One to Watch

Nina Minnebo’s Color Blasts

Nina Minnebo mixes different techniques to produce her bold and colorful abstracts. The artist’s process begins by digitally drafting her ideas on a graphic design program, then moving to canvas and using more traditional mediums such as acrylic and ink to finalize her artistic vision. As an experienced graphic designer, Nina has a good eye for color and layout design that has enabled her to generate compelling visual compositions. As a result, Nina expertly strikes a balance between intense bursts of color and densely layered shapes.

Nina studied Graphic Design at Luka School of Arts in Brussels, Belgium and currently lives and works just outside Brussels in Gooik, Belgium. The artist has participated in group shows across Europe and organized and curated her own solo show, “No f*cking Clue” earlier this year in Gooik, Belgium.

1. What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

Happiness. I want my work to make me happy. It’s a struggle along the way, the process can be hard. It’s almost like a fight, an endless discussion between me, the colours, the forms and the canvas. When the work stops talking back I know it’s finished.

2. How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it specifically?

When I was 7 or 8 my dad bought huge canvasses and let us paint them in the garden. This is also what moved me to paint. For the moment I use acrylic and ink, but I’m not attached to it in a particular way. I’m discovering plexi glass and will soon start using oil paint again.

3. How has your style and practice changed over the years?

It’s not my style or practice that has really evolved over the years but my confidence and the way I feel about painting. Now I know this is something I need to do and love doing. Nobody will take that away from me. I’m not scared about negative critique anymore and I will not compare myself to others. That’s something really toxic that blocks my creative process.

4. Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

My process is intuitive most of the time. I just start with the colours I’m most fond of at that time (it changes continuously) and let the brush guide me.
For the more static work, I started doing little studies beforehand, but when I’m painting the canvas it evolves. Sometimes a colour can be splendid on a small study and not work at all on a bigger scale.

The time spent on a canvas depends on the style. For the clean & controlled work I layer the painting to be as opaque as possible and as clear and pure as the colour can be. There can be colours where I need to use 12 layers of paint before i’m satisfied wth the result. The other style takes even more time because I need time to let it rest between the layers. Not only so the paint can dry, but also to see what more it needs. It’s a dialogue between me and her (my paintings are female) and sometimes it can get rough. When the discussion ends I know the painting is finished and I frame it.

1. If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?

A personal trainer.

2. Who are some of your favorite artists, and why?

Joan Mitchell, Anish Kapoor, Kirra Jamison, Hell’o Collective

3. What are some of your favorite experiences as an artist?

I recently organised, build and curated my first soloshow. It was hard work and I had a lot of help from friends & family. It was an amazing experience to be able to make what I had in mind, how I wanted to show my work. It’s not the same when you have group shows, you get a wall or a space and that’s mostly it…

4. What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Don’t compare yourself to others, do what you love and work hard.

5. Prefer to work with music or in silence?

Bossa nova is my go to music when I want some kind of company, but sometimes silence works best.

6. If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

A mirror by Anish Kapoor, definitely.

About the Author

Monty Preston is the Assistant Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at