Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Ni Carnahan Illustration

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Ni Carnahan. I am a passionate, self-taught illustrator who draws from the heart. I was born and raised in Taiwan and knew at an early age that I was an artist. Although my life in Taiwan took me in different directions, I always had a love of drawing and art. Once I moved to Northern California, I became so inspired by the works of artists such as Mary Engelbreit and Beatrix Potter that I knew that art was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My art is a unique fusion of Asian and Western styles. All of my works are first hand-drawn and then lightly enhanced using various forms of media. 

How long have you been painting/illustration/doing art?
I have always been creating art every since I was a little girl. I did Japanese comic drawings back in my high school and college years. When l I moved to America I decided to pursue my dream as an illustrator.  I am working as a greeting card designer and developing my own style. I set up Ni Carnahan Illustration recently and am ready to start my art career as an illustrator. 

What’s your favorite medium?
Pen and Ink, color pencil, pastel, watercolor, and gauche. I also have been learning how to use digital tools to enhance my art. It is different from traditional approach, but I like to explore and try new things out.

Do you have a favorite subject you like to paint? Do you have a style preference?
I love buttons, lines, shapes, patterns, decorative subjects, Nature ,and antique objects.  I like to combine things that I love into my illustration because it helps to represent who I am and what I love.  Over the years, I have created a little logo girl with circle face and music notes of hands and feet. I have been developing a style using real buttons with my girl characters and other media. It is the style that I prefer and have been developing for a while.  As a self-taught illustrator, I always love to try new approach and medium combinations  when I create because I like to find new ways to express myself. Anyways, I prefer hand-drawn art, but I like to explore different approaches when I create!

What are your favorite tools for creating your art?
Pen and ink, colored pencil, pastel, gauche, and watercolor.

What is the inspiration behind your artwork? Do you have a particular person that inspires you in your work/life?
Nature is my biggest inspiration and I often find inspiration through little thing in my life. I love all the creatures, plants and especially flowers in nature. I also love antiques, and old fashion stuff. For example, I wish I could live in old time where ladies need to dress up with all the elegant outfits and accessories.  I want to combine all the elements of nature, antiques, lines, shapes, patterns, and fashions that I love into my arts because that's where my passion is. 

My family also helps to inspire me.  Their unconditional love and support inspire me to create and follow my dream.

What is the one thing that you hope that your artwork will do for others?
It is my sincerest wish my art will bring you warmth, love and happiness. 

What encouragement and/or tips can you give to other inspiring individuals?
"When you are passion about something in life, and making effort to pursue it daily, you will most likely be successful. Have dream or talent? ---don't try, but DO it!" Being an illustrator means never stop investing in yourself and growing as an artist daily.  Also, be persistent and consisted with your talent, and work hard every day. I remember I attended SCBWI conferences a few years back, and all the wonderful artists would tell us to be persistent and never stop learning and practicing.  This is what I've been doing ever since. I challenged myself to sketch daily for 365 days a few years back to see if I could make it. I did it because it was how I realized I could make it happen - being consistant and persistent with my creative process, and eventually my art career. Through this challenge, I was able to gain my self-confidence and understand my weakness. Also, never be afraid of trying new things or learning! And never wait for opportunities to come, you must make them happen. 

Note: All art and photography belong to Ni Carnahan Illustration. Please do not copy or reproduce without her permission. 



  1. Great interview. It's nice to know you more Ni :)
    I really love your detailed ink drawing above. It's beautiful and unique. And it's absolutely true about being persistent. I have not reached my goal yet but I think I am better with my work now than a few years before. It's all about hard work :)

  2. This is a really inspiring interview, your artwork is lovely! Thankyou so much for sharing :)
    Jess x x

  3. wonderful artwork, Ni definitely have a style of her own. I like that it is more handdrawn than computer.

    thanks for the interview. I enjoy reading about artist and their process. have a sweet day.

  4. Oh....Alexandra!!I deeply appreciate the art interview! It looks lovely and I love it! Also, thank you so much for everyone's kind comments about this interview and my art works. I couldn't have done it without Alexandra!!! I will continue to have fun creating my arts,and share with you all! ^_____^ Happy creating!!

  5. Beautiful! I love the line work.

  6. great interview. So fun to read and find out about the face behind the beautiful art. Great job, ladies!

  7. such a lovely interview and art, thank you so much for sharing.


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