Featured Artist – Nico
BBINK: Where & how did you grow up and how do you think this affected you on your journey towards being a street artist?
I grew up near Hornsby and was always interested in art. When I was a little kid I was always drawing stuff. I hated sports and instead would sit inside drawing. I remember seeing some graffiti in American magazines and videos. This captivated me as a young teen, I started noticing what little graffiti there was in my local area which.
In my teens I started painting graffiti. It was more of a social activity that I just did with mates to pass the time and have fun. I think this early experience in painting walls and art definitely, lead my progression to doing what I do now. Even though it’s completely different.
BBINK: When/How did you know you wanted to be a street artist?
To be honest I still don’t know. It was just something that sort of happened without me ever planning for it.
BBINK: How did you learn to do what you do?
Making art as a child lead me to develop lots of important skills. Painting walls as a teenager taught me how to use spray paint. Like everyone else at the time we had to use poor quality paint and stock nozzles. Which I think is something that kids today miss out on. It gave me a better understanding of how spray paint works and I am thankful for that. I learned a lot of tips as a kid from people that I painted with and still continue to learn from other painters today.
BBINK: How long have you been a professional artist?
I’ve been living off of art and design ever since I left school 13 years ago. It’s all that I have ever done and I’m grateful for that.
BBINK: Who are some of the inspirations for you and your art? Did this help guide you to where you are today?
I am inspired by artists and designers of many different disciplines. I love traditional Eastern European folk art. In particular I attribute a lot of my aesthetic to this. My influences come from many of my peers over my life, but there have been a couple that have helped me shape my art to what it is today – Doose (RIP) was an integral part in teaching me the ropes when I started painting walls and gave me the foundation for my art. My brother Perks inspired me and has always been my partner in making art and this has been important to me. Phibs has been a huge inspiration to me and I continue to learn from him. His skill and dedication to his art is something that has always inspired me.
BBINK: What are your specialty skills in the field of work you are in? Why do you enjoy them the most?
A lot of my work is decorative and pattern based. I enjoy making art that is decorative. My love of traditional folk art comes from a variety of different cultures. This has shaped my public art making practice. I consider myself to be following the ancient traditions of folk artists. Who painted murals rather than being a “street artist” by the modern definition.
BBINK: What are your personal goals now and in the future as an artist?
My only goals are to enjoy myself and grow as an artist. Each day we live is a gift and I am happy to be able to do what I love.
BBINK: What are some of your most prestigious honors, awards, achievements, and renown clients?
Over the years I have been lucky enough to have done some jobs for big clients. As well as exhibited and published in books all around the world. In my mind, the most rewarding pieces of art that I have made are the ones that people enjoy. I have done artworks for collectors before and they just get locked away in vast collections. I find nothing more satisfying than handing a sketch to a young artist or member of the pubic. As it then actually means something to them.
BBINK: What’s the biggest misconception other people have of street artists?
That they are not artists.
BBINK: Tell us a little about how you like to work. (Alone, with others, in phases, details, etc…)
I like to have a rough idea for a wall before I start painting but then just let the wall kind of paint itself. This is my favourite type of painting as it’s a bit of an adventure for me too.
BBINK: What software / equipment do you work with and for how long have you used it?
When i’m making murals I generally just use spray paint.
BBINK: What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I hope to keep growing as an artist and continue to enjoy art making. I also hope to bring people in the community happiness through art.
BBINK: Thank you for your time. We look forward to seeing more of your amazing work!