The GNU B-Nice Floral graphic was created by Mia Nolting. As an artist in Portland, she could not escape the influence of the poppies in spring, or the floral patterns on old wallpaper found in many Portland establishments. mianolting.com.
GNU: Wheres home? Wheres was it before?
I grew up in California—LA as a kid and the bay area as a teenager—but I’ve been in Portland for 7 years now.
GNU: Whats your process and how did you arrive there?
Lots and lots of observational drawing and working in my sketchbook. I stopped trying to paint and embraced line work, which has been for the best. I make a lot of work and edit, rather than spending a lot of time on one image. I eavesdrop on people to draw them and record things they say in my drawings.
GNU: Can you tell us a little about the boards graphic you did for gnu?
The idea of an overall floral pattern was pretty set from the beginning, and the colors went through lots of transformation. The hand lettered logo was fun to do also – lots of drawings, narrowing down on the best few. I was traveling in Hawaii while designing the board, so I’m sure there was some influence there.
GNU: Do you snowboard?
No but I love the mountains! I grew up surrounded by surf culture in LA, which has a very similar feel to snowboard culture from what I can tell. There’s this kind of zen love of organic processes, whether it’s riding the wave or the mountain.
GNU: What gets you out of bed in the morning, what inspires you?
Being able to draw all the time and still pay rent is amazing, and I’m a very emotional person so I’m always inspired by connections with friends and beautiful things like wildflowers and dinner parties. I love that I live in a city where I can bike everywhere and never sit in traffic if I don’t want to. I’m pretty sure that love drives most of the things I do.
GNU: Currently listening to?
Arthur Russell, Caetano Veloso & Os Mutantes, just heard the new Sufjan Stevens and liking it, and my roommate and I have been blasting Kate Bush lately.
GNU: Currently looking at?
The blog manystuff.org, which tends to focus on publications and layout-based design, old travel posters from the 20s and 30s, kate o’connor is an amazing illustrator and designer, plus Peter Doig, great painter.
GNU: Whats next?
I’m going south this winter – somewhere with sunshine and a good internet connection so I can work and be somewhere warm! There’s also talk of Toronto for a residency, but the details are up in the air. In the meantime, I’ll continue to draw every day and work on projects as they come. And Take care of my chickens and practice piano.
Thank you! And thanks to Tim and the Together Gallery boys. And friends and family, always!