ETERNAL WATER BEING: JADE DIAZ | NEARVOUS
☆ Click to scroll ☆
Jade, I'm also known by the name Nearvous in drag
What traits about your star sign most resonate with you?
One of the biggest traits about cancer that resonates with me is being protective and emotional. I feel very intensely about my art and about the people that I love and I am constantly thinking about them, and in the past them more than myself at times. Growing up I’ve learnt that if I can focus that much energy on other people to make them feel safe and loved, why couldn’t I do the same for myself? I’ve been healing by myself lately, doing a lot of meditation and devoting more time into doing the art that I love, I’m a huge homebody and enjoy being alone so a lot of what I do is very personal to me, and if things don’t go right I’ll have a tantrum or a cry about it, go to sleep, and try again without anyone having to know at all. I can physically feel emotion be overwhelming for me at times especially with love, passion, sadness, anger- it can feel like my body is on fire but it’s all extremely internalised most of the time. Being able to feel these things are great, but I’d love to be able to open up more to people about my personal life, right now I feel like because I don’t open up as much as I could I don’t feel as particularly close with some of my friends than I’d like to be. Cancers got that shell so you KNOW I’m scared to be vulnerable.
Can you see characteristics of your star sign within your occupation and work?
With the work that I do as a makeup artist, doing makeup on short films and photo shoots, I find that so much of me is put into it because I love doing it. It’s always my first priority that the people I do makeup on are comfortable and at the end of the day are happy and that I do my job well because I know that I can do it well. I’ve been asked to come on sets to do makeup because of what people have seen me do on social media and it really makes me tingle in a weird happy and giddy way knowing that people like what I do and it makes me so warm inside to be told that what I do is loved and admired. It makes me want to be better and better every time and I feel that in every creative field there’s never a point where you stop learning because there’s something that’s always new around the corner. It’s incredibly validating as well, it keeps me on my toes, and I don’t think I’ll ever be used to it, making art with people and making people happy makes me so happy and excited every time.
What is the thing you love most about your medium?
The thing I love the most about Drag as a medium is that its allowing me to open up and unlock new things in myself that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to or didn’t even know I could. I’m super introverted, I feel like I don’t talk as much as I could because I can go into weird periods of being crazy anxious and big social interactions can be such a huge sensory overload. Sometimes I’m just content with being receptive and devoting my listening to someone who needs to talk about something. The great thing about my own drag is that its highly visual for me and I like letting it speak for itself most of the time so that I don’t have to all the time. It’s very much a medium I focus solely on myself because it’s something that I am able to control; I can control what I post and what I don’t, and if I don’t like something then I can leave it and come back to it and make it better. I can take my time. I felt really limited in school because I felt like everything I was making was never for me. I’ve always known growing up that I would go into the creative field because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else with myself, and it was something I know that I’m great at and can flourish in. The scene is always growing and I want to be able to contribute to it because I feel like I can give something that’s different and new.
What traits about your star sign do you like / dislike?
I genuinely love my sign very much, but in my personal experience I feel like sometimes being so emotional and sensitive to certain emotions at times have led to my demise. I don’t like fighting when it’s unnecessary, I hate seeing myself angry, I don’t like crying in front of people when I know I should be composed at the time and I’m trying to defend myself, I hate how sometimes insecurity hits and I feel like I haven’t done good enough knowing I could’ve been better, it can be messy and silly and dramatic when I look back on it and it can be embarrassing but it happens! I hate outbursts that I’m unable to control, even when I’m aware that I am like this it’s not something I can always prepare for. As someone who identifies as genderfluid and uses they/them pronouns, being misgendered has been an issue for me, and because I’m someone who also has social anxiety I’ve been in situations where I’ve let things slide, even with friends I’ve known for years, where they know my pronouns but fully choose not to use them and I sit and suffer in silence. It’s hard for me and harder to explain especially to cis straight people, it makes me feel stupid sometimes. In the past I made the conscious decision to use she/her in conjunction with they/them purely for the fact that I felt like it would make it easier for other people to refer to me and save me the drama, but it really hurt me more than it helped. Learning from these things I’ve been more selective about the people I’ve met into my life and kept around and for those people I am so so thankful.
How does the internet affect you and your spirituality?
I was born in 1998 and I’ve been here when there were those fat Microsoft desktop computers with only the games pinball, paint, solitaire and minesweeper were on it, and then with lime wire, bebo, myspace, and runescape when the internet was more accessible. I’ve grown up with the internet and it’s contributed a lot to my creativity and self discovery. It’s connected me with friends overseas that I’ve known since I was 13, it’s connected me with my culture, allowed resources to be accessible to me whenever I needed them to be- I found out about my own gender and relationship with transness, my sexuality, and I don’t think I’d be here without it or without the people I’ve met through the internet. I remember researching about the star sign cancer and why I resonated so heavily with it, and found myself relating a little too well to magazine horoscopes when a lot of people called bull on astrology because they couldn’t relate. I read my chart and felt like my third eye was opening, it was so enlightening and funny to be reading myself being exposed by the stars- and I still don’t get how people don’t understand it, it makes me feel connected to the universe, these things are literally written in the stars, and I never pass up an opportunity to read a friend’s chart when they’ve never read it. Being a water sign as well, I feel so so connected with the water and I live far from the ocean so being near it at any time is such a palette cleanser for me, especially when everything is digital now, it feels pure to sit and listen to water crash and feel like your soul is moving with it. I love seeing the moon, I love meditating, I love learning things I wouldn’t have been able to without the internet and making friends in other countries and feeling connected everywhere, with the earth, the ocean, with people.
What is your best friend's star sign?
I’ve never had one singular person I could call my best friend, I don’t feel like I’ve experienced that yet or find myself ever experiencing that... mostly because I know how much I’ve closed off from people and still tend to, but I can very much say that I do have a group of friends that I love and admire and look up to with my entire being. The signs that I’ve discovered to be the closest with me and that exist with my friends are Taurus, Gemini, Capricorn, and Aquariuses. Rare little gems I also love are Virgo, Sagittariuses, and I’m also a big fan of Libras. I feel like I’m trying to list all the signs but I feel really grounded with these people especially when my mind can go in and out, it’s an extremely loving and supportive circle that I have and I am so thankful for, I feel like I’m going to start crying as I’m writing this but I really am so happy. My closest friends are all queer people, queer people of colour, and are all artists- all people I admire and feel safe with as someone who is a queer person of colour. We’ve shared experiences specific to our identities and being able to relate to people I can see bits of myself in everyday allowed me to open up more than I could in high school, especially with being queer.
How does your work reflect your star sign?
I put so much of myself into every job that I do because in a creative field it’s always going to be out there for people to see as an extended piece of myself, so naturally it’s something that I’d like to do well in. As a cancer I always feel like I make sure that everyone is comfortable even if its not my job, I just do the makeup but sometimes the mother kicks in you know? My makeup is very emotionally driven especially in drag, it allows me to transform and embody a new and stronger energy within myself, command the space I wouldn’t usually allow, and when I do the same for other people I’d like them to feel the same way. It’s like creating a child for a period of time and I want them to look and feel good while I cheer them on from the sidelines. I recently put a man in drag for his first time for a short film and it was so exciting so see how he reacted to first seeing himself, it was so sweet and I wanted to scream, it was so exciting and very old school drag for the character he was playing. I wanted to make sure he was feeling good and really feeling himself for filming. On the set of Miss Aquarius I did Didi’s makeup and my favourite detail on every set that I do is to make sure that I don’t lose someone’s beauty marks. We did a green glowy alien look and I redrew them in purple and that’s probably my favourite thing I’ve done, it’s such a tiny detail to remember and not something I ever want to lose on someone. Someone pointed it out to me one day asking if it was intentional and I said YES!!! It absolutely is.
What is the most important aspect to your practise to understand for yourself and other?
I feel like the most important aspect to my practice is to remember who I am and that this all comes from a place of love and passion. Its something that’s fun, it’s a bit stupid, but mostly it’s a way for me to be a visual artist where the vessel is myself. One of my friends asked me about the origin of my name and it started off as a name I just wanted to use as a handle for illustration and a joke about the severity of my anxiety but thinking about it I know why it’s stuck with me. I always say I’m nervous as a reflex to every situation. “Near” in nearvous comes from the fact that when I’m close proximity to people I get… nervous. Go figure. Also because nervous was taken and maybe nearvous is a little bit more spicy. Nearvous as a persona is a big juxtaposition of my interalised feelings of anxiety and a seemingly unapproachable and unsettling exterior. It’s funny to me that there are people that I’ve met in this short time of doing drag that have said that they’ve been intimidated meeting me when really it’s almost always the other way around. I love the contrast of having such a meek name but having such an intimidating presence, I think it’s really funny, I’m just here to love my friends and have a laugh and dance and eat sweet potato fries with them. I need to remember not to take everything so seriously! Nearvous is a way for me to let go, I see them as this careless little imp that I want to embody. A fun demon who doesn’t know what they’re really doing- which is fine. It’s a heightened version of myself! Multiplicity of identity! Drag is supposed to be fun! Drag is fun!
Some would say you have a surrealist style? Would you agree with this?
Yes! I definitely feel like I have a somewhat surrealist style and I’ve drawn so much inspiration from the surrealism movement. I love fantasy, mythology, I love mind games, I love playing tricks with the eye in my style. For my drag style, for Nearvous in particular, it’s come largely from my passion for art, it was my favourite subject in school and I would devote so much of my time to my own art outside of it too. I would abandon time for assignments just to draw and wouldn’t pay attention in class because I was busy doodling and it was especially bad in my senior highschool years because I was so restless if i wasn’t doing something or reading about someone or trying to learn something new to do with art. It was the only thing I wanted to do and when I got to a point where I felt like I wasn’t myself anymore and couldn’t enjoy the things I usually would to do with art or create things at the level I know I could I had to leave for my mental health before I could graduate. It was an incredibly low period for me and art was the escape I needed, and then drag became the family of artists I’ve always wanted. It’s only growing from here and I’m learning every single day.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Not to sound cheesy or basic but inspiration literally comes from everywhere for me. I had a short period of time where I would go with my mum to the fish markets to carry her groceries while she looked around and I was really interested in the natural patterns in the flesh of fish when it was cut, how scales were laid, how they reflect light and have multiple colour shifts in them. I’m also always looking at instagram and studying how other drag queens would do their makeup, look at shapes and techniques that I really liked and could see myself doing, but mostly my influences come from outside of drag. I find that if I’m only looking at drag for long periods of time it feels like everyone wants to look the same and it doesn’t excite me at all, and being stuck looking at one medium can really fry your brain so you really have to draw good energy from everywhere. I did ceramics and printmaking for a while after leaving school, I made my own zines and kept busy reading and painting and watching films. Wes Anderson in particular really enhanced my relationship with colours, Yoshitomo Nara too, the way he does eyes and how he can be really soft and airy in one piece and then be so simple and graphic in others really resonates with me. I love cartoons, I love Steven Universe and Adventure Time and all that, all good things to keep positive and happy and inspired to keep me absorbing really good energy. Special mention as well to the Food Network channel thank you for keeping me hungry!!!
What is your most memorable look?
The first time I did multiple eyes was maybe my most memorable… it was the first time that I really felt people starting to react heavily with my work and since then I’ve kept running with the friction and developed more of this character in my head, so the eyes feel like second nature to me now. My first ever multiple eye look was a white base look with black horned curves and warm toned shadows thad felt very much like an air brush painting and looking at it now and how much I’ve improved since last year I would love to go back into Nearvous’ origin and recreate it with a new fire under my ass. I feel like sometimes that I fall into this mentality that I need to keep posting all the time, and if there aren’t there eyes then it isn’t me. Really it’s just this weird intrusive monologue that tells me that I’m not doing this thing right when really it’s not something that I should limit myself to. It’s something that requires so much attention and not something that I can half ass… there are a few that are up that I would like to take down but looking back on them is a great point for me to look back on and improve from and that’s okay! I really REALLY have to remember that none of this is really serious and that if I’m not having fun or letting myself be creative without heavy expectations then I’m absolutely NOT going to have a good time or like what I do. I need to relax!
What was the catalyst for you to start using make-up in an unconventional manner and why?
I’ve never wanted to do makeup in a conventional manner in the first place! I never ever could see myself doing it because being “conventional” to me isn’t exciting… it doesn’t feel like me and it feels so plain and done before a million times. I hated makeup for the longest time because I felt like I couldn’t do it but the more I learnt about drag, it was the first time I ever heard makeup being referred to as “painting”, and I have a strong art background in drawing and painting so that’s where it finally clicked for me- especially seeing the club kid scene. I felt like I could fit in so easily with that. Through the unconventional I’ve learnt to really love my face and I had been really insecure about it before, my nose felt like it was big and flat, I had relatively round features. Seeing how diverse the drag community is and finally seeing queer people of colour expressing themselves and looking so incredibly powerful, it made me realise, why couldn’t I be the same? Then I just did it. For me it was all about just starting and then the rest came a lot on it’s own like second nature. I talked to a friend about this a while ago and being able to vocalise this made me feel better hearing it from myself out loud. As a person of colour I love being able to be unconventional but I also feel like lately I just need to be living in my own skin sometimes and find a balance because my skin is beautiful. We really don’t have the greatest batch of representation in mainstream media so sometimes we’ve got to become our own and become what we want to see.
What piece of advice would you like to give your future self?
For my future self I wish I could easily say what I’d like to give them but I’m about to go off gut feeling right now. Remember to stop and breathe, remember to sit in the sun, remember your stretching, remember to take care of yourself first before you take care of other people because you won’t be able to give your all if you’re not at 100% yourself. If you’re feeling down, it’s okay to spend some time alone, but remember it’s always okay to reach out for help. Please remember to have fun, go with your gut, remember that change is inevitable. Remain fluid like water, visit the ocean if you’re able to because it literally feels like having new batteries. Hug the people you love when you can, tell them you love them when you can, don’t think that because you say it a lot doesn’t mean you aren’t serious or doesn’t make it any less meaningful, because it’s not a lie. If you have love to give then give it, because being bitter is such a waste of energy. Pat yourself on the back more often. Remember what you’re capable of. Tell yourself you’re a good person and then go out and be good.