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Experimenting with mixed media

Art piece by Naffie Williams

During her BA Art and Film degree, Naffie used art as a medium to express her distinctive style and her emotions. Although some artists may choose to focus on one art form, Naffie prefers versatility and therefore specialises in mixed media, combining fine art, graphics, and photography. She uses distortion as a mechanism for storytelling.

“I create my art by layering different materials, constructing a more intricate and inviting design. I incorporate many forms of material or mediums to create collages and montages. 

“My collages of distorted images are designed using several layers, negative space, and bold colours. I use digital platforms to layer and work back into the pieces that I might eventually digitise and print out later. 

"I work primarily with natural forms, such as figures, but I engage in image manipulation. I play on the theme of identity- including lifestyles, cultures, and individuality, images are then digitally manipulated to tell a story.”

Naffie’s approach encourages audiences to find deeper meaning and emotion in her art, as Naffie creates a new narrative based on her images. Due to the layering of various images and materials, viewers are given the opportunity to build their own interpretation of Naffie’s work. 


Searching for inspiration 


Every artist needs a source of inspiration – something that ignites their creativity. Naffie’s inspiration comes from photographers, artists, graphic designers, and others who explore the themes of realism and identity and encourage viewers to immerse themselves in their imagination. 

“I am an artist who uses a range of techniques and mediums to blend photography. I search for new sources of inspiration every day where I can explore and manipulate the style and make it my own. Taking inspiration from different creators using raw material and photography, thus creating my own style of art.”


Support at Reading


Naffie cites practical workshops at Reading School of Art as helping her experiment with different types of art, learn about various artists in the industry, and interact with new students. There is a real sense of community at the Reading School of Art.

“You are able to go and talk to your lecturers, ask for advice, and work towards an end goal together. Students are very nice and easy to talk to.” 

Naffie decided to study a joint honours degree at Reading to explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of art and film and to take advantage of the extensive artistic elements of both subjects.

“Doing a joint honours degree with film and art has allowed me to explore both subjects independently and combined.”


Gaining practical experience


In addition to her studies, Naffie has undertaken practical work to add to her portfolio and professional experience and improve herself as an artist. She has worked with ArtLab – an initiative of the University of Reading – to provide creative summer workshops for primary school leavers and credit this opportunity at Reading in helping her discover how much she loves to use art to help others.
Her work was also featured in a popular music video for the musician Emanuel, which can be watched on YouTube.

“I had the opportunity to work with Emanuel and Idris Elba on a music video, where a piece of my artwork was featured in the hope of creating visually pleasing content.” 

In 2020 Naffie also took part in “Nature created by design” – a virtual exhibition that took place in Japan and featured her work.


Future aspirations


Naffie firmly believes that art is her vocation in life and hopes that it will lead her on a worldwide journey in the future. She intends to exhibit her art in galleries, collaborate with international organisations, and become a part-time art dealer, all with the goal of gaining recognition and sparking hope for black artists in the creative industry. 

“My experiences and achievements so far, including my work being featured in a music video and an international virtual exhibition, have brought to light my eagerness to further my art through exhibitions, workshops, and other platforms. This would allow me to gain wider exposure and recognition, potentially opening doors for me in the future.”

Naffie’s experience at Reading so far has helped shape her artistic style and her aspirations to make a global impact with her work.

Read about the BA Art and Film course

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