Artist Interview – Nemo

Iowa © Nemo original 4″x6″ pencil and colored pencil drawing on velum paper

Yes it’s true, Nemo was featured here before, but now he’s back to do the interview! He is an expert at drawing freehand circles and I love the texture these bring to his paintings and illustrations. And now he has a book for children that he illustrated, Goodnight Dog in the Duckpond. You can find him online at the Art by Nemo website, Nemo’s Blog, buy prints of his work, and he’s a great conversationalist on Twitter.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I love to do everything as simple as I can, I draw on paper with pencil using the simplest of all shapes, the circle. There’s no secret there, however I have been able to draw my circles since I was young. It’s more of a meditation utensil for me and have used it to relax ever since I can remember, the bi-product of this journey into my mind is art. Very convenient huh? The paper is drafting vellum but the pencils are #2 pencils, that yellow test taking pencil you use to use in grade school, and I also use prisma color pencils.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Texas 1 © Nemo

Ever since putting out my first children’s book, where the subject was farm animals, and with all the research and documentation I did, I now have a ton of images to work from. So, I have been drawing a lot of cows and bulls these days. Also, since keeping with my goal of drawing a postcard series of my travels I have been creating more Circlescapes, which are also leaning towards farmlands with barns and animals too. I have also been drawing more “trendy” type things to put on t-shirts, think dinosaurs and mustaches. Oh, and dinosaurs with mustaches and a unicorn horn, now that’s trendy.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I really don’t know what field I would be in, but I mostly do outdoor art festivals and look to the other artists who are on the same level as I am. As in – full time artists on the circuit doing anywhere from 20 to 40 shows a year. I am always picking the brains of these people, the ones who have been doing it for 20 to 30 years always have the best stories. Bill and Tony at Parallax Gallery are some of the best I know. Michael Swearingen, The Contemporary Cowboy, is sort of a mentor to me, he always has great information and is always looking out for us. There really are way too many to mention, but every show it seems like I meet a new favorite.

3 Sugar Skulls © Nemo

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

Well my favorite stories are the ones where the customer invites us over for dinner, we have wine and either talk about a commission or drop one off – maybe not very exciting but it pays the bills. I also have ones where a customer has paid for a piece of art, we packed it up and then they ask what it is they just bought! Or they hear me say or they read that I draw the circles freehand, then they want to look at their pieces and say something like “Oh, now I like it more!” But the best stories are the one when someone just walks right up to a piece and says “I’ll take it!” Then when they leave my wife and I ask each other, “did you talk to them?” or “who was that?” I have just seen and heard way too many things and can go on and on here, but I won’t bore you.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I myself don’t own any art. I am an extreme minimalist and I tend to get rid of more stuff than I bring in. I know that’s not very artistic, but that’s how I am. So, I’m going to say my Nemo's Bookfavorite piece is a pair of piers we had made to help build my wife’s art. They might be the coolest piece of finely crafted equipment we own. Although of my own work, my favorite is the piece I am working on right now.

I Have A Book On Amazon, Go Buy It!