Nina is an illustrator from England who's work I discovered through TeenVogue.com and their article entitled, "Sketchy Girls: 11 Cool Young Illustrators You Should Have on Your Radar."
Nina's work is fun, creative and totally original, taking places and things we see every day and turning them into wonderful works of art.
Not only is Nina super talented, she is seriously cool and down to earth. Growing up around an artist, she has always been surrounded by creativity. She travels the world seeking inspiration and was even asked to create promotional content for the third season of HBO's GIRLS.
Nina has created a career doing something that she loves. I admire her passion and ability to find beauty in things we see every single day, from illustrated adventures to pop-up books to film.
I am thrilled to introduce you all to Nina, my new favorite artist from across the pond.
Scroll down to meet the Nina and check out the illustrations she created for GIRLS.
NC: Hello! I'm a 25 year old freelance illustrator living in Hastings, England. I studied Illustration and Animation at Kingston University, London and graduated 3 years ago. After I left, I was planning on living in London but found myself in the brilliant seaside town of Hastings and decided to base myself down here. It's only and 90 minute train journey to London so I'm frequently going back and forth for work and events etc. I have a great studio space down here which I share with fellow creative Ali Graham (of Grarg Media) who's also my boyfriend. There's a lovely community of people here doing all sorts of exciting creative ventures.
SIS: Your illustrations are fun, unique and so pretty. When did you realize
you were interested in illustrating?
NC: I've kind of grown up with illustration around me and have always drawn. I'm from an artistic family and my Dad (Mike Cosford) has been a commercial illustrator for 30 years, so I'm pretty familiar with the creative industry and its ups and downs....! I went through a bit of funny stage after my first year of University when I felt I shouldn't be an illustrator and was preparing to resign from the course. I worried I wasn't stretching myself enough academically and I wasn't confident that illustration was my true voice. Thankfully, I decided to stick with the course in the end and see it through – I'm so glad I did! I went back into it with so much more enthusiasm and commitment, and that energy seems to have stayed with me ever since.
SIS: Besides illustration, what are your other hobbies?
NC: Illustration has always been a huge driving force for me (and has also supplied my income for the last 3 years!). It's cool to be able to say that that is my full-time job. There's no other way I'd rather be making a living. I like to travel whenever possible, and this often feeds into my work – through reportage drawing, note-taking, film-making etc (Ali has created an online series documenting my drawing, called 'Illustrated Adventures' on YouTube). In the last 18 months I've been to Australia, China, Amsterdam, New York, Barcelona and Iceland! I love being outdoors, and am often out walking my dog along the beach or along the cliffy coastal paths of Hastings.
NC: Each project I work on is pretty different and I'm always learning something new each time. You have to think on your feet a lot if you want to meet tight deadlines and specific briefs. I do like the pressure of my job to some extent, but there are so many roles you have to play as an independent freelancer running your own business. It can be quite tiring!
It also feels empowering though to see a project you started yourself grow into something big and exciting and to have total creative control over what you do. I think one of the biggest highlights of my career so far has been the Girls Illustrated project, which I started back in November 2013. It's funny to think that some drawings I started in my seaside studio lead me to receiving praise and support from the likes of Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow. Soon after I'd started the blog, HBO commissioned me to create promotional content for GIRLS Season 3 and Sky Atlantic invited me to attend the London Premiere to do live drawing!
SIS: Where do you see yourself in five years?
NC: I'm always looking to be better and expand on what I do. I'd love to one day be a household name and a brand that is instantly recognised around the globe. I like seeing my work applied to as many different outlets and contexts as possible, from books and mugs to huge hoardings, murals and live events.
SIS: Name your top three favorite stores to shop at.
NC: I go through phases of being thrifty and not too fussed about shopping, to going on naughty spending sprees...! There's an awesome shop in Hastings Old Town called 'Roberts Rummage', which is a treasure trove of second hand curious finds. I found the most wonderful shop called 'Fantastik' in Barcelona a few weeks ago. It's more or less a mecca for any kitsch-lovers (like myself) and is full of beautiful mostly-useless things from Mexico, India, Bulgaria, Russia, Senegal and other countries.
Clothing-wise, I love looking through The White Pepper's catalogues each season. There's something so appealing about its retro-but-timeless style.
SIS: One thing you cannot live without?
NC: My Staedler Norris 1.5mm mechanical pencil. I would probably have a break down if I didn't have access to one...
NC: If you truly want a career in the creative industry, you should take it seriously and professionally from day one. It takes confidence to get your work out there, so the sooner you are in the habit of self-promotion and being prolific, the better. For me, the confidence certainly didn't come over night, it's taken a few years to build up, but your work should speak for itself. As long as you have enough conviction and integrity with what you do, it should – hopefully!- lead you to good places.