ACK! Have you played with Jane Davenport’s supplies yet? I have!!!

Hi Everyone, Happy New Year!

I am so excited to share my video with you.

I played with some of Jane Davenport’s new art supply line and filmed it so that I could show you how lovely they are. I hope you enjoy watching it, as I also include a quick tour of my studio space.

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Art in the Valley….. what could be better?

Congratulations Freda & Hap Hap Happy Birthday!!!!

Grand Opening today at Zealous Art Studio in Langley, B. C. (104-20218 Fraser Highway)
Wishing you all the very best Freda. Congratulations on opening your fabulously creative space!
I am looking forward to teaching classes in the new year! 😊🎨😜

See you all next Friday & Saturday at our 10th annual Creative Finds handmade marketplace!

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Checking out my Glitzy Gals in a wind storm (ART VLOG #11)

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You can also SHOP ONLINE 🙂

…… & it felt damn fine!

Happy Tuesday Everyone, 

I almost copped out on my walk this morning. I had to ask myself “Is this what you want out of life?”, “Do you want to stay as you are, age as you are?”. Hell no, was my response. I stood up to myself & it felt damn fine. We have to stand up to and for ourselves. We are our own worst critics, worst enablers, worst spokesperson.

ENOUGH! This is my time.. Heck, this is YOUR TIME!

Are you happy with your lot in life? Is this what you dreamt your life would be? Do you enjoy and/or get a feeling of purpose from what you do everyday?

In some aspects of my life, I do. In others, ….not so much.

I LOVE my family & would not change them for the world.

I LOVE my job. I am an Artist & a teacher of art.

I LOVE that I was born into a country that lets females express themselves.

What do I want?

I want to feel better. I want to look/feel healthier. I want to feel desirable. I want to share my art & creativity with more of the world…..and more than any of those…. I want to help other people smile.

This is it! Our one ride on the merry-go-round. Some of us get to ride longer than others, but in the end….. THIS IS IT!

What do you want to accomplish before your ride is over? What makes you happy?

Keep smiling & creating, Nicci

This SUNDAY * SUNDAY * SUNDAY from 2-4pm!

Come see me at the Good Day Sunshine Cafe

in South Surrey between 2 & 4pm on May 15th!

PICK UP one of my collectable 1″ ART pins while checking out my fun’n’fabulous Welcome to Wonderland ART SHOW!

INVITE your FRIENDS on Facebook ! ^_^13006528_890111177766648_2164535218384924577_n

This SATURDAY is the fabulous…..

South Surrey Community Festival!south-surrey-festival-851-3

Come FIND ME this Saturday between 11am & 3pm!

“Big Eyes, Pouty Lips” – an Interview with Nicci Battilana by Aly Laube

About: Nicci Battilana, also known as Nicci Dot C A, is a mixed media artist who creates colourful and playful portraits of what she calls her “Girlz”. The Girlz are doll-like characters with bold features, and each has their own quirky (and sometimes outlandish) personality. Nicci’s work can be seen on greeting cards, prints, clothing, bags, mailboxes, doors, and more! For this reason, she calls her work “functional art”. You can see or purchase some of Nicci’s functional art at this year’s Art World Expo!SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

When did you first start doodling what would eventually become your “My Girlz” collection? 
I have dabbled in doodling since I could pretty much clutch onto a crayon (just like most of our readers).
The focus on my girlz began in the very expressive mid-to-late 80’s. They began very simplistic and quite angular. Due to the art supplies at the time, they were also expressed in dark earth tone colours. Nothing like my curvy Spring coloured girlz of today.

Why did you choose to sell your products as prints and greeting cards? ETSY-GC-2012-greetig-card-c
I used to paint on stretched canvas all the time, but they were beginning to take over our home some years back. My good friend and fellow Artist, Violette Clark, suggested that I begin working out of an art journal. This was a great way for me to experiment and expand my work… besides saving space in my home…lol.
However, I missed sharing my work with others… this is when I began making prints & greeting cards with my favorite journal paintings. And what better way to share art with your loved ones, but with a fun cheerful and/or cheeky card from a local Artist?

How do you create separate personalities for each of your “Girlz”? 
They tell me what and who they want to be. I never plan my work, as my girlz are meant to evolve from within. I always just begin with light and loose pencil drawn circles and I somehow see them peeking out at me. Imagine looking into a mirror that is foggy from the showers steam. Staring into that mirror as the fog clears, you slowly see your own face emerge in the frame. That is similar to how my girlz introduce themselves to me.

Your work is slightly reminiscent of childhood toys such as Barbies and Bratz, or different styles of animation. What inspired you in your childhood that might’ve lead to your art today?
I loved Jim Henson’s Muppets as a child (& still do today)! The idea that grown adults could still ‘play’ for a living and support themselves. Imagine carrying over some of the best aspects of childhood throughout our lives, while making others happy! Who could not want that? When I was a teenage, I was a big fan of the band Duran Duran. On the cover of their RIO album was a famous art portrait by Nagel. The female face really pulled me in. The eyes are the key!
As for toys… I remember when Bratz first hit the store shelves. I was sooo happy. I thought “Wow, someone else out there speaks my language!”. Big eyes, full pouty lips & heads a little too big for their britches…lol.GC 2014 greetig card Quirk 02

What’s your best seller? 
Lately it has been the girlz that have a bit of a creep factor and a little tongue in cheek humour, as though they are visiting from a different realm. An alternate Earth perhaps.

Where did you get the idea? 
The idea of what my art focus is? I do not think I had a choice or a YES moment as to knowing what I would create. Nothing else speaks to me like my Girlz do. I often try to broaden my artistic horizons, so to speak, but I am always brought back to them. They are what makes me happy… what makes me, me.

How would you describe your artistic style? 
I say mixed media with no ‘rules’, but maybe the true definition should be something like …. a mix of Disney like female characters drenched in Kool-Aid, add a dash of Tim Burton and a wack load of thick black eyeliner…. Ha ha.

Can you tell the story of how you first started painting on clothing? 
1990-Burgundy-FranceAs a beginning Artist, a high school student and no money to buy stretched canvases, I decided to become my very own walking Art Gallery. I have a closet full of my old hand painted jean jackets, a few pairs of jeans & then of course hand bags & messenger bags. Since I have not worn painted jackets in a few years, I have recently taken my sewing scissors to a few and turned them into wrist-let bags. There are some jackets that I just cannot bring myself to re-invent though.

 

What is “functional art” and why do you like creating it?
Functional art is art that can be used in a variety of functions (ie: clothing, hand bags, greeting cards, a door in your home, your mail box, etc). Some people stop seeing the art work that they loved enough to hang on their wall, just because they are so used to it being there. It becomes invisible. Functional art is moved, it’s used. Others may see it and enjoy it, since it is out there….moving around in the community. It continues to live.

Which mediums do you use to create your art?  Creation Station (Nicci Dot C A)
Acrylic paint is my number one favorite medium. Next I love using Caran D’ache watercolour crayons as a team with my finger tips. They are a great tool for bringing my acrylic art to life! Plus, dare I call GLITTER a medium? I do use it a lot less than I used to, but I still love it… along with Swarovski crystals. All Girlz need a little bling, even the creepy ones.

How did having children change your life as a person and an artist? 
My art was a hobby before we had our son. By day I worked in a cubicle, hated it (loved most of my co-workers, but hated the desk jobs), punched the time clock & then would come home and paint and be happy. After we had our son and my maternity leave was over, we decided as a team that we had a child to raise him ourselves (not day care) & teach him that you can do in life what you love and succeed at it. So we tightened our money belts and have been sticking to our plans ever since. I have taken a couple short part time jobs to bring in some steady income over the years, but we always come back to centre. I have a wonderfully supportive husband. Therefore I am able to be here for our son, create art, teach art, plus organize & host ‘Into the heART’ art retreats and ‘Creative Finds’ markets. If everyone could just do what makes them happy (as a service)… now that would be a wonderful world

You do a fair bit of charity work. What are some of your favourite causes to support? 
Honestly I love working with many local charities, but one that pulls at my heart strings and brings me back over and over is the BC Children’s Hospital. We have had to spend some time over the years at Children’s and they have been a great support for our family and many others.

You host an event at the Creative Finds Marketplace every November. Can you tell us more about your event? 
2015-Poster-girl-APPLICATIOOur Creative Finds Marketplace is in it’s 9th year and is filled with so much local talent!
We focus on local handmade quality items and take a lot of pride in that. Plus we do our best to treat our vendors and customers as a member of our Creative Finds family. We are there to support eachother and do what we can to bring the Artists/Crafters/Makers together with the community that needs/wants/desires their product.
With next year marking our 10th anniversary, we have added a new element this year. We are welcoming in vendors that specialize in offering art and crafting supplies (but with no high import companies). We will soon be known for hosting events that showcase and inspire all creative levels of our fabulous community.

Where can people find your work?
The best place to start is to check my website and make a note of my upcoming events or where to shop online.
I will be taking part of the Fraser Valley Art Crawl on Thursday August 13th from 6-9pm.
Other than that, I do have Glitzy Galz greeting cards available at Wild Child Tattoos & Hair in Surrey (19228 96 Ave, Surrey, BC), as well as at the Sugar Shack on Vancouver Island (4492 Happy Valley Road, Metchosin, BC).

What will you be selling at the expo? 
I have a few canvases that I am creating especially for this great event! These Glitzy Galz will be full of whimsy and will be ready to go to their new homes at the end of the evening.
I will also have a letter loving mailbox that is ready for enhancing the entrance to someones lovely home, a wide array of my art prints and packages of my Glitzy Galz greeting card line.

Thank you for spending a little time with me & I look forward to meeting you all in person on May 1st!

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A wild & wooly TUESDAY night! (updated)

….lol…. come FIND ME tonight in Langley!

2015 04UPDATE:   The event was anything but Wild or wooly…. 🙁

It was a dud! Maybe 20 people came through the door that were not a vendor or friend of a vendor. Wow! So this is Creative Finds new competition…….um, okay.

They sent this in an email to all of us vendors today (“Thanks for making our show a success.”) and then asked us to register for their 2 Winter markets.

So I sent an email back and asked :

I am just curious as to why you think the show was a success.
What makes a market a success to you?

Regards, Nicci

I am very curious as to if or how they will respond.

I am so tired of people putting on these markets, that seem to have no business doing so. There is more to hosting a market than renting the space and filling it with vendors at a cheap table fee people! Where is the marketing, where is the enticing to welcome the public in?  Where is the diversity in products being offered? If you call your event an ‘Artisan’ market…. why are there only a few ‘Artists’ and many home party products? UGH! If only true organizers were putting on markets, there would be no over-saturation, no disappointed clientele that will not come back or attend other markets.

I am tired of not speaking up. So after a huge waste of an evening, & having to arrange rides for my child while I was out, I am speaking up!

Thank goodness for my great vendor neighbor last night. Chatting with her for 4 hours was my only saving grace. Oh, in case you were interested… she had two whole customers and I had just one lovely lady that bought 3 greeting cards.

ENOUGH of the crappy markets people!!! Join me at Creative Finds if you want to be a part of a reputable market that cares how the vendors do and if they and the public are happy.

Mini Canvas Showcase!

SEND ME your ART: 

I need many wonderful mini canvases to decorate a gallery wall in my art studio.  Would you like to help decorate?
I am looking for sizes 2″ x 2″,   1″ x 2″, & 3″ x 3″. You can purchase them at most art stores, including OPUS Art Supplies in Canada.buzz_4packmini3x3

All artwork will be featured on my BLOG with a link back to your website or facebook fan page!

My addy: 15450 – 18th Ave, Surrey, BC, V4A 1X2, Canada.

HAPPY CREATING !

Requested Deadline:  Feb 21st, 2014.  I am dying to finish the studio and have an open house. It will be so great to have a world wide art display on one wall showcasing everyone’s artwork along with their name!