q)What is your name?
a)Nicola Jane Pinder
q)Where do you live and work?
a)I live in a small town in
q)What is your creative process like?
a)My creative process involves lots of research, brainstorming, sketching of visual ideas, careful selection of materials, drawing, painting, and then construction of finished artwork by either digital collage, 2D collage on paper, artwork on canvas, 3D collage, or sculpture. I don’t have a strict pattern in the way I work as I love to experiment and for every piece of artwork I create, I adopt slightly different methods for working though ideas depending on what it is I’m trying to create at the end. I am very thorough in my research and I’m known for being a perfectionist in my work, but I love what I do, so for each project I want to make it the best piece of work I have ever created.
q)What is your favourite medium?
a)My favourite mediums are inks for drawing and painting, and I also love to draw freehand with Indian inks and dipping pens. However, I’m very experimental in what materials I use so I often incorporate old music paper, envelopes, newspapers, acrylics, fabrics, and anything I can find to create a new effect or finish. In the past I’ve experimented with anything from crushed charcoal and brick dust to leaves and old twigs. I think nature is a great source for materials as by walking through a forest or park you can usually find something, which could be turned into a tool for drawing, or physically incorporated into your work. You don’t always have to go to an art shop to find materials when being creative, so there are ways to avoid spending lots of money. Also, I think that it’s important to think outside the box and experiment with materials as if you start to work with something other people haven’t thought of using then it can make an element of your working process unique to you. It could even turn out to be the detail, which defines your style or process.
I love to create artwork on different surfaces, which can include 2D and 3D formats. For the past two years I’ve also been creating art in the form of handmade badges, brooches, magic buttons, miniature canvases, stickers, magnets, Nightowl Secret gift packs, and a small magazine I’ve called Nightowl. These have been sold and displayed in various shops and galleries around the UK so far including; the Magma Bookshops in Manchester and London, Junky Clothes on Brick Lane in London, The Old Sweet Shop in Sheffield, The Urbis Exhibition Centre in Manchester, and The Islington Arts Factory in London. I’m currently working on lots of new handmade products such as ‘The Melancholy and Infinitely Gloomy’ gift packs which I‘ve just finished, and all the new items will be stocked in several shops and galleries soon.
q)What is your current favourite subject?
a)I have always loved antiques and antique shops, so historical pieces of machinery and strange eccentric contraptions interests me. I love anything wacky and bizarre, so walking into dusty old antique and bookshops will always enable me to find something interesting and mysterious. I find them completely inspiring, but I think some people think I am mad because I can spend hours and hours looking around them and still never get bored. One of my dreams is to open a gallery which displays a mixture of art, handmade objects, and antiques, and a Wunderkammer of everything bizarre, surreal and inspiring. It will be a cabinet of curiosities for the curious minds and for people to walk into a world of complete madness and surreality.
I’m currently also very interested in poetry and reading song lyrics and trying to work out what the lyricist was trying to convey by writing them. I also love watching films and recently I’ve been watching a lot of period dramas and films as I love studying the styles of different eras, such as the clothes worn and the architectural styles and interior décor. I also adore photography and take photographs whenever I can.
q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)The time it can take to complete a piece of work varies depending on the medium and what type of project I’m working on. A piece of work can take anything from a few hours to several months to complete depending on how big the project is and how much work I have at the time as I’m always working on several projects at any given time.
q)What have been your biggest accomplishments so far?
a)My biggest accomplishments so far include having three solo exhibitions, selling my handmade artwork and products in various shops and galleries, having a range of t-shirts and bags sold in River Island stores, being nominated for an Art Foundation Scholarship last summer, and I have just been commissioned to design textile and wallpaper designs for a company in New York. I’m also very proud that I managed to complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award when I was 17, so I was given the opportunity to go to Buckingham Palace to receive my award and meet some interesting people (despite it raining all day). I don’t remember seeing any cucumber sandwiches though.
q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)There are so many artists I love it’s hard to recall them all, but here are a few people who inspire me: Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, Terry Gilliam, Amanda Palmer, Dave McKean, Trent Reznor, Bjork, Marilyn Manson, Tom Robbins, and David Lynch.
I’m not quite sure where the boundaries of ‘contemporary’ lie, so here are some artists I love who might not fall into that bracket: Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, Lewis Carroll, Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, Edward Lear, Salvador Dali, William Morris, Barbara Hepworth, Roald Dahl Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Pablo Picasso, Hannah Hoch, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Georges Braque, and Eadweard Muybridge.
q)Can we buy your art anywhere?
a)Yes you can by pieces of my artwork from my current exhibition in Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter of
q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t?
a)If you freeze milk it turns bright orange, but if you defrost it goes back to white and apparently it’s still ok to drink.
q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
a)Don’t ever give up on your dream no matter what happens. Produce work which is true to you, and don’t be afraid to express yourself. Take criticism constructively, as it’s useful to listen to people’s opinions, but never let anything someone says stop you from pursuing what you have set out to achieve. Work hard and keep an open mind as some of the best opportunities will come out of unexpected situations and projects.
q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
a)Cups of tea, runs down the river as that helps me to think clearly about my ideas, and the feeling I get when I have achieved something I set out to complete. Also, friends inspire me when they tell me motivating things and pick up my spirits when I’ve felt low. Reading about other artists experiences is very inspiring too as you realise that everyone has ups and downs in life, and sometimes even the bad times make events in the future turn out better. I’ve learnt to keep an optimistic outlook on everything and not get disheartened when something seems like it’s gone wrong as you have to always look on the good side and see that mistakes and hard times are there to make you stronger and wiser.
q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a)Two ounces of Surreal, five centimetres of experimental, thirty three millimeters of sleepless nights, four card board boxes full of old paper and bits and bobs, and a partridge in a pineapple tree for good measure.
q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
a)After high school I studied A-levels in art, design and technology and business studies. Then I completed an art foundation in
q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
q)Who are your influences?
a)Edward Scissorhands and the Ghostbusters.
q)What inspires you to create?
a)I have to create as it’s what I’ve always done and I have to do it otherwise my mind would explode.
a)Umm? Wonder Woman and the Goonies.