Nina Hunter, The Academy of Fine Arts MA graduate is an accomplished graphic designer, illustrator and painter based in the UK. Her diverse yet very unique style and great experience gained her substantial international client base. She has recently landed a senior creative position within Hallmark Cards. Nina is available for commissions and freelance work.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Nina: My parents are architects and there was always a lot of art surrounding our family, so I knew I wanted to do something creative from a very early age. I started attending art classes when I was 5 and when I turned 13 I decided I wanted to become a graphic designer/ illustrator. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Nina: Yes, I have an MA in Graphic Design and Fine Arts which I have completed at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland. Question: Where are you originally from? Nina: I was born in Sopot, north of Poland, where I lived until I was 23. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Nina: Currently I live in Leeds, UK. I came here when I was 23. It was a total coincidence that brought me here, a chain of events. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Nina: My studio is based at an Artistic Organization - East Street Arts. I'm still in the process of furnishing it. The studio is based on the top floor and has a cool loft feel. It is largely white, it has a subtle shabby-chic feel with gold mirrors, floral cushions and a rusty white bird cage. The bird is not there yet though. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Nina: In terms of art I change my inspiration very frequently, there are so many excellent artists out there. Some artists I admire; Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Mikhail Vrubel, Sophie Toulouse, Cecilia Carlstedt, Christina K. In terms of life it's my mum. She is an architect and a painter with a great talent. Having 5 children, she put her own ambitions to one side, sacrificed a wonderful career to bring me and my siblings up.
Question: Do you collect anything? Nina: Books. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Nina: I have just finished an illustration for an outdoor magazine in Wales. It has been created mainly in photoshop with only minimal hand-drawn parts. It is the style that I used to use a lot when I was just trying out illustration. It turned out to be a very interesting, beautiful project, and the clients were over the moon with the final design. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Nina: To illustrate pages of Elle magazine. Question: Who is your art hero? Nina: Gustav Klimt, he mixed real life figurative paintings with abstract elements in such a perfect way. Question: Who is/are your musical hero/es? Nina: Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Nina: "A success is 99% of work, 1% of talent". Question: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into illustration? Nina: Create, create, create. Experiment & never give up. Question: Have you any hidden talents? Nina: I make the best scrambled eggs in the world. And play the piano. Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? Nina: New York, I would go to all those cool places I hear non stop about and visit all the galleries. Question: What do you have bookmarked? Nina: Lots of design inspiration, tutorials, interesting art pages, quotes, apart from all this nerdy stuff I have also got bookmarked sky showbiz and dlisted.com for gossips, topshop.com and ebay.co.uk for shopping. Question: What is your favourite graphics programme? Nina: Every program is different and it's used for different reasons. I like photoshop for its unlimited possibilities of creating images, I like illustrator for its ease of creating logos, and I like InDesign for it's usefulness in creating layouts.