Nicole Cmar creates wonderfully stylised illustrations using bright block colour and cute imagery.
1. What's your favourite fictitious Ghost from popular media?
Does Space Ghost count? If not then Sir Nearly Headless Nick all the way!
2. What's the best item in your pencil case?
My trusty thin green crayola marker. I like drawing in green for some reason.
3. Paint? Pencil? or Tablet?
I do all my client work on a tablet, but I’m a sucker for Posca paint markers.
4. What's your go-to motivational album?
All the Cat Stevens songs from Harold and Maude.
5. How would you describe your work? Are there any common themes?
Picture something like Tiny Tim meets Schoolhouse Rock. A good bit of awkward mixed in with a cheery sensibility. That's sort of what I’m going for haha. Mostly I keep my art positive, since I love creating for kids, but sometimes it can get a bit odd or cheeky. I get color inspiration from 60’s package design, and I try to keep things humorous. I’m still figuring some things out as I go, but I feel like I’m gradually getting more comfortable with my work as I go along.
6. What's your proudest piece that you've worked on?
I did all the designs and illustrations for a kids nonprofit that I was pretty happy with. It was a lot of work, especially since it was done mostly over a weekend, but it felt good to do.
7. Do you have any/many artist rituals?
Every project starts with me doodling a ton of stuff with my thin crayola marker on printer paper. I love using cheap materials, because it doesn’t stress me out when I make a crappy drawing. I keep a giant stack of printer paper at my desk, so if I don’t like it I just grab another sheet and move on. I’m a mess if you hand me a Moleskin, nothing gets done! Printer paper doesn’t judge though, it lets me be me. I also go through a ton of juice boxes while working, I need to cut back...
8. What motivates you?
All my friends in Pretty Picture Club. Kind people with some amazing talent. We started out as a bunch of chums talking shop on Slack, and now we motivate each other daily through projects and just recently became a studio! We help each other through thick and thin, and it’s just nice to have a support group there when your feeling down. Whether I need some fresh eyes on a piece after hours spent, or a pat on the back after a rough day, my buds are there to cheer me on. Every now and then someone in the group will post a piece that really raises the bar, and it makes me want to push myself even harder. It’s one of the most valuable things to have as an artist, and I’m so grateful to those guys. : )
9. What do you do, that you think no one else does whilst working?
Sometimes I have a quick turnaround on a project, so I put on Speed Racer. I’m not kidding. Oh, and occasionally I juggle.
10. Who are you inspired by?
Since I live in Columbus, I was lucky enough to be taught by Andy J. Pizza. He’s the most motivating person, and he serves the role of art dad to many : ) Also Roger Hargreaves, Ed Emberley, and any of the artists on The Amazing World of Gumball. They’re all genius.
11. What's your favourite way to practice self care?
If I start to feel crummy or stressed out, I hop in the car and go for a drive. I turn on some music, and sing really LOUD! I make sure I’m by myself, because I’m not the best at singing. You know, not terrible, but not the best either aha. It’s a nice break from the office and forces me to only focus on driving and remembering the lyrics.