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Meet Jora Nelstein

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jora Nelstein.

Hi Jora, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Reflecting back from where I am currently at, I’ve seen an upward curve. Painting in a studio, going into my third year now, still feels so luxurious, in comparison to me having painted outside for many years and on any wall space, which I covered in plastic, to paint in the different apartments I rented. I am a Dutch artist, now in Los Angeles for over twenty years. This is the place I have been the longest, but I carry elements of the different places I’ve lived with me. The Netherlands, Suriname, New York – they can all be seen and felt in my art. I have always expressed myself through the arts; trained in classical dance, performed as a modern dancer, drawing on any and every material I could find, painting on leftover table cloths from my catering gigs to furniture I found on the sidewalk – it’s all a part of who I am. I am a self taught and intuitive artist, and all of those elements of me are in the work I now create.

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?
No of course not, I think there are few people if any who travelled a smooth road. I can say that I always/mostly have done what I felt passionate about, and that was never a 9-5. This of course meant that there were many years of financial difficulties, mainly when I was living in New York, and since I never wanted to get into debt or borrow money, I was doing anything I could to get by. Waitressing, cleaning apartments, modeling, teaching dance – anything that kept me feeling independent and respectful.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
A few years ago, I made a conscious decision to take my art seriously and finally call myself an artist. I had already sold a few pieces and started to have more time as my daughter moved out for college. With this time, I found myself reflecting on what I wanted to do when I retired, the obvious answer was always there, paint to my heart’s delight. With the freelance job I have as a Script Supervisor, as well as this goal in mind, it allowed me to finally focus on my painting career. My medium of choice is acrylic paint, which allows for the intuitive process I create with. I find myself inspired by colors, sounds, movements and my emotional connection to those inspirations. That’s why the female form always comes back throughout my works, despite me being a mostly abstract painter.

How do you think about luck?
I am extremely lucky with the incredible people in my life. They have helped me open my eyes to more of myself, they support me in more ways than I can even describe. They make me feel like I can go inward, watch my behavioral patterns, a safe place to reflect and choose which changes I can make to create the ability to shift, and continue with a clearer sense of self and purpose. I don’t know where my life would be now without these phenomenal woman around me, my luck.


  • $250 – $3500 Original paintings on canvas, aluminum and paper
  • $52 – $ + – Prints in various sizing on fine art paper, metal and wood
  • $5 – $45 Merch, postcards, totes, puzzles and calendars

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