A Day at the Three Rivers Arts Festival
JM: As a new participant, how did you like being an exhibitor at the Arts Festival? What was your favorite part?
NT: I loved it! I was pretty nervous the first day, but by the second day I’d mellowed out a lot and settled into a good groove. My favorite part was getting to meet everyone who stopped by–Pittsburgh is full of really sweet folks.
JM: In your opinion, what makes people receptive to your work?
NT: I’ve always thought in terms of storytelling for my pieces, and I think that was a big hook for a lot of people. About 40% of the visitors who asked me questions wanted to know if I was basing the characters and worlds on a story of some sort. So I told them: “Yes, and here are the books!”
JM: Tell us about the award you won.
NT: I actually didn’t know about the award until Sunday morning, when a fellow artist asked me if I knew that I had won something at the Awards Breakfast. I hadn’t heard this. No one had told me. I didn’t even know there was an Awards Breakfast. They brought my award over that morning, and I got to hang it up at the front of the booth.
It’s an award for general excellence and originality. A little generic, but I’m still very proud. Paranoid as I am, and not knowing what to expect, I had been waiting for a reprimand for a sub-standard display, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I learned that the judges really loved my booth and my work.
JM: What is your process when you begin a new piece?
NT: I start by drawing the picture small (really small, like 2 inches by 1 inch) in a thumbnail. This helps me find a strong composition. Then I draw the piece full-size in pencil, trace my pencil outline in pen, and add shading. When I erase my pencil lines, I’m done.
JM: Any upcoming shows or events we should know about?
NT: I’m planning to be at the Polish Hill Arts Festival on July 20th, selling art and books with my illustrator friend Abby Diamond. Be sure to come visit if you’re in town!