Holiday Artist Collaboration: Nysha Lilly
Joy to the world! Your holiday favorites have starring roles in our fun and festive Holiday Spirit print from artist Nysha Lilly. We asked Nysha about her creative process, inspiration and what gets her in the holiday spirit. Read the full Q&A below!
Nysha Lilly works to bring warmth, magic and lots of fun detail to her illustrations. She lives in Raleigh with her son and is always singing. She feels the luckiest to be an Artist & Mom- two of her favorite things! Nysha has illustrated two published books with four more on the way this winter. She is also working on her own kid lit book for 2024 that is supposed to be pretty magical. We'll just have to wait and see!
1. Where did you grow up and where do you live now? Connecticut born, Ohio raised and currently reside in Raleigh, North Carolina
2. How long have you been drawing? I've been drawing my whole life. Any chance to take an art class I'd run, but professionally I've been an artist for about three years now!
3. How did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I knew I wanted a career that gave me freedom of expression but also allowed me freedom to be as close to a full-time mom as possible. I tried many creative jobs: cake artist, bridal gifts, florist, calligrapher to name a few. Each of these jobs taught me something about myself, but I never felt the creative drive and passion to succeed in any of them as much as I do as an Artist-Illustrator. This feels good to my soul.
4. How would you describe your personal style and how does this affect your work? My personal style is cool, classic, muted and yet I can't say no to a little sparkle. I love trends, but classics are classics for a reason. Good denim, a black coat- the staples! Then add on the fun! I think my artistic style follows this. I do a lot of whimsy (that's the storyteller illustrator in me) but at the heart of my art there's a realistic anchor. I think this allows us to feel like we can actually imagine being inside the images I create.
5. Describe your most memorable moment as an artist so far?
I've worked with some cool people and brands so far but as far as memorable... when clients take my art as inspiration for their real life. I've had clients decorate their Christmas tree and design their nail art based on my work. That means it's extending off the page now, and I'm in awe of that!
6. What has been your biggest struggle as an artist so far? My biggest struggle has always been pushing past what's deemed realistic for me. The road I took to become an Artist was financially difficult and lonely. I could see the vision but I couldn't convince others of it, so I had to walk alone. To me settling was scarier though. I knew if I kept going I'd see my vision become a reality. I've still got plenty more vision left in me!
7. How did your collaboration with PC come about?
I created this fun holiday bingo illustration. It was a collection of favorite things about the holiday season. I remember being in this vibe while creating where I didn't want it to be perfect- only fun! It was a favorite piece for many, and it also led to Pink Chicken seeing some of those illustrations and voila! Here we are!
8. How do you feel about seeing your prints on clothing? I feel like buying a dress for all my friend's babies haha I'm elated for one, but for it to be a brand that has such a presence in children's apparel makes it even more a dream!
9. What gets you in the “holiday spirit”?! I am in my holiday spirit prime when I feel a chill in the air, I'm near a lit tree and I hear Mariah Carey's Oh Holy Night. That's the trifecta right there, and I'm for sure gonna sing!
10. Any sneak peeks or hints on any upcoming works? I WISH I had a sneak peek for you, but I'll share a few on the list: Santa in the City, Some stylish gingerbread people and T'was the Night Before Christmas.. I cannot say more, but it's gonna be good!