Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicha Rattanabut.
Nicha, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am currently a freshman at Stanford University studying Art Practice and International Relations. Drawing has always been a part of my life since my toddler hands could hold a pencil, but it became a business much later and by accident. I would say that I had always been business-oriented in one way or another. My parents operate a small business that I help with. I found that the mindset I got in that arena transferred to my approach with art as well. I had been known as the “art kid” in elementary and it was in 5th grade that I decided I could charge a small fee for customized drawings. Soon the $1-2 increased with my reputation. By the time I was in middle school, my drawings ran from $10-20. Although these prices didn’t quite line up with the time I was dedicating for each it gave me the confidence to build my brand. I started my Instagram account in 2018. It has been modest growth and the bulk of my business has come from mouth to mouth, but Instagram gave me a platform to expand my audience and share my work. My paintings have come a long way and are currently sold in the triple digits, but I have plans for expanding my brand and increasing my platform.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
As a young artist, I think your need to create and please comes at the expense of knowing your own worth. It took me quite a while to be able to properly price my time, effort, and skill without undermining myself and thinking that I was asking for too much. Over time my confidence grew and I got a better hold on the pricing of my pieces, but that is definitely still a work in progress.
Since the majority of my work has been produced before I was even in high school (I am currently a freshman in college), I didn’t understand the concept of archiving my work. I would say that would be one of my biggest regrets as most of my work has been sold off without me retaining images of it.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a visual artist. My main medium for the longest time was graphite and color pencil, but recently I have been delving into painting. My current favorite is oil paint. The emotive strokes of color have opened up a whole new avenue for me. In all mediums, my specialty is realistic portraiture. The subtly of a line can change the expression of a face. The curves of a wrinkle can influence identifiability. Realism and portraiture are demanding of precision and skill. I feel challenged and alive by the work.
Even though you spend a lot of alone time creating your artwork, painting/drawing can be an incredibly intimate activity. You analyze a face and dissect details in ways that are unlike daily life. At the end of it, you feel an incredible connection to your work and an understanding that couldn’t be felt in any other context. That is one of my favorite parts of portraits.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I had been drawing for much longer than I have been painting. In fact, I really only started painting seriously in 2020, but the majority of the work displayed on my art account is paintings. I’d like to think of myself as a painter now, but I am definitely fairly new at it. At heart, graphite will always be my first love.
- Instagram: @nichroma