Fashion Illustrator Spotlight: Nick Pini

I first fell in love with Nick Pini‘s illustrations when his girls were very realistic and fun. In December 2019, we did a mini collaboration to showcase 3 beautiful S/S 2020 collections. Since then, Nick‘s illustration style has evolved and now his girls are unique, with a touch of comical style. Today I am so happy to let you know more about Nick through this interview!

Draw A Dot Versace Nick Pini

Nick, it’s my pleasure to feature you on Draw A Dot again since our last collaboration in December 2019! So, when did you start drawing? Was being an illustrator a goal of yours when you were small?  

It almost just felt second nature, and I really didn’t know it was a special talent or craft until college. I was in art classes and took anime lessons, did a lot of oil painting, and even painted with my mom sometimes, she is a great artist! 

Ah, you took anime lessons! No wonder your characters have this cool anime style! Speaking of your characters, I can see that they have evolved over a very short period of time. What inspired you to evolve your characters and style? 

So when I was little I was watching an episode of (I’m pretty sure it was) MTV cribs featuring the singer P!nk. And I always think back to something she said, which is “whenever I’m making new music I turn the radio off” and so lately I’ve needed to “turn the radio off” in a sense. I’ve stepped back and have been trying new things just for the sake of having fun and enjoying it. The more realistic renderings I do serve their purpose for me, but loosening up has been so freeing and fun. 

Nick Draw A Dot

I am loving this new style and I can say the characters you illustrate now are unique and fun! I hope you will continue exploring this direction. From what I know, you are also a fashion designer. How does this help you with your drawings? 

I know the ins and outs of clothes, which helps me to see things not visible in a photograph. Sometimes this helps and sometimes this hurts. I think knowing too much can sometimes hinder fantasy and creativity. But being a clothing designer is such an epic way of storytelling, and illustration is just another part of that whole. 

It’s true that when you know too much, you might not be able to unlock your creativity. However, based on the illustrations I have seen to date, I think you have done a great job! Now let’s get back to drawing. What is your creative process? Do you have any specific habits when drawing?

I have a morning routine! My dog jumps up on the bench of my table to be next to me, I make a pot of coffee, I listen to some good music. I have to take a minute to focus, because without focus I can’t get much done.

Nick Pini Fashion Illustrator

I believe your dog is giving you a lot of inspirations too! Now let’s talk about your works. Out of all the illustrations you have created to date, which piece is your favourite? Why?

Wow this is really hard! I think it might just be the small series I did “no nightmares, no dreams” because they were the first drawings I did when I was trying to loosen up my sketches. It’s funny because I literally woke up, walked straight over to my desk and started drawing them, before I did anything else that day. It felt like I was writing down what happened in my head the previous night. The name comes from what I used to wish for in my prayers before I’d go to sleep As a little kid.

Pini No Nightmares No Dreams

I believe that’s the series I started to notice your change of style! It’s great to know the story behind this series! I know both of us like to go on social media platforms to look for good illustrators to follow. In your opinion, which one do you recommend us to keep an eye on? What so attractive about their works?  

Anjelica Roselyn and I found each other way way back in the beginning of Instagram. We’ve both watched each other grow as artists and I am her biggest fan! Her works are so colorful and free and she inspires me endlessly! 

Artwork by Anjelica Roselyn

I have to agree that Anjelica has a very cool illustration style and her works are very refreshing! I hope the reader who is reading now is following Anjelica! So for this feature, I have also given you a task. I asked you to create something for Draw A Dot. Can you let us know the inspiration behind this piece? 

The Orange Dot and Marcus!! 

“Learning to eat the fruits of this planet” 

Nick Pini Orange Dot Draw A Dot

So I guess I am the character in this piece? I love the fact that an orange is involved in this illustration! It’s fun and I love it! Nick, I know you love celebrities, and here is my final long question for you. If one day you can illustrate and dress a celebrity, whom will you choose? Why?

I think I’d have to go with Cher. I mean talk about endless inspiration. Occasionally, I still watch the Cher Show reruns! She is the ultimate human being!! 

Nick Pini

Now it’s time to learn Nick on a more personal level!

  • Favourite TV Show – the Cher Show!
  • Fashion brand – Balmain (Christoff Decarnin era) or, now Ottolinger
  • Favourite colour – light pink
  • Favourite season – summer!! Duh! 
Nick Aquarius
  • Christmas or Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving (leftover sandwiches!!)
  • Digital or Traditional Illustration? Traditional!
  • Los Angeles or New York? LA BABY!!!
  • Pokemon or Harry Potter? Ouuu this is tough, but I’m gonna have to go with HP! 

You can visit Nick’s Instagram account to see more of his works! All illustrations in this feature are created by Nick Pini unless stated otherwise.

Nick, thank you so much for letting me feature you on this site! I am excited to see what kind of illustrations you are going to create next! Also, I need to see the Leo piece soon since I am a Leo!

Founder of Draw A Dot. Agent of some of the best fashion illustrators in Canada!
  • Ivana Split

    Such a pleasure to meet Pini and see his work! Thank you for sharing this interview.

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