#CAF24 Poster Q+A with Nikki Pontin
Nikki Pontin is the designer and animator of the poster for #CAF24. We wanted to get to know her a bit better, and to spotlight the amazing art that she creates, so we asked her some questions all about her work. We hope you love getting to know Nikki as much as we did!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into illustration?
I grew up in West Wales but left to study Illustration and Animation at Kingston University in 2006, thinking I’d quite like to be an animator. I quickly discovered I didn’t have the brain or the patience and set my sights on being an illustrator. I spent the following years in London and worked on all sorts of creative projects including children’s books, theatre design and mural painting. I returned to my roots in West Wales in 2020 where I work as a freelance illustrator and painter.
2. This year's festival theme is ‘Treat’, were you excited to incorporate this theme into the poster?
Absolutely! I’m a bit of a foodie so this brief was perfect and such a fun concept to work with. I’m a bit obsessed with drawing bugs and thought it would be fun to combine insect inspired characters with the theme. I’m particularly pleased with the Fruit Salad and Parma Violet colour palette we ended up with.
3. Lots of your work includes animals and plants/flowers, are these your favourite thing to draw?
Most definitely, my work is heavily influenced by wildlife and the natural world, even more so since moving back to the green of Wales. The characters and forms found in nature are undoubtedly what inspires me.
4. You also do murals/scenic painting, do you prefer working on a small or large canvas?
To be honest I love both! I fell into scenic painting years and years ago and love working with a big brush in hand. I really enjoy working massive, messy and with a fab team, especially after a stint of working alone at a desk. Scenic painting has really taught me to see and consider the detail and pattern in everything. Painting murals is a bit of an amalgamation of both worlds and is so much fun. Despite all this, my happy spot has to be in my studio with my paints and paper cuttings, when I’m creating illustrations.
5. Are you excited to see the poster come to life?
I love the idea of seeing my characters come to life, so I was over the moon to be asked to make an animation for this years festival. Very excited to see the characters do their thing!
6. With your work on Children’s books, do you prefer having a story to illustrate or bringing your own ideas to the page?
It’s such a lovely process to write and illustrate a picture book from start to finish. Saying that, I certainly feel more confident working with image rather than text. I really enjoy illustrating someone else’s words as it’s lovely to be able to concentrate on the visual storytelling.
7. Do you have a favourite animated film, if so what is it?
A film I saw when starting out that totally enchanted and stayed with me is Hedgehog in the Fog by Yuri Norstein. In particular the owl! But if it’s a sofa day then Land Before Time would be my choice.
8. Where can we see more of your work?
9. Finally, what’s your favourite treat to eat?
A custard tart for me, please!