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Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I was born in Northern California but raised on a ranch in Southern Oregon. I came back down to the Bay Area but am always longing for the deep entrenched forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Tell us a bit about the work in this show.

I wanted to tell a story between two traveling beetles and also experiment with monotone color. I was a bit inspired by old fine China and the stories that items we treasure carry. The beetles in this show have journied from other sides of the land and have seen everything from Monsoons to Mushroom fields swarming with a sort of Mayfly hybrid.

Traveler Two

How do you approach your subjects? Do you use references or do research?

I do my illustration from my head. I don't like the feeling of using reference on something that is a thought that I had- it doesn't feel right- doesn't feel holistic to the story telling. I've seen enough plants, bugs and beauty in my life to far to catalogue my own mental reference resource!

In your artwork, insects like Cicadas and beetles are objects of beauty, rendered with exquisite and deeply-caring precision. Do you view them that way in real life?

Beetles and insects are fascinating. What is even more fascinating is the inherent hatred most people show to these exquisite creatures unless they are butterflies, for the most part. There must be something in this general dislike from most that has always resonated deeply with me. I love mixing textiles, something human, with their hard almost armor-like exteriors.

It seems a lot of your work is in graphite. Have you made a transition to more painting recently?

I love working with graphite. I feel we see so much color in art and our daily life that I enjoy playing with the concept of grey scale color. I add a lot of details and textures to pieces to add the same stimulus we get when we are engulfed by a beautifully colored painting. Lately I have experimented with marrying the two perspectives. Painting is not as fragile feeling- not as tedious for me as graphite on paper. It certainly takes some getting use to but I will never stop creating pieces with graphite.

What other projects do you have coming up?

I just came off creating a lot of new work for an intimate group show here in San Francisco. It was a lot of fun experimenting with new textures and I am currently taking what I figured out to work on a new larger series of work. Super excited to see it all come together!

Nicomi's website.

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