Nina Y Not is one of the most exceptional digital artists/graphic designers to come out of Ireland. Her images entice the viewer to deduce their own interpretation of stories behind each image, twisted fairy tale or otherwise, Nina’s artwork is laced with sarcasm and vibrance that captivates the audience.
Here is an insightful interview with Nina:
Can you tell me a little about your artistic background ?
I am a graphic designer based in Cork Ireland. I dabble a bit in traditional Art as well, and I’ve also studied Photography, but by far my true passion is Digital Art. I am self taught, and I’ve started out almost a decade ago. Back then, Adobe Photoshop was this amazing new thing that I fell in love with and though I was always artistic, I just knew that Photoshop would be the main medium for me which would help greatly in expressing myself artistically.
Tell me about your artistic style and how it has evolved over time?
My style of work tends to lean in big part toward Fantasy, with main themes being Twisted Fairy tales. I like to think my artistic vision has evolved greatly over the last few years – going from creatively scattered to a more refined path of artistic certainty. I feel that I am on the right way to getting where I need to be. Ask me again in a couple of years.
When did you decide or know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always loved to draw – be it with a pencil or charcoal, or even painting with watercolors. As a kid I could spend hours just drawing… So I guess I’ve known for quite a while.
What inspires you as an artist be it music, emotions, relationships, the Irish weather? (Which is more unpredictable than any music, emotion or relationship!)
I must admit, those dark Irish clouds definitely add to the mood when I’m doing some Nature Photography! Some days you get really nice, dramatic lighting!
Generally, every day situations inspire me, stories inspire me, music does too, and so do poems and love and other emotions… Inspiration is everywhere, I believe.
With many of your images there is an element of twisted sarcasm as well as romance do they also serve to tell a story ?
My earlier work leant more toward dark/conceptual themed art, with many elements of religion, romance and the ‘human heart’. These are definitely some topics I want to come back to eventually.
However, deep down I am a dreamer. I hope to make others dream my dreams in their own way – if even for a second. Because of that I always feel humbled when people share their feedback and tell me how they have interpreted some of my artworks and what it means to them. On the other hand, I also enjoy adding some quirkiness to my art.
We can see on deviant art a short stories you have written. Have you thought about exploring writing further? I especially like your short story on Alice III the white rabbits house.
Well in this particular case it was only a bit of a twist to the real Alice in Wonderland story, as this work belongs in my Twisted Fairy tales series. But yes I do write a bit – when time and inspiration allow. They are indeed mostly short stories and over time I’ve found myself with quite a large collection. I haven’t shared much yet, but some of these will finally be published in full as part of an Art Book that I am currently working on.
What is one of the difficulties of being an artist today and what advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
I believe that generally it can be quite challenging to find your own unique style, your spot in the art world. So to somebody who is just starting out I would advise to experiment a lot with different styles of work as this is the only way to finding one’s artistic self.
Do you think digital art per se is superseding the place of traditional art or do you think there is a place for all types of art today and in the future?
I think Digital Art is definitely the future – you get beautiful results for half the time – when compared to Traditional. In Digital Art there is the blessed ‘Undo’ action – and you can’t beat that! But on another note Traditional Art is something that is so extraordinarily beautiful, so real and so special that it simply could never become unappreciated or forgotten.
How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?
I am happy when people interpret my work in a way that suits their emotive nature. We are all different, we fight different battles. Some Artists insist upon their work being interpreted only the way they have imagined it and while I can respect that, I also feel that it is only natural that different things speak to every individuals on different levels.
Finally what would people be surprised to learn about you? Maybe you have some beautiful but bizarre habits for example ?
Oh I must say, some are too bizarre to share! Let’s not scare your readers!
Maybe a safer bet would be to keep quiet and deceive everyone into thinking I’m like, all mysterious and stuff…
Some Earlier Works: Lullaby to Romance & Faith