first experience creating art?
My journey into the world of art began on a trip to India 18 years ago, where I was inspired by the floral and nature themed designs of Mehndi (henna). I am not classically trained as an artist, though I have been fortunate enough to meet like-minded souls who have been kind enough to impart their artistic knowledge over the years.

When did you know that art was going to be a permanent part of your life and work? 
Shortly after completing a very technical university program, I travelled across the country in an electric blue Mini with a musician. He made me realize that my craft didn't just have to be a hobby; rather something I could pursue and grow into. I began doodling the sights I saw along my journey, and have been doodling ever since. Thank you J!

How would you describe your art in 3 words? 
Magical floral dreamscape.
When do you feel most creative? 
My bouts of creativity are as predictable as the weather. Inspiration can strike at any moment; at times by the eggs in a grocery store, or strolling through a gallery, and most often when I am lost in my daydreams. When she does strike, she is powerful and she is not satiated until I put ink on paper.

Who are the women that inspire you most? 
I am fortunate enough to come from a long line of empowered women which started with my grandmother, Indra, who emigrated from India to become an OR nurse in Ottawa. A single woman leaving her family in the 1960s to pursue a career in a foreign country was unheard of, even discouraged. I have a few big-sister-figures in my life who radiate kindness and have always encouraged me to pursue my passions. I am also inspired by the wonderfully talented artists in Ottawa who I have befriended: Amanda's works continuously inspire me to find the magic within moments; Erin creates breathtakingly complex yet simple flows that I love to get lost in; and Maria and Hoda who spent years guiding me through the basics of working with ink, oils, and acrylics. All these women have inspired my works in ways they may never know, so thank you for being a part of my creative journey. I am also continuously inspired by my mentor, Yi-Chen, she is intelligent, passionate, strong, encourages me to be unapologetically outspoken, and has been helping me be kinder to myself in the darkest of storms.

What keeps your creativity fresh and flowing? 
Taking in art made by others is what keeps my creativity fresh and flowing. It's nice to chat with other artists about their favourite media, processes, which encourages me to explore new styles, techniques, and media. I also find it extremely soothing to walk through the aisles of my favourite art store and take in all the colours and cool new tools that fill the shelves. Every now and then I find a new colour or tool that allows me to create in a way I never knew I could.
What kind of routines or rituals do you use to take care of yourself?
I'm still working on taking better care of myself, though thanks to my very active dogs, I luckily get at least 2 walks a day. I also find my dental care routine to be meditative and soothing; it's a great way to practice mindfulness while focusing on the articulated movement of floss. My most consistent routine, for as long as I can remember, is to start each day with a cookie; it's a short moment of bliss before jumping into the day ahead.

Thanks for inspiring us, Priya!