1. Your name, location:
Nicky Johnston, Melbourne Australia
|Week 18 2014: CELESTIAL BODY|
2. Describe your family
We are a large, noisy, busy, crazy, loving, noisy, funny, noisy, large family! With four boys (4yrs, 8yrs, 13yrs, 16yrs), we are always out and about doing something. There is never a dull moment. It is not surprising that I love the silence that late working late into the night brings.
|"Cocoon" THEME by Nicky Johnston|
3. Describe your work
I never really know how to answer when I am asked 'what work do you do?'. So, depending on how much time I have will influence my answer! I have a number occupations....I am a primary school teacher and for 15 years have been working for RACV as an incursion Traffic Safety Educator in primary schools. I also visit schools as an author/illustrator inspiring children to continue their passion for writing and drawing. I am a mental health advocate and presenter raising awareness of mental health issues, particularly in children, speaking at conference, seminars, teacher PD's and I'm a community presenter for Black Dog Institute.
In terms of my 'artwork', I have had others describe my work as emotive, nostalgic, whimsical, soft, and connecting to childhood memories. At the moment I tend to use mainly colour pencils, watercolours and inks, but also work in pastel, acrylics and collage.
|Week 47 2014: NEW YORK by Nicky Johnston|
4. What is your career goal?
My goal is to continue working in the children's book industry writing and illustrating quality, beautiful, impacting children's books. My other passion is art and teaching, so in addition to school workshops, I also want to start running private children art classes again.
|Week 14 2015: WHIMSY by Nicky Johnston|
5. Describe your art background
I have been drawing and painting my whole life. I still have some of my very first drawings and my first 'books' that I made. When I was 9, I started art classes at a local gallery and it was there I honed my skills in drawing and oil painting. When I was in Year 9 (high school), I was invited to attend the Year 11 Art Camp - I had brilliant teachers and parents who pushed me beyond my realised boundaries.
I began running my own art classes for children, and for many years I taught young children to follow their passion for art. I had the same students for 7-8 years!
No matter what job I have had, somehow, my art has always become part of it. I was an educator for Juvenile Justice Centre, where I worked with young, talented graffiti artists. I painted murals on the walls at two employment offices and became the 'sign writer' for others. Now, I develop and create teaching resources used by the Traffic Safety Educators at my current employment.
|Week 46 2014:CIRCUS by Nicky Johnston|
I started the Challenge with Tania McCartney (founder) week 1 in 2014 and fell in love with not only having a 'purpose' for my art, but the beautiful people involved. Over the past year and a half, I have met many courageous, kind, thoughtful and creative souls who I consider my dear friends. I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge about products, techniques and community spirit through this Challenge.
I feel so grateful to be part of this group and truly believe it has changed me as a person, helping me become confident in my own work and remain completely true to myself. It has enforced my belief in life to not be competitive but be creative. Celebrating the talent, successes, achievements of others brings me pure happiness.
|Week 26 2014: CLOUDS by Nicky Johnston|
7. Tell us something we don't already know about you...
I am scared of snails. I like to lick the beaters when I bake a cake. I am a worrier. It has taken me over 30 years to learn to love watercolours. I am a 2nd Dan Black belt in Karate - apparently this gains instant respect from my boys' friends!
Oh, and I have just signed a contract with EK Books to illustrate a beautiful, touching children's book written by the talented Dimity Powell..... very exciting news.
|Self-portrait - Nicky Johnston|
Follow Nicky Online:
Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts
Happythoughts are Everywhere...
Actually, I Can
The Worst Pain in the World
and other accessory items
Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts - produced by Frankston Arts Centre bookings can be made for all primary schools in Victoria, Australia.