Sunday, 20 June 2010

Interview with Nikki Pinder

Nikki Pinder is a fabulous artist from Cheshire. Her creations are deeply detailed and are an inspiration to us here at Deer Brains! We'd like to Thank Nikki for her time and enthusiasm throughout this interview.

Nikki Pinder


Illustrator, Artist, Designer and Nightowl

Cheshire, England



Welcome to DEER BRAINS, How are you today?

I feel great today thanks. It’s really warm and sunny outside and I’m about to go to a family barbecue and spend the day drawing.

Tell us a bit about your life, where have you been? What have you seen? What else do you want to achieve?

The past few years have been a real adventure for me, as with working freelance it means I can pretty much work anywhere with anyone, so I’ve tried to travel as much as possible. I love jumping on the train and taking my sketchbook and camera to new places and drawing inspiration from everything I see.

I’ve been to various beautiful countries in Europe and seen many festivals and quirky towns in the UK, one of my best experiences being a road trip across Ireland a couple of years ago. Also, I very often travel down to London to see new gigs and exhibitions as nice people are always letting me crash on their sofa.

I feel like I’ve done so much already, but at the same time there is so much I want to do, one of my biggest goals being to exhibit my artwork across the world and to travel to every continent.

What was it like to produce the artwork for Ed Harcourt’s album 'Lustre'?

Working with Ed was a great experience and we’ll hopefully be working together on many more projects in the future. I really enjoyed working with him as he’s very honest and professional, he constantly gave me feedback and direction, and he knows exactly what he wants visually so the development of the artwork ran quite smoothly. He’s also very fun to work with and invited me down to London before starting the project so we could discuss ideas and he showed me his amazing studio, which has some crazy funny stuff in it! That’s all I’m saying!

Did he tell you what he wanted or were you able to just create the artwork?
It was a perfect combination for me as he had an overall vision of the artwork being in the form of an old music book with manuscripts and beautiful borders and typography, but at the same time he gave me complete freedom to draw what I wanted to compliment the songs and he always let me run any ideas past him and considered them all.

We absolutely love the 'Pinder Postcards' designs, where did you source the artwork from?

I’m so pleased you like the postcard project so much as it was an idea which just popped into my head a few weeks ago and it seems to have really struck a chord with so many people. All the artwork on the postcards is my own so each time I create one I draw, paint or collage a brand new illustration with various materials and cuttings from old newspapers and magazines. I then scan the finished designs, write a short message on the back, sign and number them, and then post the originals to the first person in Facebook who says they want each postcard. Often the image will be the first idea I think of that day, or occasionally an idea I have scribbled down that week.

I’ve also now started to receive photographs of the postcards from the recipients, which they take in a favourite place in their hometown, city or village. This is great fun as I even get to see where the postcards have travelled to, and most are places I’ve not even visited yet! I love this project as it allows me complete freedom to make any image I want in any style, and it really lets me explore ideas and practice my mark making.

What made you want to create? Have you always had an artistic head on you?

I have always loved creating, drawing and making ever since I can remember so I guess it just comes naturally. I feel like I need to invent and make things every day to stop my mind from over flowing with ideas and it makes me feel really happy. When I was in high school I used to get detentions for filling the back half of my exercise books with drawings as I literally couldn’t help but draw all the time. I enjoyed it but I don’t think the teachers were hugely impressed by their characatures. Some teachers didn’t seem to have a very good sense of humour. I did once win a prize in primary school for drawing a snowman Christmas card though so it didn’t always lead to being told off.

What's your one design you are most proud of?

This is a hard question, but I am very proud of the artwork I’ve created for Ed Harcourt because I worked so hard creating it and we are both so happy with the outcome, so that is the design I’m currently most proud of.

Another project I’m very proud of is the music video I created two years ago with the photographer Rebecca Miller for the band ‘Swing Out Sister’. It was so much fun to make and at the same time we worked really hard, and I have so many great memories from creating it. Plus Corinne Drewery, the lead singer from the band is so lovely and she always looked after us and invited us to stay at her house when we needed to. Corinne is so creative and full of ideas, so she had a huge input and involvement too. I really hope to work with both of them again.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

When I’m not creating I love riding my bike in the countryside, taking photographs and doodling in cafes and tea rooms whilst observing people, sounds and smells. I also love going on adventures with friends, watching gigs, playing my guitar, gardening, looking through junk and antique shops, and I love rock climbing with my dad as we sometimes go to cliff faces and do lead rope climbing.

On Average how long does it take you to think up and create a design?

I draw all the time and note down thoughts constantly so I often think up ideas quite quickly, but the time it takes to complete a project varies depending on the deadline I have and how much work I need to create during that time.

Are you still carrying on with your freelance work?
Yes, I work freelance constantly and have been doing for the last five years. I plan to keep working this way forever but I’d love to collaborate with artists and musicians much more often.

Where do you want to go next with your talent?

I’ve just been given confirmation that I can have another solo exhibition in Telfords Warehouse in Chester, England, so I’m currently creating and preparing artwork for that. The title of the show will be “The Mechanics of the Mind” and it will hopefully take place some time this year.

I’ve recently been contacted about many group exhibition opportunities, collaborations, and I’ve several new projects in the pipeline so these should all come to fruition over the next year.

One of my biggest ambitions is to establish my artwork name ‘Nightowl’ as a product, clothing, and shoe brand. For the past five years I’ve created and developed various Nightowl themed handmade artwork gift sets, badges and brooches, such as my Nightowl Secrets and button badges. I’ve sold these products in several shops and galleries including the Magma Bookshops, ICA, The Notting Hill Arts Club, URBIS, Junky, and also via the Post War Trade website set up by Amanda Palmer. I want to continue to develop these ideas into larger scale products, which can be sold in select high street stores and bookshops.

I also want to start creating huge freehand drawn and painted murals in shops, cafes and restaurants. Anywhere which will suit my work and which I think my ideas will compliment. I would love to work alongside other artists to create wall displays and giant live art paintings. I really admire the work of artists such as Fauna Graphic, Andy Council, and Kate Moross and it would be fun to collaborate with any of them in the future.

A few more ambitions are that I would like to publish some of my Moleskine sketchbooks, or a selection of work from these in the form of one book. I’d like to write and illustrate short story, have my artwork exhibited in a huge galley, and paint a giant owl onto the moon.

What's your inspiration?
Everything inspires me and I write everything down into my sketchbooks so I can use it on a later date.

Which websites do you visit regularly?
I try not to go onto the internet too much these days as I like to gather most of my inspiration from the real world and through meeting people. Some websites I love are my favourite artists, such as

John Casey:
Lori Lipton:
Jeremy Pruitt:
Lori Field:
Dan May:
I also love reading interesting blogs and watching music videos on youtube when I have a spare moment.

What are your top three tracks at the moment?
1. ‘Faster Than The Setting Sun’ by Fyfe Dangerfield
2. ‘Haywired’ by Ed Harcourt
3. ‘Skin The Mofo’ by Marmaduke Duke

Where is your favourite place to be?
Outside in the sunshine with friends, a sketchbook, camera, lots of great tunes and some strawberry flavoured beer.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails