We’ve asked our illustrator, Nikki Boetger, a few questions about herself. Nikki lives in eastern Indiana and has been with Rainstorm Publishing since the beginning. She has illustrated multiple books, including:
- Tell us about your childhood, were you always drawing and coloring?
When I was a young child I loved coloring books and crayons. I still have one of my favorites from the 80’s. I drew a lot in my coloring books and on paper and was acknowledged by my teachers as early as Kindergarten. I was lucky enough to have parents and teachers who supported and helped engage my creative side throughout my childhood.
- When did you realize you wanted to illustrate professionally?
I knew I wanted to be an artist since 5th grade. In high school, my teacher helped me to choose Art School and prepare a portfolio. My first love was storyboarding for animated films, but after a year in college and learning what more I could do and what fit my long-term goals, Illustration was what I turned my attention to.
- Describe your art style.
I think my style was molded by coloring books. I tend to have a strong line quality. But also animation helped to form how I draw. I still watch cartoons while I work! I work more flat or 2D than some illustrators. I love vector art, but am learning to love the texture as I morph into the next stage of my illustration style.
- How do you approach a new project?
Research and sketching. I like to get a good grasp on character design, shapes and the world they live in. I tend to ask a LOT of questions at the beginning of a project. Questions that help direct how the project is going to look; color, environment, more about the characters or what they are doing or their personalities. I like to get specifics right from the start. It helps spur the imagination.
Nikki has quite a few canine coworkers!
- What has been your favorite project to date?
Oh gosh! This one is tough. I have loved my work on the Learnalot’s brand. I think I have drawn everything INCLUDING the kitchen and bathroom sink! I feel really in tune with their world. There is always something to love about each project though. Just like when you begin to read a new book, the anticipation of how it is going to end is FUN!!!
- What is it like seeing your books in stores?
OH, it’s so cool! It’s hard to reframe from signing the inside cover, for whoever buys it! But it’s even more fun when I get texts, emails or shout outs on social media with people who take a picture saying they saw my art! It’s nice to know you are touching lives in a small way.
- What do you like to do when you aren’t illustrating?
I stay pretty artistic even when I am not working. I like to wood burn or pyrography as the technical term. I’m a BIG DIYer and always have a project in the works around our old Farmhouse! Having 3 dogs keeps me on my toes too! I travel, camp, hike, and kayak in the warmer months.
- What are your inspirations?
Inspiration comes to me in lots of odd ways. Driving, daydreaming, nature, photography, sometimes it’s just overhearing or having a conversation.
I have never been a person who was inspired by a person specifically. I don’t really have a favorite artist or writer or movie. I keep a framed piece of art in my studio. My dad drew a picture of Snoopy when he was a little boy. This piece survived an attic for years and was drawn in marker on manila paper from the late 50s or early 60s. It’s hardly deteriorated. That to me is inspiring. Though I can’t put it into words, it’s very inspiring to me. And I like seeing it daily when I come into my studio.