Nina Noelani Lichtman
I'm an illustrator. Mostly I make drawings and print on jackets, tote bags and fabric.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Every since I was little, I knew that I wanted to be an artist. My mom is a fantastic artist. She and I would make little books together. I went to SVA to study book making, drawing, silkscreening and video art. In college I sold my handmade books to Opening Ceremony and sold silkscreened t-shirts. After college I made some zines, but now I mostly work on drawings in my studio.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Originality. I see a million illustrators on social media that have the same style. I try not to be influenced by my peer's art too much. I like to make drawings about things that I personally experience or inside jokes I have with myself. There is a trend of "flat" drawings that have no story or meaning. I want to force my viewers to think :)
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm working on two projects. One is a series of drawings about signs our bodies are telling us (ex. if your left hand is itchy, you will either get money or get into a fight). The other project I have been working on is a series of drawings of buildings. I love to draw buildings with lots of windows. In each window I create a little scene. It's a great way to tell many stories at once that do not have to relate to each other.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I do everything mostly by hand. It feels much more comfortable for me. My lines are often wavy, my perspective is a little off. I like to think that the buildings that I draw were designed by drunk architects. Some say I have a kid-like style, which is fine by me :)
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I would love to focus more on ceramics and book making!
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Finding freelance jobs is hard. There are just so many illustrators/designers.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would hire someone to help me with social media and finding freelance jobs.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Take business classes and make more connections in college.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would like to learn how to do interactive design. I would love to make an interactive book or app. I think it would be so cool to see something hand drawn that is interactive.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm looking for projects for children's books, cookbooks, collaborations with clothing designers or musicians, murals, or anything really!
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
When I get a job, I ask the client to make a list of the things they would like me to draw. I draw several versions of each thing on the list. My favorite client was the musician Cassandra Jenkins, I drew pages of work for her tour. I did many drawings on each page which she rearranged and turned into stickers, totes, posters and postcards. It was such a fun project.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Depends on the project :)
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Go to my studio everyday!
This member profile was originally published in August 2017.