Melissa: Do you worry about committing to a style and getting pigeonholed with your fauxsaics project?
Nick: Totally. From the very beginning, before I even started the project I thought about that. I posted my LA fauxsaic because I was going to LA. It was a one-off. I found that I enjoyed doing it and other people really responded. I thought about turning it into a series, but I considered, do I really want to be the mosaic guy? Do I want to put myself in that corner. As the series has grown, it is still on the forefront of my mind. It has given me a lot for a personal project, it has helped me grow my presence online significantly. It has given me a bunch of great opportunities. But I do sometimes feel like, what’s next? How does this project grow beyond what it is. Does it become more experiential, environmental? Or should I move on to something else? I am really interested in the decorative arts in general, things like mosaics, stained glass, wood block prints, and these older crafts. My style might evolve, but my core interests will hover around that for awhile. Something that has that old craft look to it, but is reimagined in a more contemporary way.
Melissa: Italy, Milan specifically is a design hub, and your family has a background in design. What role did your upbringing and surroundings play in your career path?
Nick: My parents were both jewelry designers, and I think that was influential, not necessarily because it taught me to think visually at an early age - which it did - but it forced me to rebel against my upbringing. I gave that direction up to pursue other stuff, which created a more indirect and winding path towards where I am now. It contributed towards my diverse interests. Had I just gone into jewelry design I would probably have had a pretty clear, easy path towards that. My dad had a company already set up, that had his name already on it. But I really wasn’t interested, so I studied music and I studied architecture.
As the years have gone on, I have a more nuanced view of what my upbringing has given me and I am starting to appreciate a bit more what my parents have passed on. The closest I have gotten to jewelry design is designing a few enamel pins, which is pretty run of the mill for designers these days. I don’t exclude the fact that I might go back to something jewelry design-related in the future, but I think it will be well in the future. It’s hard to be flexible enough to change course within a career, because you feel you’ve invested all this time into it. Even now, I’ve invested all this time in lettering, if I wanted to do interior design all of a sudden, that would be a scary move. I hope that if that desire presents itself strongly enough, I would at least to some degree listen to it, or incorporate it into my work and let it guide me toward something new.