Nazanin J. Kani was born and raised in Iran, in the northern part of Tehran, in 1979. Being from a cultured family, her parents had always valued and included art in their lifestyles. This may have been an underlying influence to Kani, however, her serious interest in art started in middle school when she first began sketching. She, along with a group of friends, would visit galleries for inspiration to create their own works of art. Her parents, recognizing her potential, encouraged her to continue her education in a High School for Performing and Visual Arts where she excelled in Visual Arts classes.
Throughout her teens, Kani continued to evolve as a sketch artist. It was during this period that she developed an interest in abstract and imaginative drawings; where she learned how to bring her imagination onto paper. She also spent time sculpting pottery and similar arts to train her imagination and enrich her abstract ideas. Kani later was inspired to try painting after a trip to the United States. She believes the exposure to a different culture sparked different ways of thinking and a newfound desire to try a new medium of artistic expression. It was after this new discovery that she first considered leaving Tehran.
Kani studied Graphic Design at Azad University, Tehran and was then able to gain experience by working for one of the leading design agencies in Iran before finally moving to the States. Once settled in the U.S., her painting became her focus and she attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she earned an M.F.A. in Illustration and an M.A. in Illustration Design.
Kani sees no distinction between graphic design, painting and art in any form. The play between negative and positive spaces create tension and is an integral part in much of her figurative work. This new style has garnered much attention in her unique way of drawing human figures with exaggerated proportions to convey distinct sentiments and moods in serenity. The expressive colors match those moods and intensify the humanistic motif dominant in most of her work. In an effort to stay green, Kani is also known for incorporating recycled materials in her mixed media pieces. She has been primarily influenced by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, favorite artists throughout her life.