Nëka Schultz 

april artist of the month

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Nëka Schultz 
Burbank, California
Illustrator / Artist


Did you doodle anything and everything growing up?
Yes! I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I would draw animals (a lot of birds), my friends and family and comics. I'd also doodle teachers, trees and houses... you name it! I would illustrate costumes and detailed outfits for my characters and doodle scenes from my dreams. I would challenge myself to draw my favorite characters. I once drew all 151 Pokémon!

Your work ranges from prints to murals — what haven’t you done that you’d like to explore?
There’s so much I have yet to explore! I’m leaning more into animation lately. I’ve made some loops and claymation videos but I really want to push further. I’d love to replicate the emotions I find in every day movements in my own way.  I’m also just happy that there will always be something new to experiment with. I’d like to explore some printmaking and pattern making too!

Aside from illustrations, you also make clay pieces. Are these your way of bringing your characters to life?
Definitely. I’ve been into making miniature characters and creatures, as they do seem to have a bit more life to them. I can touch and hold them! I also just really enjoy the process of building from clay, just having it squishing between my hands, pulling it apart; it’s satisfying. 

How long have you lived in Los Angeles and what do you miss most from your home state of Oklahoma? 
I’ve been here for 6 years. It doesn’t actually feel that long and I’m still not used to seeing the beautiful mountains all around me. I love it here. But I definitely miss my friends and family in Oklahoma (and those everywhere else!) But Oklahoma as a place - I miss the open space, fields of green stretching for miles, the clean air, seeing the blue sky and fluffy clouds from horizon to horizon, the seasons changing, crickets singing in the summer night and also the cost of living was pretty nice. But hey, LA is cool too. 

You recently got married! — Congrats! What advice do you have for future brides and what was most special about your wedding day?
Yes, thank you! Best advice I have is to not get too hung up on details. It can be really easy for me to obsess over colors and designing the entire thing - and I sure did try. But we were paying and planning for it ourselves and it was most important to focus on why we were doing what we were doing in the first place - just two idiots in love who wanna do the damn thing. In the end, whatever didn’t pan out for the day-of wasn’t missed in the slightest because we were too happy and surrounded by loved ones to care. 

Three months down in 2019 and 9 more to go. What’s ahead? 
2019 looks like experimentation to me! I have been testing all sorts of different materials and pushing my usual routines. As an artist, I seem to spend a lot of my time alone, in my head and in my own world. I’m challenging myself to attend more public art events and participate in activities where other humans are involved. I’m desperate for human interaction but it terrifies me at the same time. So here I am!

current FAVORITES

Song: Clay Pigeons by Blaze Foley
Color: Ultramarine Blue 
plant: Weeping Willow
Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 
Movie: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Artist: Tove Jansson


follow Nëka at @nekaschultz and VISIT LENITA THIS MONTH to meet + purchase some of her prints.