Ryhia Dank - Behind The Brush


Welcome to the second installment of my latest blog series called 

Behind The Brush.


Today I'm joined by the absolutely gorgeous Ryhia from Nardurna - a contemporary Aboriginal artist who lives in my home town of Darwin. As most of my guests that will appear here on this series, I connected with Ryhia via Instagram. After she slipped into my DM's about popping her alarm on to buy one of my Check Yo'Self diaries...I stalked her and fell in love instantly with her use of bright colours in her dot paintings. We hit it off from the get go - with loads of stuff in common. Also I loved that fact we could chat about her living 45 minutes out of Darwin city itself and the big trek she has to make just to get paint supplies haha #smalltownlife

With only knowing Ryhia since the end of May - I consider her as one of my sisters. Always there for a chat, to bounce ideas off and to share our love for margarita's together. Which I can' t wait to have one with her! 

So grab a cuppa, settle in and enjoy hearing about her booming biz Nardurna. 


Hey gurrrrl, tell us a little bit about yourself! And where are you based? 

I’m a Gudanji woman from the Tablelands, I grew up on a cattle station in the Northern Territory (Mum's family) and on the beaches of the Gold Coast (Dad's family). Currently based in Darwin but will be moving to the Sunshine Coast in August.



What do you do? When did you start and how did you come to do what you do? 

I paint and create digital artworks / branding. I have always been creative.

I decided to move to Melbourne to go to a design college, once finishing my Graphic Communication course I started to freelance graphic design, creating branding for businesses. Long story short I moved back to Darwin to be with family and got stuck thanks to COVID, while in lockdown I started painting for family and friends, once I shared my art on socials I saw that there was a want for my art :)

Is this currently a side hustle or your full time job? And because I'm nosey, what was your previous job?

This is my full time job, my previous job I was a National Promotions Manager for a retailer.


What do you primarily use for your work? Paint, digital, ink? Why is it your preferred medium?

I primarily use acrylic paint but I LOVE my digital work.



In ONLY 3 words, how would you describe your art?


When in your life did you have the "I've made it" moment. I want to hear your biggest highlight in your biz so far! 

When I was asked to be a part of The Block Shop

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

My inspiration is from my everyday surroundings, family and my childhood.

Alright, skies the limit...who/what is your dream brand collab? What would it be?

I would LOVE to do a collaboration with IKEA (Fashion and Homewares)



So, I'm a massive celeb lover and get star struck easily....Have you ever had your art purchased/liked or commented on by someone famous? We need names 👏🏽 and 👏🏽 details. If not, who would you love to have your art hanging in their house? 

I've recently done a custom for Fely Irvine - she's from Hi-5. That's pretty cool. And I would scream if the Crown Prince of Dubai - Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum or Fazza even liked my art.

When you’re not doing your art, what would we find you doing?

Either cooking, drawing on my iPad, drawing in my sketch book or fishing



Who in the creative world do you look up to? Drop their IG handles so we can stalk them:

@k.rae.designs - oh shucks gurrrrl 


What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Document, practice and relax


ALRIGHTY now for some Quick Fire questions 

Hot drink order: Long black

All time fav movie: Step Brothers

Go to ice-cream flavour: Pistachio

1 song you could listen to over and over again: A Thing For Me - Metronomy

Go to alcoholic drink: Maragrita

Favourite conspiracy theory: We didn't really go to the moon 

Name a quirk/something weird that you do that makes you, you - (you don't have to explain...just let it out): I say Canadia, pronounced Can-aid-ia

If you could have a dinner party with 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Sir David Attenbro, Mr Vincent Lingiari, Albert Einstein


Such awesome answers there Ryhia! Thanks so much for taking some time out to chat with me :) 

Also, I think you should know that Nardurna is currently BOOKED out for the rest of the year for commission work. How bloody amazing is that? Props to you gurlfrand! If you want an original - keep an eye out on her socials as she often sells these cute AF swatches. But be quick, they get snatched up in MINUTES! 

Want to see more of Ryhia's work? Check her out below:

Instagram: @nardurna



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