This Artist Series feature is a special one to us here at Prickly Pear Paper, we chose to highlight our friend, employee, and talented designer/photographer Nikki Villatoro to work on some cards for our new line. If you've been following us along on instagram or on our website, you will have seen her gorgeous photography and a few of her cards in action. Nikki joined the team in March of 2018 and has been a tremendous asset to the Prickly Pear family. Her photography skills have brought our products to life and her eye for design and illustration has given us some of our cutest cards yet. Her work can be seen on our Sweet Baby Nursery, Beachy Birthday, and Just Married Car cards, and watch out for some Valentine's cards soon to be released. Check out her stellar design and photography work and get to know a little more about Nikki below.
Tell us about yourself and where do you live?
Hi! I’m Nikki and I’m a freelance graphic designer & photographer based in Tempe, Arizona.
How did you get started doing design & photography and what do you like most about it?
Since I was a kid, I was always fascinated with art and design and through that it led me to attend a trade school while I was in high school where I learned the basics of both graphic design and photography. Since then, I’ve gone to Arizona State University to study Visual Communication which finds me where I am now! What I enjoyed and continue to enjoy most about graphic design and photography is that they’re both two different forms of creativity and I can visually express myself in different forms.
How do different creative outlets (travel, photography, etc.) inspire your design?
Being a freelancer, I was more able to familiarize myself with this the most. I love being able to change up my scenery according to my mood or even my lifestyle– you can find me at various coffee shops around the valley or even in different states/countries. I’m definitely an individual who gets inspired from where I’m at or through what I've seen such as watching movies or photography– I pick up on different forms of inspiration and it’s helped me out in numerous ways depending on my current project.
What would be your dream client or project to work for/on?
I’ve thought about this so many times but after so much thought, I think my dream client is working for companies that are passionate about what they do and through that passion, I find myself wanting to fulfill that– whether it’s in design or photography, I love adapting to a client and designing/styling my little heart out.
What type of music do you like or listen to?
I listen to a bit of everything! Indie, Bossa Nova, Electronic, Alternative or R&B. My favorite artists at the moment are: Neutral Milk Hotel, UMI, Lupe Fiasco, Circa Survive & AlunaGeorge.
Where's the coolest place you've ever traveled?
Before my recent trip last summer to Europe where I visited Germany and Italy– I’ve visited California, Washington, Oregon, Guatemala, Illinois and New York and I’m still sitting here, finding it hard to tell you which is exactly my favorite place to travel although going to Europe was so life-changing and mesmerizing, I'd have to say Venice was by far the most jaw-dropping/coolest place!
How can people find you and follow your work?
You can find me on Instagram, my personal account is pretty relaxed and have some of my favorite pieces of my life @nikkivillatoro but I also have my company instagram which is truly not that updated but my goal for 2019 is to not hide away from sharing my work: @moniandvee. I also have my website where I post a lot of my newest work and keep my blog up to date: moniandvee.com