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Nakia Pickering


is a queer, chronically-ill illustrator from Portland, Maine. Her upbringing in New England and her curiosity for science in college at Maine College of Art & Design, where she graduated in May of 2023 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with Honors, have led her to a career in illustrating the natural world for all ages. She self-published her author-illustrator debut "Be Brave, Beatrice!" in April of 2023. Between her day job as a substitute teacher, she has been working towards a certificate in Natural Science Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and is brainstorming her next book in Portland with her partner and their three pet rats Timothy, Bruno, and Beans.

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phone: 603.452.8799

I do most of my emailing on Thursdays and Fridays, but do keep an eye on my inbox the rest of the week.

Please allow 3-5 business days for a reply.

Social Media
  • Instagram
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  • Tumblr
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
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Selected Awards, Achievements, and Grants
  • Dean’s ListMaine College of Art & Design, Portland ME, 2019-2020, 2021-2022

  • Co-Founder and Representative At-Large, Student Advocacy Representatives (STAR),  Maine College of Art & Design, Portland, ME 2021

  • Student Life Service Award, Maine College of Art & Design, Portland ME, 2022

  • Above and Beyond Grant, 2022

Selected Group Exhibitions
  • Seachange: Darkness and Light in the Gulf of MaineMaine Maritime Museum, Bath, ME, 2023-2024

  • BFA Thesis ExhibitionMaine College of Art & Design, Portland ME, 2023

  • Merit ExhibitionMaine College of Art & Design, Portland ME, 2022

  • BFA ExhibitionMaine College of Art & Design, Portland ME, 2019, 2021

  • On The Line (Online Juried Exhibition)University of Southern Maine, Portland ME, 2021

For my resumè and work history, please see my LinkedIn profile under Socials

Commitment to Conservation

I aim to donate 10% of my sales profits from my online shop and in-person markets, as well as some commissions, to organizations dedicated to the conservation and care of animals and nature each quarter.

Past organizations have included:

Ocean Conservancy

World Wildlife Fund

Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

These are not partnerships, and these donations are made of my own choice.

If you have an organization you would like to suggest, feel free to email me!



What mediums do you work in?

Watercolor paint, colored pencils, digital, book arts, and printmaking, though I dabble in many mediums when I have the chance to do so!

What types of tools do you use?

My favorite watercolor paint brands are Da Vinci, Roman Szmal, Schmincke, and Van Gogh. I mainly use round brushes (long rounds are my favorite) and aim to use only brushes with synthetic bristles. My favorite colored pencils are Caran D'Ache Luminance and Faber Castell Polychromos. For digital art, I use Procreate on my iPad. I enjoy many types of printmaking, but drypoint etching is my favorite. I print with Akua ink and have been using recycled plastic as my printing plates. I have printed all of my etchings so far on a pasta maker, and have recently acquired a small etching press from the Open Press Project. I also enjoy silkscreen and the occasional relief project.

Did you go to art school?

I graduated with a BFA degree in Illustration with honors from Maine College of Art & Design in May of 2023, and am now working towards a Natural Science Illustration certificate through Rhode Island School of Design's Continuing Education program.

Will you illustrate my ____?

Maybe! The best way to find out is to email me (you can find my email in the site footer as well as on my contact page) and we can talk about it!

What projects would you like to do or give priority to?

Anything animal related! I do love to illustrate a little bit of everything, from portraits to architectural illustrations, so please feel free to ask about any ideas you have!

Any advice for other artists?

When building a website (and also your social media presence in some cases), only put work online that you'd want to get paid to make more of! And when doing work for clients, never send sketches that you don't like, because they ALWAYS love those the most (it never fails).

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