Coffee Chat: An Interview With Google Doodler Lydia Nichols
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1) Tell us about yourself?
Hullo! My name is Lydia Nichols. I consider myself an illustrator, designer, and anthropomorphizer.
2) When did you started your design career and where?
I’ve gone to school twice—first for a BFA in illustration then for an MFA in design. In between and throughout I would freelance odd jobs here and there, the jobs getting better and more interesting with each pass year. Simultaneously, I worked a smattering of design-related day jobs.
After grad school, I started freelancing full-time, but recently I returned to the world of full-time employment!!
3) Who inspires you to be a designer ?
I find inspiration in all sort of things, from books and museums to my pets to furniture and science writing. What motivates me to work as an illustrator is a love of shape and line.
There’s no greater satisfaction than puzzling together an image or telling a bit of a story. Of course there are oodles of illustrators and designers I adore! Mostly illustrators from the mid-century, printmakers, folk artists, etc. M. Sasek, Alice and Martin Provensen, David Weidman, and on and on!
4) How does your work day look like?
Fairly recently I started working as a Doodler for Google which means I’m one of a team of artists that creates the celebratory doodles for the Google homepages around the globe.
Each day starts with a cup of tea and either diving into working illustration or starting a fresh sketch. When I get home at the end of the day, I work on freelance or doodles of my own or I give my hand a rest and watch some ridiculous tv show or read a book. Rinse and repeat!
5) What are you currently working on?
I’m trying to write and sketch for some children’s books. It’s something I’ve long wanted to get into, so when I’m not officially Doodling, I’m trying to make time for that!
6) How do you manage your time?
Lists and lots of continuous work. It’s a juggling act and I find myself placing post-it reminders all over my computer/apartment/sketchbooks.
7) Where are you currently based and what’s next?
I’m just recently moved to the East Bay, California. Who knows what’s next? I try to open to all sort of new things
8) Working in the office for company or you’re freelancer?
Currently working as a full-time Doodler at Google, but continuing to freelance whenever I can!
9) What are the tools you can’t live without?
Pencils (B range!) and paper. Mac and tablet. I’ve recently started using a Cintiq, and it’s hard to imagine ever not using it. Those are the tools I most love. I also like playing with gouache and markers when I can.
10) What is your latest project?
A couple of weeks ago I had some piece in the Giant Robot Post-It show in Los Angeles. It was nice to do a tiny bit of painting.
Aside from that, I just wrapped up a giant mural for the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco which was incredibly fun to work on. Next up is an anniversary poster for a market in Seattle.
Portfolio: https://lydianichols.com / Twitter: @hulloitlydia / Blog: lydianichols.tumblr.com