Saturday, October 12, 2013

Artist showcase- 14 ... Nina May

Hello weekend !

   Today I have invited my fellow designer friend for a little chat... Introducing Nina May, Idea Curator of Surface Pattern Design for Fashion Dolls and Products !

Why don't we read about her to know her better...? So, here you go...........


How would you describe yourself ?
I am a designer, Artist, Mom, Yogi, Curator, Collector, Perfectionist and Comedian.

What do you like to do when you are not designing ?
 I love to go Thrift shopping with my Daughter, watch movies, read, eat Sushi or Indian food, Play, go to the Beach, knit and clean. I really am incubating for new ideas for future designing while unplugging in down time. For some reason, the Zen of cleaning my studio or home brings in new projects and ideas!

Describe your style.
My style is Ethnic Abstract with a splash of Floral and Painterly. My style really started as Painterly because I started my career hand-painting Tee Shirts. Now I combine my Hand-Painting and Drawing with Illustrator and Photoshop.

What is your favorite color?

Tell us about your first collection.
My first collection was a Punk 80’s Style Hand-Painted tee shirts. My line was called 8Teez, which started as a find from an Army/Navy Store, Vintage Medical Uniforms from WWII. I also added Painted Medical Smocks, Tee Shirts and Men’s Boxers and women’s gloves.  The style was Geometric, Tropical with splatter and stencils. I showed the line as a Fashion Show in a Punk Gallery called the Zero/Zero Club. It was a blast and hey, it was the 80’s!  I later sold the line to many boutiques on trendy Melrose Avenue here in Los Angeles.

When did you get the idea that designing was the thing you love?
 I was working in a retail store as a salesperson after going to Woodbury University for Commercial Art. I was hand-painting my tee shirts and wearing them to work when my co-workers asked to buy my shirts for themselves and for gifts.  I got the idea that this could be a fun job and business. So, I quit my job and got my business license. I was so naïve, I just jumped in without knowing anything about retail/wholesale business except what I learned in school.  It was great to learn by just going for it!  Ignorance really is bliss!

Anything you want to share to your readers about setting up his/hers own business?  
Yes!  I would advise anyone starting their own business research on-line and in stores what kind of product category their design aesthetic fits. Research their target customers, being who would love your designs or products?  File for the proper business licenses, such as DBA, Business and Resale License Number etc.  Then go for it! Don’t be shy! Make cold calls and e-mails whatever social media contacts you have. Make appointments to show your portfolio, get represented by an agent or a rep.  You really have to take a lot of risks and be prepared for those naysayers that say you can’t when you CAN! Also, never sacrifice your vision for someone else’s opinion or taste. Stay true to your style. It might take time so don’t worry either. I say that because I’m a worrywart at heart and very sensitive.  So I work at that still to this day.

Who is your dream client?
 I would love to design for: Anthropologies, Desigual, Etro, Manish Ahora and Mary Kantranzou. Really anyone into color and patterns of my style.

Tell us about your biggest challenge in your career, and the way you handled it.
My first big order was 400 pieces for a major Department Store when I first opened my business. I hand-painted them all myself with stencils. I even hand delivered them to the Department Store’s shipping and receiving department.  I was so proud of myself and exhausted.  The next week they wanted to re-order 400 more pieces. I could not keep up with the demand, so I lost out on that order and they screen-printed their own design after that.  Now I know better about production and licensing my designs! Live and learn right?

Your greatest inspiration is?
My teenage daughter for sure!  She is truly an amazing talent and already my style icon.

 How would you describe your workplace?
My studio is an organized mess in my dining room, where I do not dine anymore, alas. I eat elsewhere though, no worries.

Where can people contact you and see and buy your work?
You can see my work here :  


Thank you Nina for sharing your lovely work with us ! I am quite inspired by the way you made your way towards your decided goal... It's true that HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION makes a person achieve his/her goals !!!

See you all soon with some more exciting news !!!

              HAPPY WEEKEND !