By Stephanie Anders
I recently had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the lovely Nico Dauk. Nico is an extremely talented gel pen artist. She has the most amazing talent of blending gel pens into breath-taking pieces of art. This talent has awed not only me but her thousands of followers.
When did you discover that you had this talent coloring with gel pens?
Eeeek, firstly, it is hard for me to answer the question because I have a difficult time with the ‘talent’ word, I still have TONS to learn. But, semantics aside, I would say in 2011. Although I have been working with gel pens for about 8-9 years as an art medium, I really started to take my skill with gel pens more seriously about 5 years ago.
How many hours, on average, does it take for you to complete a piece?
Depending on size and complexity, it can anywhere from 3 hours to 45 hours.
Do you work solely with gel pens, or do you work with any other mediums? If so, what are they?
I primarily work with gel pens, but I do love to do pyrography (wood burning) and paint with acrylics.
How many gel pens would you say you go through in a years’ time?
For many years, I was using about 144-200 pens a year. But, since Super Doodle gel pens sponsored me, I’ve used about 500 in one year. They have really helped me with feeling free to create without the burden of cost. I am a starving artist, after all.
Do you have any tips for the colorists out there that want to increase their skill level? Where should they start?
Practice, practice, practice. Also, just start somewhere, anywhere. Just pick that pen up and put it to paper and never give up. There is always a time or two that in the middle of a creation I absolutely hate it and want to give up on it, but forcing myself to finish has taught me so many things, not only artistically but about life.
Do you have a favorite picture you have colored over the years or do you love them all equally?
My piece ‘Indecisive’ is my favorite, and it went viral on Tumblr and Twitter, it was an overwhelming and exciting experience.
If you could tell your younger-self anything, what would it be?
I would tell myself that mistakes are a part of life and it’s okay to make them. I am still very hard on myself about life and art. I wish I would have known that trying to be perfect is impossible and to forgive myself when I do mess up.
If you could be any super hero, which would you be and why?
Rogue from the X-men, I absolutely love Rogue in the TV series in the 90’s. She is strong not only physically but mentally, and she has a great sense of humor. She also has great self-control. She could really mess things up if she wanted to by absorbing others’ powers, but she decides to be a decent being instead.
If you would like to learn more about Nico Dauk and her breathtaking creations, watch videos of her at work, or learn more about blending gel pens, follow Nico on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nicostarz.