Charming DesignsNona creates beautiful illustrated books, original artworks, art prints, lucky charms and other merchandise which she sells via Kickstarter and on her Nona Gallery website.
She lives with her partner and their 'monster' of a dog Barley in Liverpool, UK. They have an extensive bucket list ranging from visiting every country in the world and having a painting exhibited in an art gallery to meeting David Hasselhoff (which was achieved in 2016).
When did you start writing and illustrating?
I always loved art and comics when I was little, but chose to study more academic subjects, which led me to study computer engineering in university. This left me with little time for creative hobbies, however in my final year of university I became very ill, I graduated but afterwards had to focus all my time on recovery. It was during this time that I began drawing and painting as a form of therapy and I haven't stopped since.
“I love learning about the cultures, history and beliefs of people from all around the world.”
How do you promote yourself and your art?
This year I started having a table at comic conventions and meeting people in the real world, rather than just online, has definitely been the most successful way to promote my art. You can easily meet like-minded and talented people and get access to advice and opportunities to promote yourself (like this interview) that you just don't get if you're solely on social media.
“I particularly love reading children's books as I often find them far more creatively written”
How do you get your inspiration?
I love learning about the cultures, history and beliefs of people from all around the world. The unique traditions I discover often inspire me. I have a growing collection of self-published art books and love discovering new artists and watching their styles evolve. I'm dyslexic so have always enjoyed illustrated stories and graphic novels. I particularly love reading children's books as I often find them far more creatively written than adult literature.
Where do you sell your art?
Any major new projects like new books I often launch on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. I was able to self publish two books thanks to the support of backers, my first was an illustrated anthology of the zodiac signs as witch personas called Horoscope Witches.
The second book was a traditionally illustrated storybook inspired by Russian folklore called The Eldest Sister And Death. The success of these two campaigns has since encouraged me to launch my first non-book Kickstarter, The Talismans Enamel Pin Collection. The Kickstarter offers backers the chance to pre-order hard enamel pin Talismans inspired by beliefs in different lucky charms from around the world.
“I've always enjoyed watching animation ... I plan on creating animated shorts for YouTube”
What are your current and future goals?
I'm currently working on an A to Z of Monder Monsters. I started this project to improve my character design skills by creating a modern-day version of a mythical creature to correspond with each letter of the English alphabet. Every letter has a digital illustration depicting a monster in a modern setting, with a short comic to accompany and expand on the main design.
I hope that after completing this project I will have the confidence and skill to begin to create my own comic book stories. Also, I've always enjoyed watching animation and hopefully, in the future, I plan on creating animated shorts for YouTube depicting both our efforts to complete our bucket list as well as the trauma that Barley thinks his life is.
Many thanks to Nona for answering our questions. If you'd like to see more of her work, you can follow progress of everything she creates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.