DRAWING & PAINTING | VANCOUVER, CANADA
read our interview with Nikki below
HOUSE OF THEODORA CHATS TO NIKKI PECK
We’ve long admired Nikki’s QUIRKY & KINKY SCENES that feature powerful WOMEN who exude self-confidence. SHE PAINTS The kind of woman that takes her pleasure seriously and OWNS HER SEXUALITY, ALWAYS EXPLORING AND NEVER DARING TO CHANGE WHO SHE IS.
Who is Nikki Peck and how did she become so interested in drawing erotic imagery?
I am a young, curious 27-year-old artist interested in the depiction of female sexuality. I work full-time as a gallery manager for a contemporary art gallery in Vancouver as well as currently pursuing my MFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design ( which has been an interesting experience!). Some of my earlier work was influenced by friends, movies, vintage porn mags, adventurous nights out being wild and bad decision making! I first began drawing erotic imagery when finishing my BFA at Concordia University. I took various sexual representation in art and cinema courses that really inspired me and eventually fed my curiosity into wanting to explore the theme of female hyper-sexuality.
What’s your artistic process?
I have a couple of different approaches at the moment. I used to work primarily with female produced pornographic material and collage on photoshop. Now I work back and forth with taking my own images of friends, females, and models. Sometimes I will have an interview process that influences how I depict or illustrate the model. Other times, I will work from memory or sketches I produce in my diary. Currently, I am working in series to create a coherent thesis of work.
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Do you remember the first time you showed someone your work? What were the feelings and emotions you experienced?
I started posting work on Tumblr and on Instagram back in the day and realised I was receiving a considerable amount of attention. I think the exposure and feedback from my online audience gave me some confidence to show my work in real life and to people I care about. I was embarrassed at first but realised there’s nothing I should be afraid about since this is my artistic expression. If this is what’s important to me and I have something I want to say then I need to scream it to the world and not shy away…. Although I have to admit, I still feel uneasy about showing my work in a particular crowd.
What goes through your mind when you draw those first lines of a creation?
Empowerment. Freedom. Energy.
If we were a butterfly on the wall and watched you in your artistic element, what would we see, hear, smell?
Me with one thousand books open, on my drafting table in my apartment drawing away. Sometimes I will have music or podcasts, usually playing with a glass of wine or tea on a side table. On the days I’m not at work, I can draw up to eight hours straight. Oh, and I always have my red current Votivo candle burning ;).
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Instagram has made art incredibly accessible. How has this impacted you as an artist?
It has definitely impacted my practice in positive ways. Instagram has given me opportunities to collaborate with other amazing individuals and teams. Additionally, It has increased my opportunity to exhibit my work on an international level.
Our own art often helps us to process our thoughts and feelings. In what ways has your exploration with art helped you in your sexual journey?
It has allowed me to feel beautiful and love myself. I have been able to relinquish the shame and guilt I once felt about wanting to understand and lean into my sexuality. I feel empowered when I draw powerful women being confident in their own skin. These women have the agency to do whatever the fuck they want to feel sexy. It has also been a confusing journey, as I always find myself asking questions such as can “self-objectification” be a form of empowerment? Or am I just perpetuating male gaze culture by drawing hyper-sexual images of women in contemporary society?
You seem to inject your work with a healthy dose of humour. Why is that important to you?
Humour and satire are essential in communicating a (political) message. For me, I incorporate humour in ways that further explore and celebrate sexuality or to make a feminist point about the patriarchy. Humour is one attempt to subvert the male gaze.
What does the term sexual wellness mean to you?
SELF LOVE AND SELF RESPECT. Having a safe space to find yourself and your own erotic intelligence. I would recommend reading The Uses of The Erotic, by badass queer feminist Audre Lorde for some sexual wellness inspo. She claims that a real understanding of one’s identity is learned through curiosity, acknowledging (sexual) emotion, and connection.
What was the last piece you worked on, and where did you draw inspiration for that?
The last piece I completed was a drawing collage of my sister, Holly. It’s from a current series where I am using ballpoint ink on 15 x 20” paper. My sister is a massive influence in my life, and basically my mirror. I interviewed her and incorporated some of her responses to my questions within the drawing. I then photograph her in various positions and synthesise the process of drawing her through various sensory inputs. The drawings in this series are influenced by their personality and not 100% realistic. My approach is illustrative in technique, but the attempt is to capture the model as the subject, not object.
I chose the colour green for her as her new elixir is this strange brand of Italian neon green olive oil she swears by.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Type of art: drawing, painting, illustration, contemporary, mixed media, feminist, hyper-sexual, erotic
Preferred medium: Ink but it fluctuates
Size range: small to medium
Other design products: Illustration for books, magazine editorials, sexual wellness store branding
Price range: under $5000
Do you accept commissions: Yes but I charge 25% onto of a flat rate ( and yes commissions cost money)
Wait time for commissions: depends on my schedule
Upcoming shows: MFA Thesis Exhibition