Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nikki Burnette

Hello readers! Today we are visited by the fantasy artist Nikki Burnette.Nikki does wonderful fantasy and pagan art creations. Her creations have a whimsical feel to them and are true scenes. You almost feel that you could walk into another world. You can visit her website and purchase her PSP tubes at CDO. Thank you so much for talking with us today Nikki.

1) How did you become a part of the psp tube community?

I was initially contacted many years ago by MyPSPTubes. They found my art through DeviantArt.com and asked if I would be interested in licensing my art for
tubes. Honestly, at that point I knew nothing about tubes! So I had to do some research and quickly found out how fun tubes and the tubing community is. I used to
create signatures or "sigs" for use in gaming forums with my own art about 10 years ago, so tagging felt very familiar to me. I became very excited about the
opportunity to allow others to use my artwork to create tags, so I signed a contract with MyPSPTubes. Ever since then, I have had my art licensed for tubes. I am
currently licensed with Creative Design Outlet.

2) What does your artwork mean to you?

My artwork means everything to me! I put so much of my own personal energy into my paintings, I almost feel like they are an extension of myself. I'm so
personally invested in everything that I do that I often physically feel drained after painting. My emotions, my likes, my dislikes, my happiness, my personality all
get transferred to my art while I'm painting. Without my artwork, I would honestly feel like less of a person...like a part of myself was missing. It is who I am and
is what defines me.

3) What inspires you in creating your artwork?

For me it's less of an inspiration and more of a -need- to keep creating. It's just such a part of me, it's something I have to do and don't really choose to do if that
makes any sense. I've been a creative person my whole life and struggled for a little bit on how to express myself creatively until I found painting. But if I trace my memories back, I can't really think of a time that I wasn't being creative in one way or another be it sketching, needlework, crocheting, sculpting, etc... I was thrilled when I stumbled upon my chosen medium, watercolors, and started painting things that I liked and discovered that other people liked them too! To be able to make a living off of something that's my passion is a dream come true.

4) How long have you been selling psp tubes?

Well, I just looked through and found the original inquiry message sent from MyPSPTubes to license my art and looks like it was way back in 2007. That's the year
I signed with them and I've been selling psp tubes ever since!

5) How do you create your artwork? Is it by handor digitally? What tools do you use in doing the artwork?

Mainly I use traditional media, but I do use the computer for one part of the process. I start by sketching out my piece with plain old pencil and paper. I am a very messy sketcher and erase a lot which is why I can't sketch directly on my watercolor paper. It tears up the fibers of the paper too much. After I get the sketch where I like it, I then have to clean up the linework for the final watercolor painting. All my work has a defined outline that I ink, so I have to get these lines finalized before I start on the painting.
I scan my sketch and open it up in Photoshop where I use the pen tool to create a clean version of the lines. At this point, it almost looks like a coloring page out of a coloring book. Next, I print out the clean line version very, very lightly onto the final watercolor paper. This is the best way I have found to transfer my lines to my final watercolor paper. A lot of people use graphite transfers, projectors or lightboxes, but this is the quickest and easiest way for me to do it. Another plus is there is absolutely no graphite or pencil marks on the watercolor paper which can make paintings seem muddy. Also, the digital linework doesn't go to waste
because I use them for coloring pages, rubber stamps and digital stamps!
After that, I ink over all the light printed lines with a dip pen and brown ink. Once that dries, I use watercolors to paint the painting. I get asked a lot if I use
acrylics, but it's all watercolor. I just paint many, many layers to achieve my vivid opaque colors.

6)Aside from psp tubes, what else do you create with your artwork?

My artwork gets turned into so many different products. That is one of the most exciting parts of painting...to see your work on a coffee mug or t-shirt...it's just so cool! My artwork is licensed for many different products such as cross stitch designs, rubber stamps and magnets. But I also create many things myself, all by hand in my studio with my artwork on them. I make prints of all sizes, stickers, magnets, bookmarks, coloring books, necklaces, notepads, buttons, pocket mirrors and
so much more. I really enjoy offering my art on functional items that people can use on a daily basis!

7) As you have developed your style and artwork, which artists have influenced you?

While I have studied art history and definitely find inspiration in "the Greats", I think I find my greatest source of inspiration from fantasy artists that are painting and selling their art right now. One of my initial greatest sources of inspiration was browsing eBay when I was first getting started and looking at the art of very talented fantasy artists such as Molly Harrison, Meredith Dillman, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Ching-Chou Kuik, Myka Jelina, Nadia Tate, Amy Brown, Jessica Galbreth and so many more. I just loved how they depicted the female form. I'm also very heavily influenced from pinup artists such as Alberto Vargas and Gil
Elvgren. I love to draw my female characters in a similar sexy, but not too sexy pinup style.

8) Does the psp community help artists become more well known with getting their names and artwork more visible?

Oh definitely! I have had many people discover my artwork through the psp community. They have come to my website or Etsy store and mentioned that they
found me through the company that I have my art licensed with for tubes. Many also join my Facebook Fan Page and become collectors! It's really such a
wonderful opportunity to gain more exposure for my art.

9) What do you enjoy the most about being part of the psp community?

My favorite part is seeing what people do with my art! I can't even begin to express how rewarding it is to see someone take your art and turn it into their own
piece of art. I love seeing what different design elements they pair up with my art and how they use it. It is such a neat experience!

10) What are some of your favorite art pieces which you have done and why?

I always have a love/hate relationship with my artwork as funny as that sounds. I tend to love them when I first finish them, then nit-pick them and find all their
flaws and hate them, then grow to love them again and accept them as they are. I think most artists toil with this issue. We're all constantly striving to improve our art and notice a lot of things both good and bad that probably aren't noticeable to anyone else.I have three pieces right now that I'm really fond of: Lexy, Copper and Cheyanna. But of course that could change at any moment!
Lexy is my very first zombie painting and I was just so happy with how it turned out. I was really inspired by tattoo art, pinup art, the rockabilly style and of course zombies when I created this piece. I enjoyed painting this piece so much, I joked around that I will only be painting zombies from here on out! Everything was so fun to paint from the green skin, to the tattoo inspired roses and banner. I also liked making this one a bit more gruesome than my usual pieces by adding a
grungy/bloody background.
Copper is one of my latest steampunk paintings. I just really enjoy the simplistic color scheme with only shades of brown and red. I had fun painting the textured
background and all the different steampunk elements.
And Cheyanna is my fall fairy piece. She's sitting on a fallen log in the forest surrounded by all her fox friends. This piece was the biggest one that I had painted at that time (11x14"), and I feel was technically one of my best paintings that I've ever done. Plus it's depicting my favorite season, fall. I just love fall, the colors, the smells, everything about it, so it's fun making this come to life in my painting.

11) Do you prefer tags with your art tubes animated or non animated? Or are both great to you?

I love both! It's always so fun to see your art actually come to life with different animation effects.

12) Do you do commissions for taggers? How about ideas for tubes which taggers may have?

I've never done a commission specifically to be used as a tube, but I definitely enjoy doing commissions! I actually do commissions fairly often and really have fun
working with a client to make their visions come to life through my artwork. My current commission list is currently booked up, but I have opened up a waiting
list where I'm adding people until a spot opens up. So if anyone is interested in one, I'd definitely love to hear from you!

13) Is there anything which you don't allow to be done with your artwork? For example mirroring, animation, etc.

Nothing that I can think of! I trust the companies I license my art with and generally leave the rules to them.

14) Would you like to receive tags which our readers may do featuring your artwork? We often love to send the artists tags by our readers.

Oh absolutely!! It totally makes my day to see a tag that someone's done with my artwork. You can email them to me at nikki@aurella-art.com or post them on my

Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/NikkiBurnetteArt.

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