'Keeping her Cool' with Fida winner Nadia Coolrista

Talks with Patrick Morgan 

How did you come across the Fida awards, and why did you apply?

I found the Fida community and Fida Awards through Instagram and immediately knew that I wanted to be part of it.  Before Joining, I did not really consider myself to be a fashion illustrator because at that time I was more focused on educating others on how to best draw the human face and body.  However, I do have some experience in illustrating and if you look at my portfolio of work closely, you would see that my artistic style complements the medium very well. 

I applied only after doing a bit of research to understand what Fida is and exactly how it support and promote its members.   I saw the excitement and fanfare Fida’s awards and competition generated and for those reasons I wanted to give it a try.

What made you select the image you did to enter the awards?

Before the competition, I already had a few ideas for my next project.  I knew I wanted to create something fresh and bold and  I feel like my submission highlighted  that — it was simple, i found the subject to be very striking and captivating, and I was able to demonstrate my skills of using digital medium.

How did you feel about winning the awards with all the artists and judges from the industry selecting your work?

I felt incredibly honoured and humbled. Winning the award among the many other talented illustrators meant a lot,  and helped reinforce in me that I was on the right path. I was especially  interested in receiving and hearing the critique of my work from professionals and authoritative figures within the industry.     

Especially after winning the Celine Dion ”Draw an Icon” competition a day before. It was a fantastic feeling, and very emotional! Now I feel even more confident.

What is your normal day of working as a fashion illustrator?

Basically, I draw every day, normally during night time.  I get my inspiration from fashion shows, fashion magazines, fashion photographers, models and odd things around me from time to time. I wouldn’t say I have a lot of work as a fashion illustrator however I do have a lot of self-initiated work for promoting myself as a fashion illustrator to help get the attention of the companies, designers and creatives in the industry.

Explain your process and the space you work in? How do you use social media or other platforms?

Before I start a new project, I generally already have a few ideas in my mind for what I would like to accomplish.  Sometimes for inspiration I would go through my saved references on social media (always Instagram and Pinterest) and try to conceptualise how best to transfer my vision on paper or digital device. I try to think about how it would look, how bold, or beautiful, or how romantic, while still maintaining a strong and energetic composition.  I also think about the process of recording the video, and how best to present my idea and vision to my followers.

The space I work in is actually a tiny corner in my bedroom. I managed to put it together the way that I don’t have to show the rest of the room. I always work in my little paradise, as I have all the necessary tools and equipment to create. Here I always feel energised and inspired. 

Instagram is my forever favourite out of many others social media. I used to use as many social platforms as I could. I would put inspiring or educational videos on Pinterest, Behance, TikTok, I even created a YouTube channel (I promise, I still want to improve it, just lack of time). I've gained a quite a decent amount of followers on some of the platforms. It helps me to gain a following on Instagram which is my primary platform because it's all linked.

Do you have any advice for future Fida Artists entering the awards?

I would recommend  working with what best inspires and motivates you. Don't compare yourself to other artists, just do you, and do your best. 

Are you doing anything at the moment and can you share?

Currently, I'm setting up my brand new website www.coolrista.com where people can see my portfolio and can also buy the originals and prints 

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