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Untitled, by Nina

Click on Entry to enlarge

nina entry page.png

Nina's instagram: @ecryptiid

A Conversation with the Artist

We interviewed Nina on their views and artistic journey

So to start off, what inspired you to join the zine?


Nina: I've always been really interested in Zines. I worked on one a couple of years ago, and I've had a bunch of friends who worked on them. So seeing this one open up was really exciting, because I love being part of them.

Interviewer: Oh, awesome. So you've worked on other Zines before?

Yeah! Yeah, so none of them were formally published. They were kind of just printed and given to the other people working on them. But they were centered on origins — where you come from and how you got to where you are now. That was really interesting to work on. 

Do those themes ever come into your artwork now? 

Occasionally, yeah. I recently moved, so the idea of leaving a place that you've lived in for so long has shown up in some more recent work.

So with your zine entry, what was the creative process like making it? Was there a specific approach you took or obstacles you faced in the process?


Yeah, so my piece was inspired by the prompt, obviously, which was a breath of fresh air. And I find a lot of solace in nature itself. And so when I heard the prompt, it really reminded me of being somewhere warm and bright — outside with literal fresh air. And then, my piece is digitally painted because that's the medium I'm most comfortable with.

And the figure in the piece, is that an original character? Or a random figure you drew for this piece? 

Yeah, so that's like my persona. It's the way I draw myself. 



So, this next question is something I think about a lot. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always associated specific music or songs with pieces of artwork. I was wondering if you ever connect music with art, and if so how? 


Definitely wind chimes and the sound of leaves rustling. And then, song wise? Probably “Baby, You're a Haunted House” by Gerard Way. 

Do you usually connect your artwork with your other senses?

Yeah. Sometimes I go into it wanting the piece to remind me of a sound,
but It doesn't always happen. Sometimes I’ll also just draw, then when I look at it at the end I’ll go “wow, this reminds me of ‘insert other thing here.’”


Speaking more broadly about your art, are there particular artists, concepts, or colour palettes that inspire your work? 


Yeah, so color wise I really like working with warm, desaturated palettes that are natural-ish. And creative wise, I'm definitely inspired by contemporary art, even though it doesn't really show through in my artwork. Artists like Frida Kahlo are a huge inspiration to me. 


In terms of your art, do you ever explore mediums other than visual art? (Music, writing, etc) 


It’s mostly visual. I used to write a lot, but I do less now. And I'm absolutely terrible when it comes to music.

Were you writing for a long time before you transitioned more into visual art?

Yeah, I was. I would mostly work on short stories and collections of essays that revolved around my OCs. Now I just kind of have that visually.


What are your earliest memories involving creative expression? 


I used to take classes at an art museum near my house when I was like four or five. and I remember that because all of our art got put on display in the museum. That was a huge thing for me when I was little.

 Is that where you got a lot of your inspiration from? Museums? 

Yeah, definitely



What effect do you think your childhood has played on your creativity? If it's had an effect at all? 


For one, I definitely keep my art in a more cartoony style. Also a lot of the things I draw revolve back to the interests of my childhood. So when I was a kid, I was also really into nature. (I'd say more so than I am now). And I would really enjoy going out and drawing different things that I would find in nature. I still try to do that now. And even though it interests me less, and cartoons were my childhood, I’ll still go back to them so I can draw characters from them. 


What are some of your favorite childhood cartoons? 


Definitely My Little Pony and Ruby Gloom. 


How have people in your personal life influenced your art journey? 

When I was in elementary school, I had an art teacher who was really encouraging. I really loved having her as a teacher; she really inspired me to keep going. I would also take classes at my local art college, which has since shut down, unfortunately. but a lot of the teachers there were also really inspiring to me, and they helped me a lot. 

Have you kept in touch with any of them? 

No, I haven't. I still occasionally speak to my old art teacher from school — I actually saw her at a gallery show a few months ago — But other than that, no. 

In general, are there any themes or topics that inform your artwork?


Yeah, definitely. I try to make my work and characters tell a story of healing through connection, if that makes sense. 


How do you convey that through your artwork?


I try my best to show like the different stages and forms that healing can take — and the difficulties of it, as well as the triumphs.


That's beautiful. 


Do you ever feel obligated for your work to have a “deeper,” or more profound, meaning? Do you think that “deeper” meaning makes artwork more valuable? 


Yes and no. I feel like artwork is always more personal and important, when it has undertones of important issues — they’ll always come through to make the artwork better. But, amazing art has been created with no thought or real meaning behind it. Or if it has meaning behind it, it didn’t have to be important. Art can just be art sometimes.


Do you ever feel obligated to put meaning into your artwork?


Oh, all the time. I have a really hard time with emotions and such, and I always feel terrible when I can't properly convey what I was going for. 


I relate to that feeling. Do you ever feel hesitant to tell people the meaning behind your artwork? 


Yeah, for sure. It's always hard to open up and tell people personal details, especially when they're expressed through artwork, because you're always worried about whether they'll see that form of expression as a suitable expression of those feelings and such.


Do you think this feeling of obligation is something a lot of artists have? Or do you think it's more of a personal thing? 


I feel like a lot of artists struggle with it. It's hard to put feeling into art. And even when you have the idea for a piece based on personal feelings and intentions, it's hard to put that onto paper in a way that properly represents it.

How much do you think creative ability is an innate talent? Versus a skill, you can work at over time? 


I feel like for some people, they're just born with it. But for me, it was definitely a skill that developed over time. I've been drawing for over a decade, and my art was terrible for a very long time. I've just gotten to a place where I'm happy with it, and I'm still working to improve it. 


Going back to your creative process, what role do you think emotions play in it? [18:41]


Um, my art is definitely a way of expressing my emotions. It's very difficult for me to express myself through words, so sometimes drawing is just an easier way of putting that out. Especially when I can do it, through my characters, because it's not me that’s being vulnerable. It's me creating the story based on my experiences.


So there is a personal link between you and your OC's? 


Yeah, definitely. 


Our last question — what’s something that’s made you smile this week? [21:38]


My dog. Definitely. I love him so much. He’s a funny little dude. 


What breed is your dog? 


We're not sure because we got him from the shelter. So, he's a mutt.


You know, I was telling the artists before this as well, it's funny because almost every interviewee (so far) has answered this question with their pet. 



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