With that special knack for drawing viewers in, it’s no wonder Nigel has worked for hugely innovative brands like Google and Redbull, as well as picking up more traditional print projects with the likes of Popular Mechanics and Time Out.
Nigel spent two years at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, before crossing the country to the California College of the Arts to complete his degree in Illustration. His influences include Martin Handford (creator of Where’s Wally), MC Escher and the computer game Sim City.
Today Nigel works on his drawings using a Wacom Cintiq tablet, but he has a good grounding in traditional media, working in pen and ink with acrylic paints.
Bold, bright and complex, Nigel’s signature style uses isometric line art and a striking but simple color palette. He loves creating seek-and-find type drawings, as well as illustrations that feature complex fantasy architecture and/or imaginary machines.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Nigel: I have been drawing since I was very young, and creating art was always one of my favorite things to do.Question: Do you have any formal design training? Nigel: I have a BA in Illustration from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Nigel: I currently live in Berkeley, California. I originally came to the Bay Area for college, and to discover the California lifestyle, and never left.Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Nigel: I have my studio in the small back bedroom of my home in North Berkeley. I work mostly digitally these days, but have lots of prints, frames and supplies piled everywhere.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Nigel: I usually quote Martin Handford (creator of 'Where’s Wally?'), M. C. Escher, and the original SimCity computer game. All things that I spent countless hours with in my development.Question: How do you get your ideas? Nigel: I keep a pretty constant flow of music, podcasts, books on tape, and streaming movies/tv shows going on around me for lots of mental stimulation while I am working. But I also get good ideas when going on long walks around the city and just observing nature and humanity.Question: Do you collect anything? Nigel: I still buy CDs of my favorite music, and have quite a few comics and art books. (Most recently, new albums from Metronomy and Luke Temple).Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Nigel: I used to play the bass in a band and was really into music for a long time. I still dabble, but have made illustration and murals more of my focus in recent years. I am also a big fan of craft beer.Question: What is the first record you bought? Nigel: My father is a musician and always had a lot of music around the house. He tried to guide me by giving me a lot of recordings, but I think the first thing I bought on my own might have been Oasis' '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?'.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Nigel: I try to get excited about all my work (how else do you keep interested?). A recent project I am proud of is a gigantic mural that I designed and hand-painted in a newly renovated building on eBay's campus in San Jose, California.Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Nigel: I have had Japan on my list of places I want to visit for a long time. I would go to Tokyo and just walk around and explore.Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Nigel: We live in a pretty amazing time right now. In the past things were more difficult, slower, and a lot more dangerous. If I had access to an actual time machine, I wouldn't bother going back. I would go forward instead!Question: What is your favourite graphics programme? Nigel: I almost exclusively use Adobe products. Photoshop and Illustrator primarily, with a bit of after effects when needed.
Google, VMWare, Paypal, Bosch, ARUP, Redbull, New Scientist, Popular Mechanics, Peel.tv, Robinhood, Backpacker Magazine, Capital New York, Time Out magazine, The Fillmore SF, Say Media, Rubrik, Readwrite, Biography.com, Dogster/Catster
Sightglass Coffee in SOMA, San Francisco
111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco
Bear Republic Racer-5 IPA
Paxton Gate, San Francisco
Clients from Hell