It’s a cold January morning and I’m interviewing visual artist Emy Nikulina in grand 21st century fashion, through Facebook.
Emy and I go way back. At least as far back as last quarter and as I recall she was constantly moving pen over paper, sketching and drawing in between note taking. Every artist I’ve ever known has done this, I imagine some of the most famous artists did this. She is in good company.
Her lack of ego and her gratitude to those who have shaped and directed her as an artist are particularly noteworthy. I hope that the small lens offered here will give some insight into the person behind the art.
Q: What made you decide to be an artist?
A: Second semester of senior year I realized I couldn’t see myself having a career that wasn’t art-related. I was 18 at the time. Thanks to two amazing high school teachers believing in me, I decided to pursue my dream.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My inspiration is the people I know. I love capturing inside jokes and special moments with my art. People in general are fascinating to me. My Hyltoons (what I’ve named my cartoons) are really just images that represent the culture created by a handful of people I know.
Q: How would you best describe your style of art?
A: It varies. I really don’t have a particular one because I’m currently in the process of experimenting with a number of different styles.
Q: What medium do you use in your art?
A: Almost always I start out with a white piece of paper, a sharpened pencil, an eraser, and a black pen. I then edit my images on Photoshop. For portraits and more realistic art, I use charcoal and a shading stump.
Q: What large project are you working on right now?
A: At the moment I’m busy designing t-shirts and I love every minute of the process. I’m looking forward to designing a cookbook with a dear friend of mine, attempting to learn animation, and helping build a new image for erdastudio.com.
Q: How would you like people to see your art?
A: To me it doesn’t really matter how others view my art. My job as the artist is to show them my perspective.
Q: How do you feel when you’re creating something?
A: Staring at a blank piece of paper can be both the scariest and the most exciting moment of the whole process. When I create something I feel like I’m using a different kind of voice to express myself.
Q: What sort of art classes have you taken?
A: I took intro to design here at Bellevue College and a semester of painting, drawing, and advanced art in high school.
Q: I know you love to do art. Do you have any other activities you enjoy?
A: I love learning Spanish. My friends also call me an “ePod” because music is my second biggest passion next to art and design.
Q: What do you think your interest in art comes from? How has it affected you as a person?
A: It comes from a passion I have for sharing with others both the humor and beauty I see in the people around me. Because of this, I am able to appreciate and value people so much more.
Q: What does your workspace at home look like?
A: Everything is color-coded and organized categorically. Sitting down to a messy workspace really distracts me.
Q: What would you ultimately like to do with your talent?
A: The possibilities are endless. The goal is to make a living doing what I love. If I find myself the owner of a design firm or a creative arts director for some publication, I wouldn’t complain.