Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm Nikki, a textile and illustrator designer based in the London, UK.
I also run an independent accessories label, which I though which I sell my designs on a range of accessories, art prints and stationery products.
Tell us a bit about the book?
This is my first book, a beginners guide into watercolour through botanical plants.
This book is designed with accessibility in mind; allowing anyone no matter what their skill set - to find projects that allow them to recreate monsteras, palms and cacti in an easy, step by step method. The reader can dip into a project on a Sunday afternoon and after a couple of hours, have picked up some basic watercolour skills, as well as an art print they could then display in their own home.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Like many city dwellers, my day to day life is spent in very enclosed spaces with limited light which can often cause me to feel disconnected from nature. My plant collection has been growing over the years as a way to add vitality and life to my work and home space. Not only does it make me feel more joyful, but it allows me to easily decorate and add some creativity to my living space (which is rented) and so I'm quite limited to how often I can update the wallpaper etc. I know that lots of people (like me) have this connection with plants and so I wanted to create a book with projects that would allow the reader to create artwork inspired by their favourite plants, allowing them to then use the artwork as a form of decoration itself.
Which is your favourite project?
I would probably say the palm leaf project. I've painted so very many palm leaves in my time and I never get bored of them. I love their fluid, gestural shape and the way you can let the paint move through the water, adding lots of layers of marks and textures. Generally I really enjoy painting botanicals for the freedom of the 'imperfect' form and watercolour really allows you to explore that in an impressionistic way.
What is your craft space like?
It's quite chaotic at times as I have studio which is a space for my creative work as well as a space to manage my stock so being organised really it key! My creative space has the vision/mood-boards relating to the collection I'm working on, along with some desk succulents and some trailing ivy overhead on shelves. I quite like keeping my plants high above, away from the madness of my work.
Have you always been creative?
Yes absolutely. Like many people, I have memories of a child always painting and being very messy. I was never a tidy artist and I often craved art that I could create sporadicly rather than laboriously working on the same art work for hours at a time. I'm an Aries so I've often got a head full of ideas that I want to get out, all at the same time and so now try and remind myself to slow down and have a little more patience.
When did you first start crafting?
At the beginning (when I was very young) I used to always draw clothing and women on catwalks.I remember for hours getting through pads of paper drawing clothing on figures, over and over again. I think this spurred me on to study textiles at school and college and went on to a degree in Fashion/Textiles. I actually found making clothes really very hard (im mor a 2d thinker than a 3d one!. I then became a freelance textile designer, which allowed me to keep creating my own artwork on the side, which was the beginning of my accessories business.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Rosa Pietsch - Beautiful laser cut jewellery inspired by lunar cycles, art nouveau, botanicals ( her calathea earrings are a must to look at !)
Papio press - The most gorgeous illustrations of fantastical creatures and scenes using gouache
Where do you find inspiration?
I specialise in contemporary watercolour designs, looking at nature (landscapes, botanicals, animals, space) as my main and constent source of inspiration. Whenever I'm lucky enough to escape the city and go somewhere with a beach, jungle or desert, Im always sketching/doodling/painting and find that's when I'm most inspired.
What's next for you?
I'm currently developing a new collection for my accessories range; exploring the cosmic sky and the elements which I'm really very excited about. I'm also looking at doing teaching workshops for my watercolours and I'm hoping to do some botanical painting sessions in London over the Summer this year , so keep your eyes peeled if you're local.