Meet the Artist: Nicola Brand
Hi, my name is Nicola, (better known around the web as ‘Nicolpops’), and I’m a Scottish illustrator and fibre artist, specialising in character design.
I graduated in 2012 from Grays School of Art, specialising in Textile Design. It was during my time at Grays that I really discovered my love of fibre, and spent my time there making as much textures as I could with yarn, while incorporating this with my hand drawn illustrations via print making, laser cutting, and collage.
This led me to create children’s book illustrations, apparel design, as well as working on my own personal projects over the years. What I enjoy most is creating characters, often interpreting my love for circus with a touch of the spooky and weird.
The urge to do something tactile with my hands that I could incorporate with my illustrations had been niggling on the back of my mind for a while. I have always had a love for toys and collectable plushies so I decided to have a go at turning my character designs into 3D fibre sculptures.
'Fluffy Goat' by Nicola Brand
As much as I love illustration, I enjoy the process of building with my hands, as well as the sense of calm that the often slow process of working with fibre can bring. This shift back to textiles has been especially rewarding over lockdown. Right now, the materials I enjoy using to build my creatures are wool felt, faux-fur and wool roving.
Creating characters often means that I am inputting my own emotions when making them, developing their own unique personalities, depending on how I’m feeling when I make them; sometimes even adorning them with handstitched or knitted costume pieces – and I love hearing how others resonate with them too.
Joining NAC at the beginning of 2021 has been one of the best investments I have made in my creative practice. Having a space of my own has let me experiment with taking my fibre beasts to a whole new level, and I look forward to creating some much bigger pieces this year, that I’d love to show at an exhibition!
If you want to see more of my work, you can find me on Instagram and Facebook (@nicolpops), as well as my site: www.nicolpops.com