Today we’d like to introduce you to Nëka Schultz.
Nëka, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mom is a talented seamstress and she taught me how to make just about anything. My dad passed away in 2014 and I miss him very much. Along with his sense of humor, he gave me excellent taste in movies and music – that must be why I’m so cool! Love you, dad! Both of my parents were supportive of my art, and they knew how determined I was. At a young age, my parents knew I only wanted to make things – they would tell me stories about how I would cry and cry if I didn’t have my paper and pencils with me. Now I carry a sketchbook and pencils everywhere I go!
At 19 years old, I was beyond ready to get out of Oklahoma and had fallen in love with a Frenchman, so I moved to France. I spent two glorious years living in a suburb of Paris, learning French, making art and I even made a best friend – Miel! I spent a lot of time on my own drawing and exploring the city and I soon realized that while this dream was very beautiful, it was not fulfilling a certain part of me and I felt like something was missing. So I moved back home.
Moving back to Oklahoma was a really difficult decision, but I was beginning to work on creative video projects with my comedian-rocker-vampire now-husband. I finished up school meanwhile he and I were dating and soon enough were and making weird art together! How romantic. I began working as a freelance artist painting portraits, designing show flyers, band merch and sign art. Five years ago, I relocated to Los Angeles with my husband and have been exploring ever since!
I have an extensive collection of sketchbooks and paintings from different periods in my life, comics reflecting memories (some happy, some sad, some meaningless) and work dedicated to my nostalgia for foreign places. I often escape into my art by writing, creating new characters and making up scenarios.
I’m now freelance designing for NBCUniversal while working on my own projects. I’m currently learning stop motion animation, and I am loving it.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make quite a bit of portraits, characters and creatures. Some of them are paintings, some drawings, some are made-up characters and some are representations of actual people. I’m always trying out new techniques and practicing different ways of drawing the same subject matter… it’s like sculpting! A few years back, I worked as a sign artist and hand lettering became my new obsession. I found extra work making signs and flyers for bands, comedians and theater troupes and from there began branding, making storefront signage and am now painting murals as well!
One of the main reasons I make art is to escape and explore other places and characters. Sometimes I use my art to actually communicate what I am going through, maybe I need to spell it out with hand lettering, or a 4-panel comic, or maybe paint what I’m feeling. I feel that when I am able to be vulnerable with my self and others, I make the best work. I do hope that when I share these more sensitive pieces that it connects to someone on some level that can bring us closer together!
What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
That’s a really good question, actually! I have made a few friends with the help of the internet, but there are also lots of great galleries and shops within my neighborhood that rotate exhibits with themes and spotlight artists. I’ve found some great artist friends by mingling around there.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can physically visit one of my murals in downtown LA at Still Life Ceramics and while you’re there you can sign up for a pottery class. It’s a lot of fun!
- Website: www.nekaschultz.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @nekaschultz
Lyndsey Marie (@elmarieports)