We love Nancy’s perspective on art and creating content. Make sure to follow here through the links at the end of the interview.
Nancy: Hello! I am Nancy, a girl born and raised in the sunny suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I spend most of my days documenting my experiences with a camera, creating designs in the gaming industry, traveling from place to place, getting paint stuck in my hair, and petting my cats.
Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?
Nancy: I was a very lonely and sad child. Although most of my childhood was upsetting, I clung onto fleeting memories that brought me warmth, like brushing my teeth in the garden with my mum on Sunday mornings and seeing broken green glass bottles reflect light on my shoes as I bounced alongside my brother to school. I found solace in our insignificance within an ever-expanding universe, which helped me reason that the sadness didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things if I could forever live in these moments of beauty.
Looking back, my mind’s tendency to focus on these dream-like, nostalgic memories definitely plays a role in the work I create today. I can’t usually remember how something looks, but I always remember how something feels.
Subsign: What did you want to be as a grown up?
Nancy: When I was younger, I wanted to be president of the United States. Or a journalist. Or a scientist! Anything that would allow me to make an impact in a huge way. I know — it was a very nebulous, vague notion. I think I was just hoping to find my voice in a world that was so loud.
Subsign: How does your workstation look like?
Nancy: I’ve spent the last few years working on the road and sometimes in my Los Angeles apartment where the furniture doesn’t stay still for more than a month. My workstation changes very often. However, in general, I gravitate towards small spaces, being close to the floor, plants, and sunlight. Here’s a picture of my current favorite place to work:
My bedroom for the next 5 months in Berkeley, California.
Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?
Nancy: I fully embrace accidentalism and try to work as messily as possible to take out the fear of messing up.
My favorite canvases to work on top of being filled with unintentional stains, scratches, and smudges.
My favorite cameras to capture with have a patina of dust, dirt, and salt from all the places I’ve ever been.
Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?
Nancy: Because I spend most of my day doing methodical digital design work for clients, my artwork tends to be a lot more free-flowing and much less planned. In paintings, all of my marks are visible, from the very first pencil lines to the last brush stroke;
I love the idea of seeing the transparency of the process within the work itself. In photographs, I follow the sunlight and watch how it falls onto differences surfaces or sink through objects. Sometimes, when I can’t fall asleep at night, I experiment with double exposures to witness solid things dissolving into each other.
Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?
Nancy: My favorite work is never objectively what I would consider my best work. The work that holds a sweet place in my heart is my photographic collection of a trip I took to New Zealand back in Spring of 2016. I fell in love with the country and Matthew in those 10 days.
Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?
Nancy: I try not to follow *too* many artists working in the same medium as me because I am extremely susceptible to comparing myself to others. I often look to movies, poetry, art history, yogic philosophies, the people around me, and nature.
With that said, I’ve been following Sofia Coppola, Lina Scheynius, and Hui Liu for years and cannot seem to get enough of their work. I also hang a lot of Gustav Klimt prints on my walls.
Subsign: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?
Nancy: Go out of your way to seek inspiration, because it won’t always just come to you.
Create a lot, because it’s the best way to understand what you love in your work and how to improve. Continually share, because the vulnerability will help you grow and connect with others.
Finally, learn how to handle failure.
Subsign: If you would have a superpower, what would it be?
Nancy: Teleportation would probably functionally add more to my life, but all I really want to do is fly.
Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song, and a movie?
Nancy: A Book: The History of Love
A Song: “World On Fire” by Louis The Child and Ashe
A Movie: I watched “Moonrise Kingdom” for the first time last week and fell in love with it.
Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
Nancy: A party to celebrate just for the sake of celebrating. We’d have flowers hanging from the ceilings, vines running along the walls, and colorful balloons everywhere.
Then, at night — glow in the dark stars and planets. There would be dancing and pastries and confetti and paint and everyone would glow.
Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why?
Nancy: That’s a hard question! There are so many people I’d love to invite just to selfishly meet and have the opportunity to talk to. Off the top of my head, I’d love to have Donald Glover because he’s a fantastic dancer with an inspired mind, Florence Welch because I’m pretty sure flowers bloom wherever her feet touch the ground, and Amma the Hugging Saint.
Thank you, Nancy, for being a part of it!
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