Interview with Nabeela Parker, aka Miss Artsy Crafty

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Meet Nabeela Parkar, a high school student with a passion for writing, design, typography and art. She lives in sunny Cape Town, South Africa. When she’s not at school, she spends her days painting, blogging, handlettering and creating digital social media content for small businesses. She’s also in the pro- cess of starting up her own small business, selling greeting cards she’s been designing, inspired by botanicals. She’s a minimalist, lover of nature, stationery, cute coffee shops, all pretty things, and a good beach day. Let’s get to know this awesome girl a little better!


How did you get into creating, blogging and lettering?

I’ve been making things since I was a little kid. Anyone who knows me well enough will know that my hands could never be idle as a child. I was always drawing or painting or making some- thing out of paper and I think its safe to say that not much has changed. I discovered blogs in early 2015. I was reading a few other blogs at the time and loved what they were making, but I noticed that they were all so similar. When I started my own in April 2015, I knew I wanted to be different. And even though it was a bit same-same at the beginning, I pride myself on having a well-curated site with content that feels true to myself. One thing I always keep in mind is that there are millions of other blogs on the internet, and that mine needs to have a wow-factor in order to keep my audience interested. Be fearlessly authentic, they say. I got into lettering about a year and a half ago. I sort of just stumbled upon it online and loved the look of it. I started playing around with brushes and gradually, through practice, got better. In 2016, I did a project where I posted one quote a day that I had lettered myself, on my Instagram account (@missartsycrafty). This helped to improve drastically and it gave me loads of cool opportunities to collaborate with awesome people.


When did you feel like you found your style in art?

I believe that one’s style in art is con- stantly changing and evolving, depend- ing on what’s happening and influenc- ing you at that stage in your life. I can’t really define my style, but friends often send me photos or tag me in things say- ing “this looks like something you’d do!” I’d say my true style came out when I got a bit older and got over the idea that everything needs to be realistic-looking. Watercolours are my medium of choice, and I like to use a pretty loose style, with not too many solid lines. I like to let the paint flow and blend, and I love the versatility of the medium.


What is an average day in the life like?

I’m still in high school, so I spend a lot of my time during the week at school. In the mornings, I check my emails and flip through social media to start my day on an inspired note. I try and make time to have a relaxed breakfast before heading off to school and sometimes, I squeeze in some time to listen to a podcast. Other than my core subjects, my subjects are physical sciences, accounting and design. I especially enjoy accounting and design, because I’m a passionate maker and a lover of all things business. After school, I play some form of sport most days, and if not, I come home and work out. Being active makes me feel good. I then spend some time on school work and I tend to work on my blog and my other content work in the evenings. I’m a bit of a night owl - I’m at my most creative late at night. I love to spend a bit of time in the evenings painting before bed. I read a bit too, before sleep time if I’m not too tired.


What is a lesson you’ve learned that has been most prevalent or useful to you?

Good things take time. You won’t have thousands of readers a day in your first month or even year of blogging. Don’t be disheartened. Just keep doing your thing. It takes time to grow a strong, en- gaged audience. I’ve learnt the lesson of patience once again whilst setting up my business. Things take time... More time than we’d like sometimes, but patience is key. You will need to overcome some hurdles, but that’s life. Hang in there and keep at it.

You have to want to achieve what you’ve set out. If you don’t believe that you can achieve your goals, you won’t.
— Nabeela Parkar

How do you stay inspired? How do you get through creative blocks or lulls?

Social media provides lots of inspiration to me. I carefully curate who I follow on Instagram and try my best to change it up regularly so that it stays fun and inspiring. I also love reading blogs and good books as well as listening to podcasts, especially about creativity and small business. It’s always a treat to order a good book online or to grab a dreamy décor mag. I keep a small collection of magazines and books that I page through regularly. When it comes to creative blocks, the best advice I’ve been given and can give is to do something completely different. If I’m working on a design commission and have no ideas, I close my laptop and do something else, like maybe some baking or a circuit workout or painting. It almost always helps.

What’s your process of setting goals and sticking with them?

Usually, when I set goals, they’re very specific. My method of achieving
my goals is to divide and conquer. I split them up into achievable chunks and constantly re-evaluate and make changes, always keeping the end goal in sight. I think that intrinsic motivation is extremely important. You have to want to achieve what you’ve set out. If you don’t believe that you can achieve your goals, you won’t.

“A goal without a plan is just a dream.” – Anon


Where would you like to see your- self and your art in 5 years?

I have two and a half years of school left, so school and college will fill my next 5 years. My plan is to study a degree in Creative Brand Communi- cations in college. I’d like to have my business well established and also set up my online shop over the next 5 years. I’m hoping to do more commission work too and dapple a bit in design and the industry.

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This story was first published in Issue 5: Endurance.