Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Giordani.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have always enjoyed creating something from nothing, growing up an only child and with busy working parents in Vermont, I was often left to my own devices, making my own toys, writing stories, and eventually writing music.
I have always been completely fascinated with creating.
I was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and after I reached 10, my parents were fed up with the pace and trying to fit into the Suburbs of New Jersey, and moved our family outside of Burlington, Vermont to live a quieter and simpler life. My parents ended up divorcing, and I had a lot of trouble in school, which left me looking for an escape from reality. It led me to get involved with the local music scene, playing in some small bands, and going to shows. My father passed away in 2009 due to a short but awful battle with cancer, and it left me devasted as he was my biggest supporter. I wanted to create, but I was simply too depressed. I tried so hard to manage, but I had to rebuild my life, but again, music was there the whole time. I dug through my father’s record collection searching and longing for a connection again.
Eventually, my love of music took me into a small recording studio in Burlington where I worked on a lot of demos with some local artists and putting on events with other artists in my shared space, however, I was forced to shut down my studio and decided to move on with other ventures. I moved to San Francisco in 2015 looking for a change of pace and searching for something new, so I tried a lot of things during this time, but quickly realized that old habits die hard and that if not addressed, your problems will follow you. During this time I fell deep into alcoholism and depression, longing to dull the pain of losing my father. There really wasn’t a catalyst, but one day I just snapped out of it and put the bottle down. I think I was tired of the life I was living and the problems that came with it. As of this time I have been sober for 13 months and am living a much happier and more fulfilled life thanks to that decision.
During this time, however, I had lost everything I owned and had no equipment and no means of making music, working a job I hated. I was living in a spare room at my friend’s house while I tried to get back on my feet. As designers, the two of them participated in #Inktober, a month-long Instagram challenge where illustrators post a new piece every single day for the month of October. Desperately searching for a creative outlet, and with an interest in cartoons and tattoos, I thought to myself, “Why not?” I used to draw as a kid when I was upset, why not try it now at this point in my life. The structure and deadlines really attracted me. I constantly struggle with finishing things, knowing “when they’re done” and biting off more than I can chew. So why not start small with something like this? One drawing a day. That’s it.
I posted my first piece on October 1st, 2018, and much to my surprise I got a dm from a friend saying “This is great! If you keep it up, I might buy something from you!” It took 19 more days of one drawing a day, but I sold my first piece, and then another, and then another, and before I knew it I had enough to move out of San Francisco, and relocated to LA where I had always dreamed of living since I was little. My dad used to live in Hollywood in the ’80s and would show me pictures and tell stories of his adventures out here, so in a way, I feel closer to my dad and at home here.
I’ve had some hiccups along the way, but for the most part, I haven’t stopped posting a new piece of art once a day. I’m currently working on larger size pieces, and designing my first round of apparel, and looking to become a tattoo apprentice. In my spare time, I still play guitar and think about playing music again, but I’m incredibly thankful for the experiences that shaped me, all the people who helped me along the way and I am excited for what the future holds!
Please tell us about your art.
I paint tattoo flash using ink and watercolor. My work really is my attempt at American Traditional Tattoo, but the majority of it is based around songs, lyrics, one-liners that I connect with. I have always felt deeply connected to music and the power of it, how it sets stages for moments in your life, how it shapes you, how it brings back so many memories. It’s otherworldly, so I am incredibly thankful it is a part of our lives as humans.
Through my art, I hope to share a connection with people and our mutual love of music.
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Tough question, but being honest is always best. Whether you’re a musician, a video-game youtuber, a tattoo artist, or a life-style Instagrammer, it doesn’t matter to me, If I’m a fan of your content, I’m gonna let you know, even if our work isn’t similar and I strongly encourage other creatives to do the same.
You have to put yourself out there on the internet, as scary and raw and vulnerable as it has to be, and you will organically connect with people.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I do commissions for people, and I sell new prints on my Instagram every single day! Just send me a dm!
Personal photo – Niles Gregory
Artwork pieces – Nick Giordani