LE BAIN: How would you describe Niki Pilkington’s girls?
NIKI PILKINGTON: There's a definite element of voyeurism in what I do. I find women fascinating. I could 'people watch' for days. The most important thing to me is that I portray certain personality traits of the girl that I'm drawing and allow the viewer to get an insight into what she's all about. I draw these girls because they lure me in for some reason, and I want the person looking at the illustration to feel the same connection. If you're going to tell a story, I believe you should tell it right. The girls are usually colorful, beautiful, confident and just plain killing it at life, with their own story to share.
Art by Niki Pilkington
What's the connection with Katie and Jules of Select Summer Fridays?
Jules and I live in the same corner of East Village and we've been wanting to collaborate on something from the moment we were introduced to each others work, so when she approached me with this opportunity I jumped at it. The aesthetic and vibe of their party Select Summer Fridays is completely aligned with what my work is all about. Positively charged, bright and fun, without taking itself too seriously. Not to mention that Le Bain itself attracts the type of girls I love to draw. It was a no brainer.
You create in a ‘digital-free zone’ as you put it...
As far as technology and digital media is concerned I'm definitely not against it in the slightest - in fact it plays a huge part in my creative process, but I like to keep the artwork itself as pure and 'handcrafted' as possible, because that's the way my style has evolved and developed and I think the pressure of knowing the each hard line is fairly permanent makes me work that much harder. I feel like as soon as I start relying on software to recreate colors, textures, and effects I'll lose the personal touch I've worked so hard to craft. I'm like a crazy cat woman when it comes to stationary. If you can sharpen it, erase it, color stuff in, then pass it here!
Art by Niki Pilkington
You like combining words with your drawings. Could you pick your 3 favorite quotes of the summer 2015?
Arrrgh, there are so many, but here goes: 'Day dreaming, night thinking' - sums up most summer days where I'm inside drawing, wanting to be out causing mischief in this ridiculous city... 'Throw kindness around like confetti' - just because it's nice to be nice... 'Bad choices make good stories' - we've all been there!
Le Bain presents Select Summer Fridays, every Friday from 3pm to sunset, starting on Friday, May 22nd. The Standard, High Line.