I've been an admirer of Nicky Ovitt ever since I discovered her work -- and I am thrilled to announce that she's the next artist I have the honor of collaborating with for a pouch collection!
Shop Nicky's zipper pouch collection HERE
I connected with Nicky to ask her a few questions so you can get to know her better.
Enjoy the interview!
Jen: Who are you?
Nicky: I’m a native of SE Albuquerque and now back within 10 blocks of where I grew up— living full circle after 23 years in Northern California (San Francisco and Petaluma.) I like to say my heart is CA but my soul is definitely NM. Like a lot of creative women, I spend my time divided between mothering duties, running my business and we have a little Air BnB that I manage and clean.
My product business is punctuated by freelance illustration projects— work I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. I spend a fair amount of time with my family (uh, Covid) and also with my mom who is happy to hop in the car and go ANYWHERE. In normal times we attend my daughter’s volleyball games, take day trips to the mountains, and see our fantastic friends.
J: What is your earliest artistic/creative memory?
N: I don’t think it’s my earliest memory, but a favorite memory is lying on my Grandma’s plush carpet in Denver, CO, under her coffee table while she watched Jeopardy and drawing endless "fashion girls” from her giant magazine stack of Bazaar, Vogue and Marie Claire. I was experimenting with drawing clothes, hairstyles and beauty of the time.
J: Why do you create?
N: Because it feels so damn good. I’m happiest the few hours after completing a project when it’s not quite done but the hard part is tackled. The fussing and fixing it to the finish line is so satisfying. I think creating is one of the best things I can do for my mental health and I love the problem solving of commissioned assignments.
J: Describe your process for creating the artwork for the pouches. What mediums do you use?
N: The animal illustrations are first sketched in pencil and then traced using a dip pen and ink on vellum. I then scan the inked art and parts into the computer and then use Adobe Illustrator to refine the lines, repair any parts that look strange and colorize the final piece. Then I prepare the digital file for whatever substrate and process the art will be printed on.
J: What has been your most rewarding artistic project so far?
N: Definitely my Bandanña designs. I feel like they are the essence of who I am as a designer. I love working in collections and feel like each set of 3 is a great opportunity to fully explore a theme. It’s so satisfying to see this idea to fruition and build upon it, also to have people tag me when they’re wearing their bandannas as I truly believe it’s an accessory that’s forever-in-style and for EVERYONE.
J: What projects do you hope to pursue next?
N: I am dreaming of a line of larger silk Bandanñas, or wild rags. Most of the research is done, designs are ruminating, but funding and marketplace need? Not so sure yet. I also want to create a line of luxury pillows and maybe bandanna-style kitchen towels. My idea list is endless. On the PRACTICAL side, I really need to reach out to more stores, these times are so unknown. I feel like we’re a bit on hold until after the election. (Go, JOE!)
J: What/who inspires your work?
N: Probably like most creatives, that has changed over time. When I was producing designs for Speedo, I was researching so many professional illustrator’s styles, each so unique in it’s own way of relating a story.
Some contemporary illustrators and artists with solid styles that I’m digging right now: illustrators @niseemade and @roxymarj; painter @jonflaming; sign painter and artist @coolhandken; jewelry designer @marie.lichtenberg.
As for traditional inspirations, I’ve always been a huge fan of woodcut artist Gustave Baumann; fashion illustrator, Antonio Lopez; children’s book illustrator, Garth Williams, Ketubah art, Colonial Mexican iron work, and anything vintage / work wear style.