Get to know the artist behind the curtain

Get to Know the Artist behind the Curtain: Nicola Joyner from NJoyArt March 14 2014

In case you have not noticed, the shower curtains on this website are works of art…no really, they are. All the curtains from DiaNoche Designs license art from various artists and the art is printed on a blank shower curtain via dye sublimation. And what really causes the warm and fussies is that whenever you purchase one of these lovely curtains, a portion of the sale goes back to the artist…cool,huh? I thought it would be fun to feature a few artist that have quite a few pieces selling here at Shower Curtain HQ. 

Nicola Joyner is originally from the Cayman Islands but now resides in Maine. She left her job as a graphic designer to raise her children. It was then that she found her love for painting. As you will see in her work, she has a look that appeals to kiddos and adults. The bright colors and the storybook style will put a smile on your face and brighten up any bathroom. Nicola was kind enough to answer a few questions so we could all get to know her better…


1 - You art has such a fun style to it and you mentioned that you started painting when you became a stay at home mom, with kids, when do you find time to paint and how do you entertain your kids when you work?

Thank you! I try to keep my art fun, especially the pieces for kids. My youngest daughter is now in first grade, so for the past 2 years, while they are both in school, I have really been able to focus on painting and building nJoy Art as a business. Back when I had them at home I would paint in bursts, an hour here and there between preparing meals and attending play dates. Occasionally they would sit and paint with me, but most of the time I painted at night, after they were tucked in bed. Thankfully they've always had early bedtimes! 

2 - What artists, if any, have inspired you?

I have been a fan of the impressionists since before I knew what the term meant. I'm always sneaking that Van Gogh Starry Night sky into my paintings! I'm also inspired by many of the artists on Etsy now, I am humbled to be selling my art in such good company.

3 - There are many businesses that license your work, did you market yourself or are they finding you on ETSY? Any "big breaks?"

Ha :) I wish that there were many companies licensing my art! 
I do have contracts with a few that have been a real pleasure to work with. I first began licensing my art to the greeting card company I worked for under the name nJoy Designs, doing that was a big learning experience for me. My first big break came with a license to a company that prints wall art for children's rooms and nurseries. I got that contact thanks to my old boss. She met a sales rep who thought my art would be a perfect fit for this company and suggested I send them samples. I've been working with them for about four years now and I just added several new images to their line this year. The other 2 companies I'm working with did find me via Etsy and Facebook. I ought to market my art more, but I tend to just put it out there and hope that interested parties will find me. There have been a few other offers, but some times it doesn't work out. 

4 - You paint everything from robots, to solar systems, to owls to mermaids…where do you get your ideas?

Kids! I have 2 young daughters and 3 nephews near by, they are the ones providing all the inspiration. My oldest went though a phase where she was fascinated by the solar system and the planets, that was when I painted my first solar system. In first grade she did a segment on owls, and I painted my first ever owl. When my youngest was 3 she learned to sing You Are My Sunshine from her grandmother, and she sang it ALL the time. The You Are My Sunshine paintings I do have become my best selling theme on Etsy. I suppose I ought to be paying my kids royalties! 


5 - Do you still do graphic design or do you only paint?

Officially I am still a freelance graphic designer, but it's been over a year since I did any work in that field. The companies that I had steady work with cut back their freelance budgets and rather than looking for other opportunities in that area I chose to focus on building my art business. Having design skills has been very valuable however, I'm able to easily provide high quality files to the companies that I license to, and I'm able to design my own Etsy promotions as well. 

6 - What challenges, if any do you face as on artist?

Honestly, making money as an artist is a big challenge. I feel lucky to have the chance at making a living doing what I love, but it's not all that easy. Thanks to Etsy I have a permanent marketplace for my originals, and having a few licenses helps, but I have no way of knowing when or how much money is coming, if at all. 

7 - "Rapunzel's Tower" was one of the first sales at Shower Curtain HQ, what was the inspiration behind that painting?

Really? That's great to hear! Again, the inspiration was my daughter, she was in her princess phase and her favorite princess at the time was Rapunzel, I was trying out fairy tale themes and decided to paint that one for her. It is a personal favorite!


Thanks Nicola! We currently have 6 curtains with art from Nicola here at Shower Curtain HQ and we will continue to add more.

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