Oakland, California, USA
My mom always said I was a free spirit but I never understood what she meant until a lot later. I discovered that I was an artist about 2 years ago after I put an end to some excessive behaviors. Now with more clarity I am able to understand who I am. Art helps me express this.
My work is abstract and expressive. I use whatever I have, because the material I have is stuff I just come across. I rarely go out to buy supplies. I find that buying things can become wasteful, and it is fun and satisfies like a puzzle when I create something out of things others would throw away.
Please tell us about music you listen to while creating art.
Anything, although music isn’t mandatory - maybe an album I can relate to in that moment, or a documentary, and sometimes there are only the sounds from the urban outside.
What do you do to find inspiration?
I take long drives or make short overnight trips to somewhere I’ve heard about and never seen. I stop off at most points of historical interest and try to imagine myself the world back then and there.
Do you have leisure activities besides creating art?
I research places I want to see, read up on places I’ve been, write, take walks, take drives, contemplate the meaning of almost anything. I love animals and I am a dog handler by day.
What is your most recent creation?
I am working on a large collage of old cut up pieces of art I had not finished and couldn’t throw away. It is a way for me to let go of things while making something new out of that past. I call it ‘das Experiment.’
Do you have a best artwork?
I have difficulty labeling anything of mine ‘the best’ because what I like the most might be something someone else doesn’t like, or the other way around. I create art to feel good, not for it to be good, and if people like it, that is always a bonus and something to be thankful for.
Artists break the status quo, shake things up, make people see what they see.
Have you had success with selling paintings?
For as little known of an artist as I am, I feel I’ve sold enough artwork to feel confident about saying I am one. And I think that is the key – if you believe in your work, love it, then selling it is not work, but something you do that comes naturally, and with patience.
Where do you promote art online?
Facebook, email, my websites
I studied German and fell in love with 1920s Berlin. I admire Pablo Picasso for his wide scope of work and knowledge. My mom used to call me “Nicasso” when I was a kid, and I remember that always made me feel cool.
Do you have a favorite contemporary artist to tell us about?
Jacob Brest is an up and coming Expressionist artist from California who I have stumbled upon more than once while undertaking my own art enterprises. It is nice to see a young person doing art in Expressionist style – it is inspiring. Unfortunately I haven’t been following art closely (yet) but I feel that I naturally will as my own adventure unfolds.
Please tell us an interesting event in your life.
Some people around here say they left their heart in San Francisco, and although that is also true for me, there is also a piece of it in a small rural community in Austria’s greenest country, known as Styria. It was there I lived as a foreigner while also feeling wholly welcome, and also where I learned that I learned how to adapt my life without one of my greatest comforts - being able to communicate in English. Köflach, du hast für immer ein Teil meines Herzens.
Where do you see your art career 10 years in the future?
I will be in a better living space that includes my very own art studio - a room full of windows showering natural light on whatever I am working on. I might still be working a day job where I can keep up relations with the rest of the non-art world.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists to leave us with?
It might get hard, you might hit a wall. Believe in yourself and your ideas and creations. Write your thoughts down, read them later. This is how I have come to know and understand myself as an artist.
Nikki Sitzmann - Art to Celebrate the Bold and Unique
Oakland, California, USA