January 29, 2013

Spotlight: Nikki Miles

Candies, raindrops, portraits, oh my! British artist Nikki Miles'
eye-popping pieces will get your head spinning.

Though she describes her artistic style as "playful and inventive," Nikki Miles' work is not to be confused with children's illustrations. When I asked why she edged more towards the world of children's images, she said, "Although I'm inspired a lot by my childhood, I wouldn't call myself a Children's Illustrator. I enjoy creating both Children's and Adult images." And when I started thinking about it as I flipped back through her portfolio, I realized I had been pretty naive: her piece on chips, for instance...I love chips, and I'm an adult. And what about the awesome patterns of different candies? Candy is my favorite food. While the vibrantly colored roots of her paintings trace back to childish beginnings, Nikki's images help bridge the gap to adulthood, showing how candies, raindrops, and oreos transcend all ages.

Nikki Miles is a twenty-two year old Illustrator based just outside London. While she can't remember a time when she didn't want to paint and draw, winning the Epping Forest Arts Award in 2008 catapulted her into taking up art at the University of Hertfordshire. Since, she has been working on developing her career, contributing to magazines and exhibiting her art at craft fairs, New Designers in London (2011), and other exhibitions.  I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions about her art, process, and favorite treats:

THE LE SIGH: Aside from painting, are there other mediums you enjoy working with?

Nikki Miles: I would never limit myself to only painting. That's just boring! I can't actually think of a piece of work where I have simply used one medium. Most of my work is a big mixture of inks, acrylic paint, Gauche, PVA glue, pen, pencils, melted crayons, mono print, collage, and Photoshop. Let's just say I love to experiment and I like to make a mess.

TLS: Are there any particular artists that influence your work or methods?

NM: I've always found it difficult to say a particular artist who influences my work. My methods have developed through years of crazy experiments with different materials and my style just kind of developed along with it. The illustrations I create largely reflect my character and the things I'm drawn to, like narrative, food, people, emotion, memories, history, science, bright colours, and pattern.

TLS: Do you have a favorite painting of yours?

NM: Not long ago, I found a pound on the ground. Such little things please me! So I picked it up, took it home, and painted it in my sketchbook. This has to be my favorite piece because it takes me back to that memory every time I see it.

TLS: I love your series on food and recipes – if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

NM: I love lots of different foods; this is a hard question! I can't get enough of Cadbury's Mini Eggs and Cherryade at the moment, so I would have to say that.

Lucky for you, Nikki Miles has an Etsy page, where you can purchase any number of hand printed cards, featuring her awesome pieces. Check out her website for more eye-popping looks!

Written by Molly Morris