Nia Gould is a crazy cat lady with a passion for art and design. She holds a special place here at Katt. as she was one of the first artists to be featured. If money were no object, she would foster as many cats and humanly possible - no wonder her Mother of Cats Tote Bag instantly became a bestseller.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you're working on?
Hello, I’m Nia. By day I’m the Creative Design Manager of a vibrant and lively arts venue, while on weekends and evenings I run Niaski, my own design studio business from my home in Devon, UK.
My other love? Cats. There have been five cats in my life who have been a big part of the inspiration behind Niaski - Sampson, Salvador, Socket, Frida and Pablo. You’ll find that they have made their way into a lot of my work. As Niaski, I create everything from greetings cards, prints, tote bags, enamel pins and cushions, as well as custom designs and prints for cat owners who want unique illustrations of their furry friends.
The best career advice I’ve ever received? If it makes you happy then go for it, take a risk and achieve what you want to achieve.
One of my most popular design series combines my two passions – a set of observational prints inspired by my cats, posing as some of the world’s most loved artists. To date my work has been displayed in a number gallery exhibitions, and stockists include design boutiques and gallery shops across the UK, London and New York.
I also continue to work on freelance design projects for many clients locally and internationally. If you are in need of a graphic designer, don't hesitate to get in touch. I don’t just do cats!
What is your background?
I’ve been interested in design and illustration for as long as I can remember. I started designing professionally in 2001 and graduated with a first-class degree in Graphic Design in 2008 from Falmouth, a university renowned worldwide for art, design and media.
Where do you usually work from? What's your ideal setup?
I work from my home studio based in Exeter, Devon. It’s my spare room really but it’s ideal. It’s ever evolving as stock increases or changes. It currently doesn’t look this tidy, but this is where you can find me in the evenings after I finish my job for the day and pretty much every weekend too.
In the weekend when the sun comes out, I can get in the car and drive 30 mins up the road and jump in the sea. The city is amazing but the countryside and the coast is what I need the most. When I’m running low on motivation, I pick myself up with a walk along the coast - the beaches in Devon are beautiful - or I enjoy a cycle ride in the countryside. Very biased of course, but I consider the UK the best place in the world to be a maker. So much creativity and energy. The best career advice I’ve ever received? If it makes you happy then go for it, take a risk and achieve what you want to achieve.
Tell us the story behind your latest product. Why did you make it?
My latest product is my artist inspired catnip toys, each one has been illustrated, printed onto fabric, stuffed with catnip and cushion fluff and hand sewn by me. You can get an Andy Warhol soup can, Frida Kahlo parrot and Pablo Picasso bird to name just a few.
Who do you dream of collaborating with one day and why?
My favourite artist is David Shrigley, his illustrations and humour inspired me throughout my University career. Shrigley is an artist and illustrator best known for his mordantly humorous cartoons.
Self-branded as an outsider in the art world, Shrigley is known for making flat compositions that take on the inconsequential, the bizarre, and the disquieting elements of everyday life. Like the musings of a very wise child displaying the wit and humor of a seasoned observer of the adult world, his illustrations feature crossed-out words, scribbled, uneven lines, and darkly funny aphorisms about the world.