Alex Waggoner paints beautiful geometric and color blocked compositions inspired by the city she lives in, suburbia, and modern architecture.  Read on to learn about the artists and other subjects that influence the fall share artist’s work.



One of my favorite things to do is to walk or drive around and just observe, snapping phone pictures whenever I see something I like. The Lowcountry has so many good, little, forgotten urban spaces.  I especially like when people seemingly haphazardly do things to buildings whether it be using plywood to create a barrier or spray painting information on a door during construction. In contrast to this as-needed construction, I love seeing people work really hard to ensure their privacy. While my paintings are usually of urban spaces I really enjoy seeing uninterrupted nature as well.  4 5





I love the color palettes from posters like these.  The compositions and use of shape and pattern are awesome, too.  Plus what great advertisements for such a dreamy lifestyle!





A great influence comes from architecture and landscape.  I am inspired in particular by the homes and communities of the 1950’s. The cookie cutter houses, the Mid-century modern buildings, and the neighborhoods with rows and rows of homes.



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Before I began the architectural series I am working on now I was making work that was very conceptual and process based.  Sol Lewitt’s conceptual pieces comprised of instructions that were to be executed by whomever in the intended space seemed genius to me.  I still appreciate the conceptual value but I also love the repetition, monotony of line, and just how grand the wall drawings and paintings are.




The Parakeet and the Mermaid


When I saw Matisse’s “Dance (I)” in person I had what one of MY professors called a “Jesus moment.”  The color and form of the ladies in the painting just knocked my socks off.  I also love Matisse’s later cut out series.  Once again the repetition of form is really influential to me, as well as the hard edges and color palette.




Seeing a Peter Halley painting in person may have been my other “Jesus moment.”  I had seen his paintings in books but in person the Day-glo and Roll-a-Tex is otherworldly.  Combine that with the harsh line and genius color use and I was floored.  




Untitled (Wall) 1971

I have always loved Philip Guston’s figurative work.  The way he paints shape and that yucky pink that he often used really speak to me.



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Her paintings and the immediacy of how she applies paint to canvas has always been interesting to me.  My paintings are usually very methodical but I really admire the way in which she paints and the stories she tells about her inspiration.


Artist Alex Waggoner at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Artist Alex Waggoner at the 2015 Meet + Greet.


Alex Waggoner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



Fall share artist, Lisa Shimko, paints in a signature style with subjects that range from whimsical animals and natural elements to the abstract. Read on to discover what inspires her work.


Waterways and interconnectivity, low country to mountains, micro to macro.

(R) microscopic view of algae

I’ve always loved being “away”; in a quiet spot in the woods, on a boat without anyone in sight except the crabs and birds. Similar solace and curiosity comes in a city, gazing up close at a flower bloom or an old oak tree canopy with the worlds within.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” was an epiphany to me when I read it as a teenager.  Being able to tell a story using our surrounding reality as a backdrop but adding in surrealistic, “magical” elements was eye-opening in the sense that in art rules did not have to be followed.

Still from feast scene in “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Adding to Magic Realism in literature, some directors took on the genre in film, bringing engaging, beautiful, sometimes terrifying worlds to light.  Twisting the “rules” of our surrounded outside reality can successfully give heightened depth to psychological inner truths for individuals and/or our society as a whole.  One of my favorite’s is Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

(L) still from David Lynch’s “Rabbits” (R) still from the bear scene in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”

Speaking of film, now may be the time to mention a couple other favorite directors, David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick.  They are not in the Magic Realism category per se, but used film to psychologically render their own worlds and storytelling styles. Their movies have blown my mind since I was a kid, and are samples of what mastering a craft can look like.


(L) detail of “Mahasamvara Embracing His Consort” (Nepalese wall hanging, artist unknown), (C) center panel of “Enthroned Virgin and Child, with Angels and Saints Bonaventure, John the Baptist, Louis of Toulouse, and Francis of Assisi” by Cittore Crivelli, (R) Duchamp

(L) “NIgredo” by Anselm Kiefer, (R) “Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It” by Cy Twombly

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has many days of my time, it’s one of my favorite places. Here I can zone in on a 15th century Nepalese wall hanging, medieval Italian altar pieces, modern abstract paintings, and chill out in a 13th century cloister or Japanese Buddhist temple.  Its beauty, thoughts, ideas, our humanity and cultures throughout the ages.


“Watermark” documentary by Edward Burtynsky & Jennifer Baichwal

(L) Sylvia Earle, American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer

I’ll wrap up with saying scientists, documentaries, NPR, and music inspire me.  While I drink coffee and paint it’s common for me to be listening to NPR, podcasts, or music.  Summing up, I love learning, whether the topic is how our food is grown, world cultures, psychology of criminals, Arctic exploration, or water conservation, it’s a buffet I never tire of.  An underlying importance is how we are as humans on this planet and how we effect it. Sylvia Earle is an activist/educator scientist I much admire in her longevity of passion for saving the life of our oceans (and therefore saving us).

Music always will be a necessity in life.  In short, I’ll listen to jazz, classical, blues, pop, hip-hop, whatever the mood guides.  John Coltrane’s “Olè” is one of my favorite pieces of all time.


Lisa Shimko is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



Fall share artist, Nina Garner, creates work that moves between photography, collage, sculpture, and assemblage.  Her pieces are intricate compositions that “glorify moments in time, the beauty in nature, and people.”  Read on to see how Nina is inspired by the past and present in the creation of her work.


A big influence on my work are vintage mementos created by ordinary people during the mid 19th to mid 20th century. During this time it was common for people to decorate photographs as a way to strengthen the emotional ties to the loved ones photographed. The time and dedication it took to create these intricate mementos, as well as the creativity behind them is fascinating to me. These were not created as art but as object, painstakingly created through the act of remembrance. I try to adopt this same concept to my own work by embellishing my photographs with fabric, paper, insects, flowers, leaves and even hair.


I love books with torn pages and heartfelt inscriptions, handwritten letters, love notes, dedicated piano music and records. I love the mystery behind them.

I love the idea of family heirlooms, objects passed down through generations, rich with history and tradition. I don’t have very many heirlooms myself and I think that is why I have such a fascination with them. I like looking at items, such as quilts, baby clothes, handkerchiefs and jewelry at antique and vintage store because to me those are the kinds of items I consider to be heirlooms. I like to think that at one point someone loved these items and that maybe they were their family’s heirlooms. But the fact that they are being sold and then bought by me suggests otherwise. In turn, I like to give these things new life by incorporating them into my work and then maybe they will be heirlooms for my family someday.


I draw a lot of inspiration from nature. While on photo shoots I like to collect leaves, fungus, flowers and insects and incorporate them into my work. But nature is also a great source of color and pattern inspiration for me. I mean, come on, look at that birds feathers!


Lately I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration from craft and party supply stores. First off, it’s fun. I like the festive nature of it all, the vivid colors and the all the whimsy. I also like the contrast between these synthetic materials with natural, found materials.



I like to watch movies. I like all kinds of movies but one of my favorite movies is LATE SPRING by Japanese film maker Yasujiro Ozu. It’s a story set in post war Japan about the relationship between a father and his only daughter. It’s a simple story structured around the very ordinary, everyday life of this small family but it is rich with emotion. It makes me cry everytime. What’s great about this film though is that all the shots are so meticulously planned and each still could be a photograph on its own. I love the little details and the way Ozu frames his subjects. You get a real sense of the characters and the lives they live. It’s not complicated or over the top and I like that. It’s something I want for my own work.


A great influence on my work is Japanese photographer Masao Yamamoto. The instant I saw his work I knew there was a place for me in the photography world. On one hand he is a traditionalist in that he uses 35mm film photography and darkroom techniques but on other hand he is doing his own thing by staining his prints with tea and printing very small. Every print is different and tells it’s own story but at the same time each print works together to weave a larger narrative. It’s magical.


Another photographer I greatly admire is Sally Mann. I love her series entitled ‘Deep South’ which includes photographs taken throughout Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. These images are so haunting and ethereal. Just stunning.


There is a lot of fine art photography and photographers that I draw inspiration from but I love everyday, ordinary photography just as much, specifically vintage snapshot photography. I love the vacation photos, the family portraits, the first day of school, the clothes, the hairstyles…they are so authentic and rich with memories.


Nina Garner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.




We begin our Fall blog series with Jordan Fowler. Jordan is a sculptor inspired by the universe, ancient Greek sculptures, and everyday movement.


I am greatly inspired by the cosmic forces that govern our universe; my sculptures are an illustration of these forces at work. I often incorporate revolving lines and curves around a central negative space; this is an ode to my fascination with the mysteries of black holes. I also like to imagine the effects of gravity on the geometry of the piece and its competition with the gravity of space it exhibits and the surface on which it stands.

A black hole is a geometrically defined region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—including particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it.

I like to imagine a black hole resting in the center of my pieces, as an unseen negative space that greatly shapes the surrounding geometry.  The paths of revolving lines that I bend around this space is often reminiscent of the orbital mechanics of planets and other celestial bodies.


My pieces often resemble a figure or a dynamic pose; this is often a starting point in my designs. As an undergraduate, I initially found a lot of inspiration in the marble structures of ancient Greece and the Renaissance.

(Left) The Discobolus of Myron, a Greek sculpture that was completed towards the end of the Severe period, circa 460-450 BC. (Right) Sketch, Jordan Fowler

Stripping away the figure and focusing on the pose leaves behind a beautiful network of abstract lines and arcs. Since then I have extended my search for poses to everyday life, and I often find them in non-human objects that seem posed and figural.

Embracer, Jordan Fowler

Sketch for Microscope. Jordan Fowler


The monolithic forms and stacked structures of ancient civilizations have always fascinated me; especially in their aged and dilapidated form. I’m greatly influenced by the way in which some of these forms have survived. Some of my work has been an exploration of the partially stacked components of ancient megalithic architecture.

(Left) Machu Picchu, Peru. (Right) Black Totem, Jordan Fowler

I am equally fascinated by movements in modern architecture that have been influenced by the balance, and crude monumental poses of ancient work. Specifically the constructivist era, brutalism, and futurism have been very influential on both my form and material choices.  One of my favorite artists, Lebbeus Woods, is an  experimental architect who I am especially drawn to. His work imagines a future in which complexity, chaos, and scale overflows the boundaries of current architecture.

(Left) Lebbeus Woods, Inhabiting the Quake

Jordan Fowler is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.






Summer share artist, James Wine, creates work that is reminiscent of coral, wrinkles in the brain, and other elements found in nature.  Read on to learn more about what inspires James’ work.

Illustrators and Storytellers

Some of my earliest memories were of my dad telling me stories. Most of them were like even cheesier versions of Goosebumps books, but I loved them. However, the real treat was that sometimes I could get him to illustrate his stories as he was telling them. With just a few strokes of his pen, I saw what he saw.

That was a powerful thing to me as a child. I think that’s why I’m an artist today, and why I’m so in awe of storytellers like Mike Mignola, S. M. Vidaurri, Eric Powell, and of course, my father.

Left to Right: Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, S. M. Vidaurri’s Iron, Eric Powell’s The Goon

Repetition, Pattern, and Nature

I like to wake up, eat, grab an iced coffee, work, come home, play games, eat, make art, go to sleep. This is the pattern of my life. Repetition is not only evident in how I live, but in the way I work, and the way nature works.

One of my favorite patterns in nature is called a meander. Meanders can be like winding rivers, veins, and coral. These have had a large influence on my current body of work.



Sometimes, motivation comes in the form of other people’s artwork. I look at my contemporaries like Sarah Lucas, France Goneau, and Zoe Ourvier and immediately get a desire to create something. I’m always incredibly fascinated with how other artists, who use similar elements, solve similar problems that I’m facing.


Sarah Lucas

 France Goneau

Zoe Ourvier

James Wine is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.




Summer share artists Ruth Ballou and Rena Lasch of Lune Mer Porcelain are inspired by their mentors, masters of their medium, the environment in which they live, and more.


I am intrigued by the intent of geometry and its intersection with chance in working with porcelain. Process sets in motion physical forces which are taken over by chance at various stages of the making. The nature of clay gradually changes as it slowly dries during formation into a three dimensional object. A specific technique may have different results depending on the stage of its use. Other techniques are best used at specific stages. The finished form, fragile in the dry state is transformed into a bone-like skeleton under the glaze in the final firing to 2300F.  One might see a connection between the resulting pieces tempered by fire and the human experience.


I have traveled throughout Europe soaking up the ceramic art of the past and present.

1. British Museum - I have spent many hours looking at the extensive ceramics collection from the earliest times, such as this ceramic stemmed dish depicting recurring symbols in Sumerian art. We are connected to the very distant past through clay.

2. Ceramic Stemmed Dish, Ur, Early Dynastic III, 2600 - 2300 BCE.

Tuscany, Italy

Artist, Giovanni Cimatti and La Meridiana School of Ceramics

Glaze Mentor, Ian Currie

A book by my glaze mentor, Ian Currie. Very influential in my study of glazes! Examples of glaze testing with the Currie grid method.


Fellow Ceramic Artists

Jane Wheeler, UK.  A textile artist 30 years, Wheeler returned to an early interest in ceramics. Made simply and directly, the vessels push the boundaries to bring artifacts into the present. (pieces shown are from collection of Ruth Ballou)

1. Interior of anagama of David Louveau in La Borne, France.

2. Handmade brushes by the artist.

3. Interior of his studio in La Borne, France.

1. Eddie Curtis, UK. From his Blast series inspired by a dumping ground for a coal mine near his home town. His work references the changing brutal and beautiful landscape created by humans and nature.

2. Korean contemporary artist. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

3. Piet Stockmans, Belgium. Personal collection. Though very simple and direct, the geometric design invites interaction with the viewer to place the pieces in various positions. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

4. Sandy Brown, UK. Porcelain. The brushwork on both the inside and outside of the piece brings the two areas together. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

My Kilns

Here, I’m kissing my old kiln goodbye, but welcoming a new one with help from friends.

Friends and Family

(L) Friends from England and Belgium who helped build my kiln. (R) And, last but not least, Gus!



Every time I walk outside I find inspiration - it surrounds us - all of Nature.


Color and Form

Artist, Isamu Noguchi

California Scenario, also known as Noguchi Garden, is one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens. The garden is a peaceful, quiet oasis in the bustling South Coast Metro area of Costa Mesa. I attended college near this garden and found much inspiration in it.

Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and critically acclaimed sculptors.  Through a lifetime of artistic experimentation, he created sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs.  His work, at once subtle and bold, traditional and modern, set a new standard for the reintegration of the arts.

Source: Isamu Noguchi Museum website/biography

Madeleine Schimming

This little seven year old’s drawing inspires me more than anything has in a long time. Madeleine’s strong desire to clearly convey her ideas and feelings through art is thoughtful and profound.

“Her mother, Melanie, gave Madeleine photos of the nine victims. ‘[Madeleine] wanted the Angels to be a good representation,’ Melanie said.

And it was there, in their quiet home several miles from the site of a devastating act of violence, that Madeleine armed with blank sheets of paper and crayons looked on the faces of the people killed — Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Myra Thompson — and started to draw.

Mother Emanuel AME Church stands large in the picture, taking up most of the page. Flying above are the nine slain church members, most holding a peace symbol or a heart.” - for the full article, visit ABC 4 News


Lune Mer Porcelain is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.



Textile and batik artist, Arianne King Comer, has traveled the world teaching others  and learning from masters. She draws inspiration from the connections and traditions that different cultures have in regards to textiles and fiber. Read on to see the people, places, and things the summer share artist finds most inspiring.


Right, Scarves by Sally Campbell

Arianne is a master indigo dyer, grower, and educator.  Indigo is a color that has roots worldwide and especially in Charleston, where it was cultivated and exported in the 18th century.


Indigo, batik and many other textile techniques are woven into the cultures of West Africa. Arianne had the oppurtunity to travel to OshogboNigeria, to study under master Batik artist, Nike Olyani DavisThis experience has influenced her work ever since.
“I was named Oshun Ronke in Nigeria by the Yoruba Priest in the adjacent village I studied in Oshogbo. It means daughter of Osun that speaks from her Creativity.   The Goddess Osun represents Nature, Love, Mermaids, Indigo Dyer speaking through creativity.”


“I admire how she took herself out of her mainstream life in The NY Art world and began exploring the culture, the terrain of New Mexico and embrace her new awareness of dissecting the essence of nature, the terrain that became prominent in her work and her simplistic life style . Her new way of seeing the world served her to life a long productive life.”


“My interest in wearable art has come with my awareness that in other cultures, it is a tool of affirming self esteem historically. It seems that textile art is the highest medium to express love of self and it’s culture….it certainly resonates that for me.”

Arianne King Comer is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.



Summer share artist Riki Matsuda creates delicate works that shed light on the subtleties and inconstancies within our everyday lives. Made up of found paper with bits of color and line, her images ask her viewers to look harder and see reality with more clarity. When asked what inspires her, she replied “Sometimes I find myself oohing and awing at things all day, but the things that have stuck with me are very solidly glued down.” Read on to learn more.



I remember reading Roald Dahl books and being so impressed by the way his mind worked and how fast you could fall into one of his stories. It seemed effortless like the drawings that accompanied his writing. In fact, the words and images fit together so well, that It was years before I realized that Quentin Blake, not Dahl, was the man behind the illustrations. This tag-team-duo were so similar in the way they could capture a whole scene or a whole feeling in only a few swooshes of their hands. I have modeled my work in a similar way, condensing the necessary and the complicated into bite-size-snipits that are easier to understand.



(L) still from “Strangers” by Miranda July (C) a still of Paw Paw from “The Future” by Miranda July (R) a piece from “Eleven Heavy Things” by Miranda July

It is amazing how Miranda July is actively able to embrace the world and people around her. Her work inspires and shows people how to slow down, question, and rediscover. She does so in her tender approach to strangers (get more insight from this vimeo video) as well as the way she uses humor to point out oddities or similarities amongst us. When I’m at a point in my work where I’m drained of fresh thoughts, her words and movements always bring about newness and nowness.



(L) “The Small Hours” by Louis Bourgeois, 1999 (R) “The Blind Leading the Blind” by Louis Bourgeois, 1947

Louis Bourgeois is a beautiful artist. If you have ever seen an interview with her you will see she that she says exactly what she wants to say and nothing more. Unlike her words, her work holds nothing back and shows you everything. The intensity and genuineness that each piece relinquishes are what have transfixed us for decades and has kept me on my toes.



(L) “Shingleshed Foldback” by Matthew Flegle (R) banister from Riki’s childhood home

They have a lot going on.



still of Mei from “My Neighbor Totoro”

Miyazaki has been a part of my life since I first saw My Neighbor Totoro. It was the first movie I watched and thought, “This is me.’” The character’s name was Mei and she was the younger sister who cried half the time and spent the other half smiling and eating. More than beautiful story-lines and imagery, I found Miyazaki to be an artist whose delicate decisions changed the way we interacted with others and our environment. Over the years he has taught me how to fall in love with landscapes and running water and that magic is never that far away.


‘It’s obvious in his work. It’s constant, this concern, this respect, for his audience.’ - Mr. Moebius (JeanHenri Gaston Giraud)


Riki Matsuda is one of the 2015 Summer season artists.




Textile and mixed media artist Karin Olah is crazy about fabric! Read on to learn about the other objects and artists influencing her series for the upcoming Spring share!


My inspiration begins with fabric and my collection.  Organized by color, my 25 years of accumulated fabrics include hand dyed cottons, silks, linens, quilting calicos from a favorite Mennonite Dry Goods Store, hand-me-downs, and gifted fabrics from friends and collectors, along with groovy vintage polyesters and sample swatches from my interior designer mother-in-law.

Inspiration also filters in from fashion print ads, antique textiles, museum visits, and my love of fabric.


(images first row, left to right) Gees Bend Quilts by Annie Mae Young and one of Karin’s early works: Log Cabin Made of Gold, 2005, Fabric, Acrylic, and Pastel on Paper, 16 x 16 inches
(images second row, left to right) Amish quilts and Gees Bend Quilt by Annie Mae Young

American quilts are a collaboration of centuries of women’s ingenuity. How does my art play into this?  I like to think that my work is a further collaboration with the history of quilt making.   In the town where I grew up, quilts were the most prevalent form of art.  I was born in Lititz, a little historic town near the Amish and Mennonite farming country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

I’m not Amish, but I’ve certainly been influenced by their quilt making traditions.  Amish quilts are known for strong geometric patterns and solid blocks of deep color.The work can be interpreted as pure abstraction, very modern, and it can be somewhat Mondrian-esque.

One of my favorites is a Gees Bend Quilt by Annie Mae Young (bottom right image). I’m crazy about the tiny strip of re-purposed retro flower fabric on the bottom. It’s an unexpected surprise. I often have a tiny scrap of fabric in my work… one that doesn’t quite belong or match. Usually it’s a piece with significance to me… a scrap of my father’s business shirt, the lining from a 1920’s dress (the one I was wearing when I met my husband), or fabric given to me from a friend.


(images left to right)  Vintage Charleston Map;  Path of Chance Encounters, 2006, Fabric and Gouache on Paper, 13 x 10 inches; Vessel Stack, 2014, Fabric, Acrylic, Gouache, pencil on linen, 30 x 30 inches

I could stare at maps for hours.  I’m attracted to the soft blue and green colors, the line value, the meandering of roads and rivers, farmland and property divisions that look like a quilt, the pattern of land and sea, the possibilities of a journey. All that staring has worked it’s way into my work, sometimes literally, sometimes abstractly.

Favorite Artists

I can get lost in a dream with Helen Frankenthaler’s atmospheric color field paintings.  Some remind me of the magic of dying fabric.

(left image) Peanut Butter and Jelly Fish by Alison Knowlton, age 2 1/2 (right image) Clifford Still can always amaze me with his clever negative spaces.

My Daughter, Alison, reminds me to play and discover and experiment.


(left)  September 7pm, 2014, Fabric and Mixed Media on Paper, 14 x 11 inches (right) Fairway Fair Day Wappoo Creek, 2014, Fabric and Mixed Media on Paper, 14 x 11 inches

(left) Photo taken from Folly Road   (right) Folly After the Rain, 2014, Fabric, Gouache, Acrylic, pencil, pastel, and wax on Linen, 30 x 24

Charleston - I get to live here!  I wake up, I take a breath, and then I’m inspired by the world around me.  I snap photos daily of future painting possibilities.


Karin Olah is one of the 2015 Spring season artists.







Illustrator Chris Nickels works in the realm of both digital and analog. The spring share artist hand draws many of his pieces before manipulating and finishing them in a digital space like Adobe Photoshop. You’ll find a mix of digital and analog in his inspirations, too – from cartoons and video games to old books and prints. Read on the learn more.


(left to right) Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Felix Vallotton, Mary Cassatt

I’m very drawn to art from the late 19th century. Especially Japonisme, the influence of Japanese artwork, mostly woodblock prints, on European Impressionists. I know that’s a tad specific, but the art in that style really seems to click with my sense of aesthetics. I love the flat color with subtle textures, high horizon lines, and line quality. Japonisme takes many of the best principles of the Uiyoe prints but reinterprets them in a way that is more flowing and less concise. Where artists from that period found a balance between the blunt, practiced linework of the woodblocks, and the agile freedom of impressionism; that’s where I want to be.

Ruh Roh, Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo

Bravest Warriors

Don’t get bored just yet. I also watch a lot of cartoons. Often times I have something playing while I’m working. It not only provides visual inspiration (I’m always paying attention to color, light, and shadow) but inspiration for my mood as well. It lightens the mood and keeps me entertained through some of the less glamorous aspects of my process: scanning, saving, color blocking, worrying.

Thrifted Books

Image from this  weird old book “The Universe Earth and Man”

I collect a lot of old books which I mostly find at thrift shops. I look for textures to scan, and imagery for inspiration. I really like to keep my eye out for the weird ones.

Video Games, Old and New

Star Fox Adventures

Ni no Kuni

I play a lot of video games, mostly old ones but some new ones as well. I love the pixel art of the older games, they can be just as visually stunning as new games. Great games also do very well developing narratives visually. All of the characters, artifacts, and environments are specifically designed to come together and create a cohesive world. This is something I would love to carry into my work.

Traveling and day trips

I love to travel and explore, even if most of the time that means a day trip an hour away. As I’m going around, I always have a camera ready (or at least my phone) in case something jumps out at me. It doesn’t even have to be exciting. I have plenty of folders full of photos of boring things. Especially stuff that can be difficult to draw without looking at a reference: stairs, hands, brick walls, people from an aerial perspective. It might be kind of creepy to walk around taking photos of chairs and cactus’, but trust me, its worth it.


Chris Nickels is one of the 2015 Spring season artists.