Posted on June 08 2016
This week's Wednesday Woman is Erina Nyonyintono of Creative Curls - an awesome artist whose work we recently came across and loved. Here's Erina's story:
Danielle Newnham: Can you tell us a bit a about your background and when you first showed an interest in art and design?
Erina Nyonyintono: I come from a fairly large family by UK standards, with the majority of my siblings working in some type of creative industry. From an early age, I always enjoyed drawing and painting, I used to learn skills from my dad who was my drawing idol growing up... No matter what it was that I asked - he could teach me how to draw it!
Throughout school I was a keen P.E and Art/Design enthusiast and I always took joy in the freedom you were given within these subjects to be imaginative. This led me into Design at University, yet incidentally, through the chaos and fun of student life my Art took a backseat for those four years. It was only then as a new graduate, struggling to acquire employment after countless failed job applications did I find my passion in Art once more with all the spare time that I had.
Newnham: You background in graphic design includes studying Industrial Design & Technology - what interests you about this marriage of design and tech and where do you see it going in the future?
Nyonyintono: Funnily enough, since leaving Uni I have since worked as a Graphic Designer, however it's through my time working at a computer screen that I have realised it is completely not for me. I'm quite old fashioned and I like creating with my hands. Something physical as my end product rather than an image trapped behind a screen.
It would be foolish to say that design and tech isn't growing at an exponential rate, however the ability to replicate things has meant that the personal touch, in a lot of areas of our lives, has been lost. I suppose that is why I try hold on to it with my hand made art.
Nenwham: You set up Creative Curls - what's it like being your own boss and what's your goal for the business?
Nyonyintono: At times it can be a little overwhelming trying to manage projects along side my part time job and hobbies, however there is nothing more satisfying than working towards your own visions and goals. I guess I look to creating as a form of relaxation and an outlet that can help me declutter my mind. It's also a great feeling knowing that customers have paintings that I have personally created, hanging in their homes. In terms of goals, I would like to continue to increase the online social presence of my art work and thus draw in new clients. I also wish to take part in another exhibition within the coming year and long term - abroad in Europe & Tokyo.
Newnham: What are some of the bigger obstacles you have face with having your own business and how do you overcome them?
Nyonyintono: Before trying to create a business of my own, I definitely underestimated the time required in self marketing and promotion. I guess it can relate to the saying "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" You can produce what you believe to be great pieces of art, but without the right marketing and promotion, it is easy to miss a trick in attracting new customers and continuing to grow as a business. It's a steep learning curve at the moment, but with it being something that I'm genuinely passionate about, I never view it as a chore. You get back what you put in and it's after many late nights that I am now starting to see some small results.
Newnham: We love your artwork - where do you get your creative inspiration from? And who have been your biggest influences?
Nyonyintono: I draw the majority of my inspiration from nature and current situations that I or people around me may be experiencing. I'm also a large fan of African traditional print. Other than that, I like to spend my free time scrolling through online sources such as a Pinterest and Instagram, as well as watching YouTube tutorials to learn new techniques. A couple of my personal favourite Artists are Voka, Degas and Monet.
Newnham: What is the best advice you have been given?
Nyonyintono: To always believe in yourself and ignore the naysayers. With the right attitude and perseverance, anything is possible.