Q & A with Creator Nadine Nevitt
Q: Can you tell our readers who you are and what you do?
A: My name is Nadine Nevitt and [ever] since I can remember I have been curiously creating things. Most people say I’m an artist but I think I prefer the word creator because it is more inclusive to all aspects of design. Each day I work on many different projects; branding work for small and large businesses, product photography, trend research, fashion design and most recently pillow making! Currently I’m a full-time freelancer and business owner of Nadine Nevitt & Co. [Nadine Nevitt & Co.] is a small company of one (with the support of my better half and close friends). I draw all original fabric illustrations, and sew each decorative cushion at the kitchen table of our South Granville apartment. I am passionate about “girlbossing” and “side hustling” and am an advocate for others to do the same. For me, seeing a concept start and then evolve to be worn, purchased or used by a complete stranger is one of the most exciting things to be a part of. [It’s the] perfect time to be a creator because there are endless ways to share what you are making.
Q:Where and/or who do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I grew up in Caledon, Ontario surrounded by fields and horses. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until much later, since I lived on a dirt road covered in potholes. I also relied on dial-up connection longer than most of my friends at school because of how far we lived from town. Needless to say, this disconnection and space of country living enabled me to fill my time with painting, pottery, stained glass, jewelry making, [running] lemonade stands and a desire to know and do more. I also benefited from having a family full of artists. When I am in need of inspiration I go outside, I make time to do nothing. This is very important for a creative person. I also study science, technology and music because I believe these areas always guide and determine the trends that are evolving, especially in fashion. I [am also] inspired by what the people around me are creating. I gain a lot of energy from other entrepreneurs and artists alike.
Q: What are your plans for Summer 2016 and beyond?
A: My immediate plans for Summer 2016 are to connect to people, places and things. I am trying to figure out what it means to work for myself. I’m learning what I like to design for others and I’m practicing the art of travel while working remotely. I have spent so many hours behind the same desk and this year is all about exploring and getting out of a routine so I can find the one that works best for me. I’m also really excited to check off some more adventures on my bucket list, including glacier skiing, whale watching [and] surfing in Oregon, Japan and Hawaii.
Q: What bedface colours would you love to outfit your bed in?
A: I love bedface’s selection of colours however, I’m most drawn to Ice Blue and Alarm Clock Orange. If half my bed was blue and then half was orange I would be able to get to bed quietly and wake up loudly. Customizing your personal style is the way of the future and bedface is changing home décor by allowing personal choices in an online experience
Q: What made you decide to create pillows?
A: I started making pillows during my time at Ryerson University in Toronto, 6 years ago. I studied Fashion Communication and was learning to sew, make computer graphics and illustrate. For my final thesis project I decided I could combine my two loves of drawing and sewing into one product. I finished a graphic novel and made my first pillow collection. That Christmas, everyone in my family received pillows and nothing much has changed since. Sadly or amazingly, I have sewn (by hand) and sold over 100 pillows in the last two years. I also like the ideas of pillows because anyone, anywhere, any age can use a good place to rest their head, feet or dog (many dogs like my pillows).
Q: How do you create your prints/ what sort of process do you use to create them?
A: I create my prints a couple of ways, depending on the aesthetic I want to create. Sometimes I draw with pen and ink on paper. I illustrate all the objects I want to incorporate into the print using that technique and then I scan what I have drawn. Once I have the scans then I download them onto my laptop and work with an Adobe program called Illustrator. At this stage, I add colour and make a repeat, so that when I order the fabric, I cannot tell where my pattern starts or finishes. When I’m happy with the design and colours I send my fabric to the printer and wait for it to be made into a bolt of cotton-linen canvas. My favourite part of the process is when the fabric and my designs arrive at my door and I can begin sewing. Last but not least, I cut and sew to make the pillows! I love to pair the front facing fabric with the faux leather so that the cushion has a nice luxurious feel.
Q: Which print is your favourite and why?
A: My PNW [Pacific Northwest] Mountain print is my favourite because it was the first print I sold on my Instagram account and has been a top seller ever since. This print also resonates with me because through this design I have met so many awesome people. For a long time you could only buy online and anyone who purchased from me would have to meet me at a coffee shop or pick it up from my office. During the pillow pass off, I was able to understand how clients were finding out about my designs or where the pillows were going. I am always interested in learning about the person buying my products. It helps me design going forward. I also love the PNW Mountain print because I love skiing and spending [my] free time at Whistler or Cypress. It’s a magical place, to be above the clouds, especially when the city is covered in rain.