Artist Interview :: Denise Holmes


Next on our list of Artist Interviews is the charming Denise Holmes, the artist behind Niseemade. We here at Happy Happy Headquarters are big fans of her delicate and sweet illustrations (have you SEEN them? Who wouldn't be!). Denise was also in the top 50 out of Lilla Rogers's Global Talent Search, which is no surprise to us.


Name: Denise Holmes

Location: Chicago, IL


How would you describe yourself as an artist? Freelance Illustrator

What are your influences? Childhood. Shel Silverstein. Roald Dahl. Edward Gorey. Maurice Sendak. Maira Kalman. Jim Henson. Tomi Ungerer. And of course my daughter.

Are there any markets you are especially interested in? Children's Book Market and the Children's Apparel / Surface Design.

Are you self-taught, or did you have any formal training? I studied photography at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, but have no formal illustration training. If it weren't for the hours spent doodling at desk jobs - I would not be illustrating today! 


What is your favorite thing about being an artist? Getting to tell people that I am an illustrator! I pinch myself daily just to make sure that this is for real. I can't believe I get to do this for a living! I love drawing, I love being creative, I love sharing my work with the world and I love all the people I have met while doing this. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

What is your biggest struggle with your artwork, and how do you deal with it?
Loving my work one day and hating it the next. But, if I didn't feel this way, I don't think I would push myself to make better and better work. If I'm having a hate day then I turn everything off and get out of the studio.

What advice do you have for people interested in making a career out of art and design? Draw everyday. Be nice. Network. Make friends. Take interesting e-courses. And don't sell yourself short.

What are your future goals? To get the children's book my husband and I wrote published!

Tell us something special or unusual about yourself! I won a hula hoop contest when I was 5 years old. I can hula hoop for hours!

Check back tomorrow to meet another Happy Happy artist.