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Meet Charlotte Xia and Nicholas Duenas of N&Z ART in Thousand Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charlotte Xia and Nicholas Duenas.

Charlotte and Nicholas, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am Ziwei Xia, my stage name is Charlotte Xia, I was born in Jinan and raised in Beijing, China. My mom was a Chinese Traditional Singer and Businesswoman, and my dad was an Artist and Businessman. I am an International Actress, Published Model, Country Singer, Artist, and Fashion Designer. I moved to California in 2010 and studied at the Department of Motion Picture and Television at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Then I moved to Los Angeles in 2012, where I studied at Santa Monica College. I went to Barbizon School of Hollywood for modeling and acting then I graduated from Musicians Institute of Music – Vocal Performance.

My father used to be a painter when he was young. Later, when I was born, he gave up painting and started a business because he needed to raise me and wanted to train me to be a versatile person. My father was very kind and humorous. He never strict with me and he gave me all his love and full freedom. He encouraged me to do whatever I wanted. When I was a little girl: He taught me how to be myself, how to be a good person, how to have a kind heart, how to treat others generously; when I was in elementary school: He taught me to draw, play the piano and sing; When I was in middle school: He would coach me patiently in math, literature, history and various subjects. Also, he helped me set up my own gallery in Beijing, I had little time to attend my middle school because I spent most of my time running my own art gallery.

Ten years ago, he used his life savings to send me to America, just for my dream. No one loved me more than him, and he gave me everything he had until he died of colon cancer in 2019; I want to say that my father gave me what I have today, without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I met my boyfriend before my dad passed away, his name is Nicholas. We met each other from Lyft and he’s my Lyft driver. We went from being friends to being good friends, and then he became to my boyfriend. He and my father’s personality is similar: kind, humorous, compassionate, he is also a person with many strengths and talents; Like my father, he loved animals, nature and was passionate about art. I want to say that met him is the luckiest thing for me in this life. I am an experienced artist with an eye for detail. And my boyfriend Nick is the novice with an open mind of fresh ideas. We combine our heads and talents together to make wonderful pieces of art, our business called N&Z ART.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In this era of Coronavirus, it makes everything difficult; of course, making art is even more difficult. But we didn’t let it get us down, we kept at it and so we did, we sold our first art piece on the 18th of July, and recently we got our art sell permit.

N&Z ART – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We create our own original works of art: Sketch works, color pencil combined with watercolor, acrylic painting and oil painting. And of course, we also design masks that are full of fashion in three dimensions to address the Coronavirus issue where people have to wear masks. By the way, my boyfriend Nick is very creative about designing 3D masks.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Self-confidence is the key to success; Never say give up and know that difficulties will pass. A rainbow always appears after a storm. I want to say that my boyfriend is the condition of our art gallery’s success, He gave me a lot of inspiration and good advice, and he put all his energy into our art business.

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Image Credit:

Nick and Ziwei (Charlotte)

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