Jaya Nicely is a Los Angeles based illustrator and designer focusing on people and counterculture. In search for new and fresh talents I stumbled upon her works on tumblr, which immediately caught my attention. She was so cool to answer a few questions, which you’ll find below. For more information check out her blog www.jayanicely.tumblr.com and her website www.jayanicely.com.
How did your art career start?
I started getting serious about art when I took a class in high school. I wasn’t very good, but I really wanted to be. I suddenly had this drive to create and an environment in which to do it in, and it really wasn’t a question on my mind what I wanted to do. I’m bad at communicating verbally with people, I have a hard time opening up and getting to know someone, so art is my way of expressing how I feel. It’s also a bridge of communication between me and others, it’s something that helped me figure out how I felt. When I graduated high school I went to Art Center College of Design for three years and that’s really what helped launch my career. If it wasn’t for Art center’s training, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have to thank the school for the quality of my work now.
What is your favorite project and why?
I really like documenting environments and people, so any project that allows me to go out and explore is my favorite. One of those was a 15 foot drawing I did of different skate parks around Los Angeles. It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and see places I wouldn’t normally go, plus I had tons of new material to draw from. Right now I’m working on a large piece based off of Highland Park and it’s neighborhoods which will hopefully be just as cool.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
I’ve always loved this quote from Samuel Beckett:
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
I firmly believe that a fear of failure is what prevents many people from actually going out and pursue their dreams. I notice that with drawing people will often times give up right away when they’re not happy with how a piece is turning out. It doesn’t look how they imagined it so they give up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed at something, but I’ve learned that you just have to push past it. Failure at something isn’t defeat, which is something I still need to remind myself daily.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
I feel like people think that to be an artist, you always have to wait for these bursts of creativity. People use the excuse that they just don’t feel inspired, but that’s really just bullshit. Creating is about doing something every single day, whether or not you feel “inspired”. So to live a creative life, you have to be prepared to work for it. You have to have an extreme passion for it. And don’t have a Plan B career path, this is your only option so make it happen.
All images © Jaya Nicely