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Meet Nicholas Ivins of Nicholas Ivins Art & Illustration

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicholas Ivins.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicholas. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and always knew that it was what I wanted to do in life. I graduated from San Diego State with a degree in graphic design in 2005 and have been working as a graphic designer, artist, and illustrator ever since. In 2011 I started hitting the art festival/street fair scene and have been really focusing on that ever since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
These past seven years of selling my work directly to the public have the most arduous of my career and life. There have been countless struggles, setbacks, bad shows, moments of despair, feelings of failure and hopelessness… As a professional artist, your success is completely based on the approval of others, so when you aren’t able to get that, it can suck the life out of you. But when you have a great show with lots of enthusiastic customers, you feel on top of the world, and that maybe you do have a chance after all. It’s definitely a rollercoaster, to be sure.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My main area of focus as of late has been fine art and showcasing/selling directly to the consumer at fairs and festivals. My current schedule is about a dozen shows a year, mostly in San Diego and Southern California, but I do occasionally venture out of the local area and am always looking for more profitable venues.

In terms of subject matter, my main focus has been Day of the Dead figures and detailed animal portraits. Both have been proven quite popular with the public, and I’m always trying to find creative takes on these subjects. My style is comic-inspired and somewhat cartoony, but bold and colorful in a way that appeals to all sorts of people. There’s very little like it at any of the shows I do.

I’m most proud of the money I make. Seriously! Not because there’s a lot of it (yet), but because I’ve done consistently better every year I’ve been doing shows. Anyone can like or reblog your stuff online (and I appreciate those that do!), but to actually inspire someone to surrender their hard-earned money so that they can have something you made is so much more real, and a greater compliment of what I do.

What were you like growing up?
A lot less serious, a lot less stressed, a lot more annoying… Trying to survive off of my art was a definite crash course in adulthood. It was a trial by fire of sorts and really focused me on what was important and what I was made of. I’m hoping that those lean times are behind me, but I know that art is an economically precarious occupation so I don’t take anything for granted,

But my interests have remained pretty consistent throughout my life. I was always into drawing, and I grew up watching cartoons and reading comics. Those mediums were huge influences on my artistic style, and I still enjoy them and allow them to inspire me.


  • Greeting Cards: $5
  • Coloring Books: $15
  • Prints: $15 and up
  • Canvas giclées: $90 and up

Contact Info:

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