March 17, 2021

Episode #103: Niki Pilkington on Neon Illustration, Female Empowerment, and Mental Wellbeing in the Arts

Niki Pilkington is a London-based Welsh illustrator who creates playful yet highly detailed “extra neon” fashion portraits and lifestyle art, which echo her support for Women empowerment, body positivity & mental wellbeing. Her work reflects her love of fashion & nature, as well as her respect for Welsh culture. With more than 60,000 instagram followers, a thriving online store, commission work from all over the globe, and commercial work for Nike, Google, and Facebook, Niki is a unique and sought-after talent in the art world.

What you will learn:

  • Niki’s rich history of travel, from working and living in London, Paris, New York and West Los Angeles; how she has incorporated her interest in preserving the Welsh language into her art through her use of Welsh proverbs. [0:00-10:03]
  • How a scheduling catastrophe in college ended up being “The best thing that’s ever happened,” for Niki; the moment she realized that people in LA and throughout the world were interested in her Welsh illustrations; what it mean to her to receive so much support from the Welsh community. [10:03-16:27]
  • Why Niki moved from New York to LA; the differences between New York and L.A. in terms of business opportunities for artists and quality of life; why she decided to move back to the UK and how the covid lockdown changed her plans. [16:27-24:01]
  • How Niki attempts to create art in a sustainable manner. What being a freelance illustrator is like, from social media promotion to having an exhibition [24:01-34:35]
  • The importance of finding a supportive community, especially “super fans.” How Niki forms a connection with people on social media, through vulnerability and openness. [34:35-44:27]
  • Advice Niki has for listeners struggling with anxiety, her ways of coping, and areas that she’s still working on; how she tries to navigate social media in a mentally healthy way. [44:27-58:05]

Resources:


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