Nicola Householder

A big congrats to Nicola Householder, one of our 30 TDK Awards’ winners for 2018. A Pratt Institute student from New York, her work was chosen by James & Beth from Warriors Studio: “Refreshingly playful work. We get a good vibe from Nicola and can feel her positivity and personality from her work. She feels like a Warrior! Endearing personal projects Prank Scouts and Bingo Cards are right up our street. Great ideas and playfully executed. Confident use of colour, illustration and a distinctive hands-on style which we think stand out and could be very successful commercially. John Hughes DVD set is not as strong aesthetically as the other projects but the packaging design and concept are brilliant – and the idea matters most. With some development on the illustration style, typography and cover this could be very strong”. We asked Nicola to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards’ hopefuls.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

My original plan was to study psychology. Or German? Or architecture...but then I realized two years into a liberal arts program that those were interests, not actually things I wanted to make into a living. So I transferred to Pratt to deliberately study graphic design because that had always been something I knew I was good at and had done for fun in high school (albeit on Microsoft Word). I also just generally wanted to be around more creative people. I'm really glad I did it even though art school tends to feel like death.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I have a weird side insta where I've been cropping and posting little graphic elements of old ads from magazines I have from the 20s, 30s, and 60s. It's called @ephemeraunlimited and I'm having a lot of fun sharing these tidbits out-of-context. For instance one of my favorites is this housewife saying "For women only: laxative news!"

Design work by Nicola Householder The Design Kids interviews Nicola Householder work-2

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I do some illustration and want to do more. I have friends who are infinitely more talented than me but I'm still proud of how far I've come in terms of my skill level. So if you're like me and you went into art school dreading figure drawing class, just stick with it and you will improve. I always do basic sketching for all my projects, even though they might go into Illustrator right after that. If for no other reason, it helps you to get out of the computer.

What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?

  1. Keep humor in your work. You’ll go crazy if you don’t laugh at your work and the design world in general.

  2. Make things with friends whenever you can. Some of my fave projects have been silly videos/fake ads I’ve written and filmed with friends, and I’m not a filmmaker by any means.

  3. Develop your taste. Go to museums, gallery openings, concerts, read books, etc. Don’t be basic.

  4. Ask people for help. Whether that means with finding a job, learning a new technique, or getting extra manpower for some vision you have.

  5. Develop some totally non-visual-art related hobbies. I taught myself to play piano (badly). The point is not to be well rounded but to take a break from your visual brain.

Design work by Nicola Householder The Design Kids interviews Nicola Householder work-4
Design work by Nicola Householder The Design Kids interviews Nicola Householder work-4

Where to find Nicola Householder online.

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