Meet Aviva Atri, a bicoastal artist who loves to create cheerful experiences through design, illustration, and nail art.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
Since I do lots of different work, every day can look different for me. I always start my day walking Charlie, my 4-year-old Labradoodle. This gets me into a good headspace and sets the tone for my day. It’s usually pretty hot where I live, so coming back inside my cool apartment and having a refreshing iced coffee is just *chef’s kiss*. Some days I focus primarily on design work, which consists of illustration, branding, animation, product and print design. Other days my focus shifts to nail art. This includes making nail art tutorials, taking photos, or teaching mani masterclasses. I try to combine the 2 as often as I can because I think that nails are another canvas, just super tiny! After I’m done with all my work for the day, I love to sip on a nice, cold Sweet Reason bev. It’s such a great way for me to unwind.
What's your greatest source of inspiration?
These days I’ve been super inspired by nature. I find the coolest plants and colorful flowers on my daily walks! I’ll usually snap a few photos of the things I find and use them to pull color combinations, shapes and composition for my work.
How did you get into design and illustration?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to do something creative. I loved drawing, painting, lettering and taking photos. I went to Parsons School for Design where I majored in communication design. It was there that I established my foundation of design, but only after I graduated, was I really able to hone in on my skills and practice.
What is your creative process like?
I like to scroll through Pinterest or my saved folder on Instagram and put on some good music to get my creativity flowing so I can start my work. My work area needs to be somewhat tidy or else I get very distracted haha. I totally have undiagnosed ADHD or ADD. If I ever feel like I can’t focus on a project or feel uninspired, stepping away from my work for a bit helps tremendously.
What does CBD/Sweet Reason lend to your practice?
I have really bad anxiety which gets in the way of my practice a lot. When my mind is calm I am able to produce better, more thoughtful work. CBD has helped me to clear my mind during chaotic times. It’s kind of like the giant deep breath you forget to take.
How do you find your wellness, state of mind and/or mental health shapes your work?
My answer to this question is very similar to my previous one. When I’m feeling anxious, I either feel inspired to create or the complete opposite. A lot of the work I’ve created has stemmed from the way I’m feeling - good or bad. I find that so many people resonate with work that is raw and real; work that allows you to see the artist’s hand and heart in it.
How do you unwind?
I love taking baths. I feel like it’s the only way for my entire body to fully relax.
What does success mean to you?
I definitely don’t think there’s one answer. Ultimately, if you feel fulfilled, I think you’ve unlocked the code to success. At least that’s how it feels to me. Being able to make a living doing something that makes me feel fulfilled every day is successful in my book.
Has social media impacted the way you create?
Social media is one of my main sources of inspiration, whether it be Instagram, Pinterst, Youtube, Tiktok, etc. Learning from other designers and creatives really impacts the way I create. Obviously, I have my own style and aesthetic, but seeing my peers’ work definitely inspires me to create.
Where do you get your nail inspo?
Literally everywhere! (Besides social media, of course) fun patterns, flowers I see, even my own artwork! I love bringing my nail art and digital art together - I’ll design an art piece and then paint my nails with that same design or vice-versa.
What’s your #1 manicure tip for beginners?
Cuticle care is the one thing I find elevates any manicure! Put on your favorite serum for hydration.
What is your favorite nail art you’ve created?
I love cute and simple floral nail art - it’s my go-to easy and favorite. There are so many fun color combinations you could do!
Currently inspired by?
The Billie Eilish documentary “The World’s A Little Blurry”
Life hack of all life hacks?
Kindness over everything.
Go-to nail polish brand?
Olive & June
Most played song right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Abba lately - they literally always put me in a good mood. Also anything Phoebe Bridgers - I love her so much. Paul Simon, too.
Favorite mani color/color combo?
Cobalt blue + cotton candy pink
Favorite current read?
It’s Ok To Feel Things Deeply by Carissa Potter
If you could grab lunch with one person, who would it be?