Interview with Artist Jamie Nicole
So, tell us a little about yourself and your creations:
Hi! My name is Jamie. I'm an illustrator, house-plant collector, and nature lover. I'm also a recent graduate from Academy of Art University with a BFA in Illustration. I love to paint traditionally with gouache, or combine handmade textures with digital techniques--whatever method best suits the project at hand.
I grew up in Encinitas, CA, and when I was younger I thought that I would either grow up to become a marine biologist or an illustrator. It turned out that I enjoyed drawing and painting the things I was passionate about a lot more than I enjoyed science or math, so here I am!
I didn't go straight to art school after graduating high-school. Art has always been my main hobby, but I had no clue that it had the potential to become an actual career. After exploring different career paths, I kept going back to art. For as long as I can remember, the two things that make me feel the happiest and most at peace are painting, and being in the ocean.
I started researching the artists behind the illustrations that inspired me for years, and discovered that there is an incredibly rich history of illustration. There's also a present demand for it, and always will be. I decided to attend art school to gain skills, and keep on pursuing illustration as a career. I haven't looked back since!
What inspires the art that you create?
I am always inspired by the nature of my surroundings. Because I grew up camping each year and going to the beach almost every day, I love to recreate those moments spent in nature by painting outdoor environments and people. There's something really amazing about unplugging from social media, getting away from the little stresses in life, and spending time in nature. It's similar to the feeling that I get when I paint, and I think that's why I enjoy creating peaceful scenes in my art. I also love to tell a story through a picture. Illustrations are capable of sending a message, telling a story, or conveying an emotion with no words, just a single image. Because of that, illustration can connect with so many different people and that’s probably the reason I’m most drawn to it.
What is your favorite part of the process when creating something?
My favorite part of the whole process is adding color. Color is always the first thing I notice in any work of art, and I love the way it instantly strikes the mood for an entire piece. It's also an opportunity to emphasize emotion, and create a deeper appreciation for the many beautiful color schemes we see every day in nature.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist/entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge for me has been finding my own voice as an artist, and trying to distinguish that voice so that it is marketable as an entrepreneur. There are two important sides to being an illustrator. The first is most important because it is the reason each artist decides to pursue art as a career (I have yet to meet anyone doing this just for the money). Every artist has a unique set of influences, and a path they want to follow with their own personal style. However, it's also a super competitive industry, and as an illustrator, it's crucial to find an audience for your work. I feel like it can be tricky and it can take time to connect what you love to draw and paint to a particular market.
How long have you been surfing and what does surfing mean to you?
My dad taught me to surf as a little kid, and I surfed on and off throughout my teen years. I have a best friend who I've known since I was two, and we would surf all the time growing up. When we were little, our families would all paddle out together. Then when we got our drivers licenses, it was something we did the two of us. Some of my happiest memories have been spent at Cardiff or Pipes at sunset, surfing with my best friend. To me, any time I spend in the ocean is therapeutic. It's a nice reminder to feel small sometimes and to be surrounded by the vastness of the water. Being in the ocean always puts things in perspective for me, and reminds me of what's important.
What’s your favorite funny or inspirational quote?
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" --Eleanor Roosevelt
I love this quote because it can apply to so many different aspects of life, and it is never not accurate!