Sunday, July 08, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 13

This week we are in Lincoln Nebraska.

Name: Nicole Gustafsson
Age: 27
Occupation: Artist + Illustrator, I also work part time at a frame shop.
Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am an artist/illustrator that specializes in painting. I was born in Norfolk, Nebraska and currently reside in Lincoln, Nebraska with my husband and pet family. I love painting scenes with everything from woodland creatures having fun to elaborate treehouses. 

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy? 

I joined Etsy in October 2008. I had been doing a lot of printmaking at the time and wanted a venue to sell my work online. A friend gave me a quick lesson on Etsy and I've been there ever since. My shop has evolved to feature my original paintings, cards and postcards based of my illustrations, and seasonal items like ornaments during the x-mas.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it? 

Nimasprout is a mixture of my first two initials and my husbands first two initials. I love plants and greenery so sprout was a natural ending to the name.

How would you describe your creative process?

I like to just "go for it" attitude towards artwork. I try to have a clear idea in my mind but I like to let the project naturally evolve as I'm drawing. Working in gouache (similar to watercolor) allows for color to overlap and flow. This quality adds a spontaneous aspect to painting.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I love looking at plants, especially succulents and terrariums to inspire my paintings. I also have two cats and a dog to inspire the animal characters in my work. 

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

I have participated in a few local craft shows here in Nebraska (such as Craftacular in Lincoln, Nebraska), but I mostly work with galleries to sell my work. Gallery Nucleus and Gallery1988 in California I've been showing with for several years, as well as venues closer to home like Graham Gallery and Lux Center here in Nebraska.

How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready? 

I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to preparing for a show. I think about what themes or imagery I'm going to use for a long time before I actually lay anything to paper. I might make a list of themes or idea's I'm thinking of, but I don't like using thumbnails or a sketchbook for my ideas.

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work.

Recently I've been participating in several pop-culture shows that has pushed me to include figures or imagery that I normally would not think of doing. For example, Gallery1988 had a Bill Murray tribute show last October. Being a huge Caddyshack and Ghostbusters fan (not to mention his roles in Wes Anderson films), I was super excited for this show! There was so many movies that I wanted to depict in my painting that I ended up doing a composite of landmarks from Murray movies. (see All My Murray's image).

What is your most cherished handmade item? 

Gosh this is a hard one. I would have to say my coffee table and bookcase my by my dad, and my mom is also a painter so her work hanging in my home. 

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I like to bake sweet treats, read daily (currently reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan), hang out with my husband and pets, and I just got a new bike so I'm looking forward to buzzing around the neighborhood. I also love playing video games (currently playing Xenoblade Chronicles and LOVING it!). Like to roam around museums and I love gem and mineral displays in particular.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why? 

I would have liked to been a Zoologist. Science has always been a huge interest and I love going to the zoo or just hanging out with animals.

Five years from now you will be… 

painting and I hope to finally have children's book finished up (several are in the works).

Describe yourself in five words: 

Shy, creative, short, hermit, motivated.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your Pandora, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list? 

Boards of Canada, Mumford and Sons, The Shins, Florence + The Machine, and I will forever be a Radiohead fan. 

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Create work everyday, this will help your work naturally evolve and grow. Keep a website or blog and update regularly, show and talk about your work! I am also a huge fan of twitter not only to promote your work but just to connect with other artists and craftmakers. It's amazing what great connections and advice you can get with a simple tweet.