{the interview series} Nicola Rowlands

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

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Hoje estou à conversa com a simpática e bem-humorada Nicola Rowlands! Nas suas ilustrações, a sua paixão pelas particularidades de cada um, por adoráveis cães e gatos e o seu sentido de humor são bem visíveis... acho que vão adorar conhecê-la. Ela vive em Manchester e está neste momento de viagem pela Austrália... diverte-te Nicola! E vocês, não percam a entrevista.

Today I'm chatting with nice and funny Nicola Rowlands! In her illustrations, her passion for each one's particularities, adorable cats and dogs and her amazing sense of humor are clearly visible... I think you'll love to know her. She lives in Manchester and is now travelling around Australia... have fun Nicola! And you, readers, don't miss the interview.

Nicola Rowlands | Ms Spanner
Manchester, England

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Nicola Rowlands. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an artist and designer, cat drawer, runner, health food pervert, yoga addict, 5'11 female with a taste for black coffee and bad habit of buying mugs to put it in.

2. You studied Design and Art Direction and now work as designer and illustrator, creating your own line of goods. How was this creative passion born and what was the path that lead you here?
When I was a little girl me and my neighbor used to make friendship bracelets and mud pies and sell them at the side of the road. The business I now run is basically an offshoot of that.

3. Your illustrations have a strong sense of humor! What inspires you to create? What media you prefer to use? Share your creative process with us.
My list of tools: scraps of paper, ink, lists, a highlighter, excel, twitter and tea. I'm inspired by words and bad smells, haircuts, the weather, silence and grumpiness.

4. People and animals have the leading role on your work – you even created a curious line of pocket friends! Tell us about this original idea.
I like to notice and highlight people's idiosyncrasies.

5. You take your illustrations to the next level, transferring them to textile goods or pocket mirrors – I especially love your tote bags series! Would you share a favorite and a best-seller with us?
My favorite tote is the blue bad kat, he's pretty ashamed of being infested with cooties.  When I was in school you used to be able to give someone a 'cootie shot' in the playground which involved making a hashtag-type shape with your fingers and someone had to stick their finger in your fingers. Sounds rather sexual actually.

6. Do you consider yourself more as an artist or crafter? Do you think there’s actually a big difference or there’s only a thin line separating these two concepts nowadays?
I'm not very crafty - I always thought of crafters as people much more precise, skilled and technical than I could ever be. I just draw stuff and apply it to products!

7. I’d love if you could share some of your favorite artists with us.
Anna Pugh, Brian Andreas, Maira Kalman, Kid Acne, amongst many others! 

8. You have a recognizable style and through your work your name travels all around the world! What means do you use to promote it?
The wonderful power of the internet!

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
I work from our spare room so my day goes something like this: I write an ordered list of what I need to do that day, with a cup of tea.  Paint bearded men, count stock, write invoices, reply to emails, eat some sort of healthy snack, stuff pillows, listen to podcasts, pack up orders, walk to the post office, buy some groceries, meet a friend for coffee, come home tidy up do some laundry, catch up on etsy shop stuff, work on new designs, order packing materials, eat dinner with my boyfriend, watch something on tv, go on instagram, eat some chocolate, brush my teeth, go on instagram, go to bed. x

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
It's quiet and I generally have podcasts on while I work.

11. Share your passions and hobbies with us.
I'm a runner and I've started a running blog if anyone wants to contribute! 
I'm also into yoga, swimming, dogs, and I try to read when I'm not working! I love to bake and try new recipes as well.

12. Even though you were born in Wales and grew up in the United States, you now live and work in Manchester, UK. Tell us about what you love most about it. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
I like Manchester - there are lots of nice places to eat and drink.  I was in Berlin last year and threatened to move there - I just need to have a reason to move there.

13. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why? 
If there's a way of living inside instagram in the future I'll go there.

14. What advice would you give to someone who would also like to become a freelance illustrator?
Probably draw more than I do! Be motivated and eat your greens!

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I plan to obtain a dog. Hopefully this is not too unrealistic.

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one: 

book: I read 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' this year and loved it so much.
music: Haim - only because I wish I was a rad chick playing bass in a band.
movie: Mary Poppins is pretty good.
personality/artist: We saw Sue Perkins the other day in Manchester. She is so funny.
color: I like pink but I wear a lot of orange and black.
object: My boyfriend tells me off for buying a lot of small bowls and mugs.
animal: Owl?
drink: This weekend I drank something called a 'raging bitch', an IPA and although it was pretty strong (8%!) I very much enjoyed it.
food: I have recently started making breakfast sandwiches. English muffin, with yoghurt, seeds and fruit as a filling. So tasty. You'll thank me.
season of the year: fall!!! right now.
travel destination: I'm going to Australia at the end of this month. Pretty excited!
piece of clothing: currently wearing a lot of collars and sweaters.
secret: I can't tell you, then it won't be a secret.

Thank you for joining us and making us smile, Nicola!


  1. love nicola's creations!
    nice interview!
    i like her way of answering :)

  2. Lovely work!! I'm an instant fan!
    Good job!

  3. Really lovely, I enjoyed this interview a lot!

  4. loved this chat with nicola! big fan : )


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