This year, we commissioned special Valentine’s Day posters for the store’s windows. We sat down with Nia Chavez, to learn more about her and the inspiration behind her work.
- Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into design/illustration?
It may sound cliche, but ever since I was a kid, I loved to draw/create. There are pictures of me with markers in my hand, or in a paint-covered smock at an art class. When it was time to decide what high school I would attend, naturally I gravitated towards the High School of Art & Design. Right before my sophomore year, I had an AP tell me I should major in Illustration, and honestly, the rest is history!
- What was your process and inspiration behind your posters?
My process for the posters was actually fairly simple. I do a pencil sketch and then go into photoshop where I upload it and refine the illustration digitally. For these posters, in particular, I was inspired by the previous Tipsy posters because we wanted to create something that both went along with the aesthetic while keeping my artistic touch. Usually, my work is very line based, so this was a fun departure; an emphasis on shapes. We went with the message “Love Comes In All Forms”, so getting to show people with their pets was a really fun and unexpected angle!
- Who are some artists and works you’re inspired by?
When it comes to inspiration, I absorb and am influenced by so much; it’s hard to narrow down (but I’ll do it for you)! Kara Walker’s beautiful graphic silhouettes that contain so much emotion without facial expression. Marina Abramovic and her devotion to her performance art no matter who thinks she’s insane. Norman Rockwell’s work and how he effortlessly captured regular everyday people with such playful energy. I also have found female illustrators on Instagram whose work I am obsessed with! Monica Ahanonu, Jade Purple Brown, Bijou Karman, and Laci Jordan.
- How would you describe the style of your work?
My style is colorful, line-heavy and just a lot of fun! I like incorporating not only myself (self-portraits) but women of color as well as celebrities and pop culture.
- What’s next for you? Where can we see more of your work?
Right now I’m working at Cosmopolitan Magazine doing motion graphics for them, and I’ve learned a lot about animation since I’ve been there. I would love to get back into illustrating original work and making it move! I also fell in love with silkscreening my senior year of Pratt, so my goal is to find a print shop and get back into the groove. If you’d like to check out more of my work, you can visit niachavez.com and my Instagram @niachavezzz!