Internationally known artist, Nick Sider, is a self-taught acrylic painter, based out of New York. He grew up with a love and passion for art, but decided to pursue other interests after leaving high school. Sider went to college, got a theology degree and worked with charities and churches for several years, yet he knew something was missing. At the age of 25, Nick Sider decided to pursue his childhood dream of becoming an artist. What proceeded was a drastic shift in his world. In 2013, Sider quit his job and began painting. After completing and selling his first original painting, Nick Sider knew he was meant to be an artist.
While experimenting with a multitude of subject matter, Sider has always maintained a hyperrealistic style, attempting to create paintings that extend beyond what a photograph could ever capture, ."my favorite moment while painting is when a subject on my canvas begins to come alive." After moving to Brooklyn, NY in 2015, he turned his attention towards the contemporary art scene, attempting to develop his own artistic vocabulary. While being open to new forms of techniques and new inspiration, Nick Sider continues to perfect his hyperrealistic style, hoping to create new works that reflect his passion for art and for life.
RK : Say something about you.
Nick : My name is Nick Sider. I am a self-taught hyperrealist painter located in New York City.
RK : When did you first realize that you really loved drawing? Were there any instances that you can recall in particular that made you choose to concentrate on creating art?
Nick : As a kid I was not allowed to watch the cartoon Ninja Turtles show. So, I would draw them and cut them out as an alternative. That is my earliest memory of drawing.
RK : Was there any particular moments that you feel launched your art career for you? Has anybody guided you along your career path as an artist and if so who?
Nick : Yes, in summer of 2016 Business Art Insider's Facebook page released a video of my artwork that went viral and gained over 13 million views. That is really what launched my career. Too many people to name have guided me along the way.
RK : How would you describe your creative style?
Nick : I breathe life into the canvas using acrylic paint and a hyperrealistic technique.
RK : Tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?
Nick : I am currently finishing up a series of large tiger portraits I have been doing this past year as an homage to my childhood obsession with tigers.
RK : Can you tell us about some of your great paintings like ‘Beauty in the Night’ , ‘A new day’, ‘The Heir’ or ‘Arend’s Eye’ that looks more real than a photograph.
Nick : In every painting, I try to learn something new and give a different focus of attention. My ultimate goal with each of my paintings is to create piece that feels so real it compels the viewer to try and touch the painting.
RK : What subjects do you mostly like to draw and paint about and why?
Nick : I often do wildlife or people as I like to have living subjects. My favorite of painting is the moment when the painting begins to come alive. RK : Why did you choose acrylic as your medium?
Nick : I chose acrylic simply because my mother painted with acrylics and that is what was accessible to me when I decided to teach myself how to paint.
RK : What is the most challenging part about working with acrylics?
Nick : The most challenging part is how quickly it dries; however, I also love that part of it as well as it allows me to work quickly.
RK : What do you wish you knew about acrylics before you got started?
Nick : No, I like the challenge of figuring something out.
RK : What is your creative process like?
Nick : I simply sit down and start painting. I have a long list of paintings I want to do. I don't wait for inspiration. I go into the studio, put on my paint clothes, choose my paints, turn on some music and get to work!
RK : You had a job with charities and churches for many years. In 2013, you quit the job. How was the moment and what was the first thing you felt at that time.
Nick : I felt relief because I knew there was something else out there for me. At the time I didn't know what. When I started painting I never looked back.
RK : Who are some artists you admire?
Nick : Dali, Picasso, Monet
RK : What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve created?
Nick : Usually whatever I am working on. To date, I would say my self portrait was my biggest breakthrough painting.
RK : Your pieces are incredibly detailed. How long does it take to create a single piece and what is the process like?
Nick : How long my paintings take is a secret. the length of time typically depends on the size or the subject. I use a grid system when I paint where I will put a grid on my reference photo/photos and on the canvas. I then lay down a layer of lining and color to get the dimensions and proportions right in the painting and then move into more detail. I always start with the eyes. I feel if I can get the eyes right in a subject the rest will follow.
RK : Describe your dream project.
Nick : My dream project would be to somehow use my artwork on a global scale to help someone or a group of people in need.
RK : If you were not an artist, what would you rather be?
Nick : If I was not an artist, I would probably work for a non-profit.
RK : What’s one art tip/technique you can share with us that you find really helpful?
Nick : Neon paint. I use a lot of neon paint to accentuate the depth in my paintings.
RK : Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Nick : SHARE YOUR WORK! If you don't put your work out there, buyers and admirers can't find you. Use the internet to share your work with others.
RK : If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Nick : Find what you're passionate about and go after it!
RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?
Nick : I have never been to India, but would love to one day. I know a little of the culture but do not know too much about Indian art.
RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.
Nick : I think this initiative is very much needed for artists, particularly in an internet driven, globalized world. Thank you to all my Indian followers! I so appreciate all of the love and support from you!