mini coloring book

mini coloring book

With all the craziness going on in the world and everyone stuck inside their houses, I love how generous people are being now with sharing other artists’ work and giving away products and courses and services for free!⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I’d love to have the time to give away some branding or website help, but as a self-employed person who works from home on a bunch of ongoing projects, my day-to-day life doesn’t look any different.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ But what I can do is offer some beauty to the world and something to keep people busy. I’ve made a mini version of the 50-page coloring book I plan to make when I complete my State Flowers + Insects project. 10 pages of flowers and insects for you to print and color!⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Visit the link in my bio or visit nikkimay.com/coloring to grab your own...
March Meet the Maker – March 11

March Meet the Maker – March 11

Still catching up… March 11th of #marchmeetthemaker is “product range.” Here’s a timely one, a little side product range that I work on sporadically. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I collect little broken porcelain figurines, unique little containers and any other random thing I think I can display an air plant in! They aren’t what I’d consider part of my art or design portfolio – just a fun little side project. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I mostly sell them locally in Paducah at @ravenandmothllc and at in-person events, but sometimes someone sees one I post and I can ship...
March 10th March Meet the Maker

March 10th March Meet the Maker

March 10th of #marchmeetthemaker is “Authentic space.” I posted some beautiful images of my neat and organized studio and office a few days ago, but it stays like that for about 10 minutes. I’m really really messy. I never put things back where they belong. I pile things on every horizontal surface. I’m surrounded by crap all the time! I have a really great workspace that is hardly ever usable because every horizontal surface is covered with crap! Send help! And yes, that’s a dead squirrel in a ziploc bag. Don’t you have one of those in your...
March Meet the Maker – March 9th

March Meet the Maker – March 9th

Still catching up… March 9th of #marchmeetthemaker is “Rough/Mock up” and I’m going to talk more about the design side here instead of the art.⁠ Here’s an example of a recent logo I completed. ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying is a beautiful home in San Antonio that cares for three guests who need space and care at the end of their lives. They have used several different versions of a logo over the last few years with the image of a tree of life or tree of contemplative practices (the last three images). The concept is great for their mission, but needed a bit of tweaking. I was approached to update the logo and expand their branding to feel more like the space and connect more to their mission.⁠⠀ I added a house shape and a simplified tree drawing to make a logo that is more easily reproduced and identifiable. The trunk of the tree starting off wider at the bottom and narrowing to a vanishing point as it goes up represents the journey the guests are embarking on. The color blue for the logo and the other brand colors are taken from the original painting that the old logo was based on. The color is also found throughout the house and even on their coffee mugs. The colors represent calm, strength, tranquility, peace, healing…⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Sometimes I do a gazillion sketches on paper to work out ideas. Sometimes I skip the paper sketches and go straight to designing in Illustrator, but this represents the process of the majority of projects. One strong concept and several variations in...
March Meet The Maker Days 7 and 8

March Meet The Maker Days 7 and 8

Still catching up with #marchmeetthemaker… I considered scrapping it since I’m so far behind, but I like to finish what I start! So…Days 7 and 8 prompts for #marchmeetthemaker are “You” and “Love to make” — I’m combining them in an effort to catch up and because what I want to tell about myself includes what I love to make. You often hear how artists are so right-brained – creative, free-spirited, not technical, not good at math. Obviously this is a stereotype — but I often find it to be true when talking to other artists. I’m not like that. I’d say I’m pretty evenly balanced between left and right brain, creative and technical, art and math. I never considered a career path other being an artist when I was growing up. But I also was very into math and was in the math honor society in high school. I took a class in 10th grade that taught me how to write programs to solve math problems. I may, in fact, be the only art major in the history of the world to have taken calculus as an elective in college. So, although I studied fine art in college and grad school, I got a job doing graphic design and illustration and then I accidentally ended up with a career in web design. I truly love both sides – creative/technical, right-brain/left-brain. I’ve found that the design and technical side of things has seeped into my art and my drawings are very precise, detailed and highly designed. I love doing these drawings and it satisfies one side of my brain...
March 6th was about reducing waste.

March 6th was about reducing waste.

March 6th #meetthemaker was about reducing waste. I was in a great workshop over the weekend with @katethompsonartist at @ephemerapaducah, so I’m still catching up on posting.⁠⠀ ️⁠
There are two main things that I do that help reduce waste in my art practice. Last year for this prompt I wrote about how I do most of my drawing on my iPad these days, which definitely saves paper and ink.⁠⠀ ️⁠
The other thing I do that limits waste is collect and use vintage and used items in my studio and in my work. I collect old wooden boxes, hangers and clipboards to display my work in my studio, my home and at shows. I store art supplies in old boxes and drawers. I collect old papers and fabric to use in my artwork.⠀ ️⁠⠀ The first image in my post is a piece in progress that I made in the workshop and is mostly old papers and fabrics.⠀ ️⁠⠀ Sadly, I’m quite guilty of ordering things online and I know that creates a lot of waste through packaging and production of new items, but I hope that the use of old items counteracts that a...
MarchMeetTheMaker: Product in use

MarchMeetTheMaker: Product in use

Day 31 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Product in use/wild For the final day of this challenge (one day late), I thought I’d show a photo of myself with two of my creations. The necklace is from my Branches and Bones collection of jewelry (available at Raven & Moth and Bricolage Art Collective) and the phone case is from my Birth Month Flower series and is available...
Day 30 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Support

Day 30 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Support

Oh wow, how can I choose just one thing to post for this one? I have gotten so much support from so many people over the years! First up – my parents. From believing in my art enough to send me to art school and supplying me with whatever art supplies I needed as long as I was a student, to purchasing art from me over the years, to the recent investment they made to help me buy the products I had made with my designs in the last year so I had something to sell – they have been great financial supporters. Next up – Sandi, my sister and lifelong best friend. She’s my biggest fan, best salesperson, biggest collector and has invested in more than I can count to help me make things. My friends – especially Mary Thorsby – for supporting what I do, buying my art, getting me work and promoting the hell out my art and design work. Also, my very favorite person on the planet to work on projects with! And finally, my adopted home of Paducah, Kentucky – Paducah has been supporting me since I moved here 15 years ago by showing my work (thanks Raven & Moth, Bricolage Art Collective, Yeiser Art Center, Ephemera Paducah), buying my art, design services and products (too many to list!), writing about me in magazines (thanks Paducah Life Magazine) and sharing my work on social media. I couldn’t do what I do without all of...
Day 29 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Most difficult make

Day 29 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Most difficult make

Day 29 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Most difficult make Everything I make requires precision and a very steady hand, but probably none more so than the jewelry I make with these tiny little slices of tree branches. It’s hard to tell in this photo, but the little pieces of wood are about the size of my pinky nail. First, they are hard to hold onto while I’m drawing. My fingers get cramped! I’ve tried holding them in pliers or in a ring clamp, but they are awkward. When I first started making them several years ago, I could see well enough to focus on the little tiny details, but these days it’s harder for me to focus my aging eyes and I have had to resort to using either a magnifying lamp or glasses. But they are so damn cute! I love drawing small detailed flowers and bodies and...
Day 28 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Packaged

Day 28 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Packaged

Most of my work that gets shipped out is print on demand and comes directly from the manufacturer, so there’s not a whole lot I can do about the packaging. My favorite POD company is Printful. Aside from having a great variety of high quality products, they allow you to use your own branding on their packaging. I also love that many of their products allow you to design your own labels. When I do ship things out myself, I make sure to add a few special touches… stickers and branded packing tape from Sticker...
Day 26 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Self care

Day 26 of #MarchMeetTheMaker: Self care

Sitting outside with a sketchbook and a cup of coffee. Even just taking my work outside when the weather is nice. Taking a long hot bath. Drawing for hours and hours. Great food and drinks with even better friends.
MarchMeetTheMaker: How it’s made

MarchMeetTheMaker: How it’s made

Just a little animation of me turning one of my curvy girls into a mermaid on the...