Rosy Nicholas On Releasing A Book, Prop Making For Nike And 5pm Beers

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Here's What It's Really Like To Create Props For The Likes Of Nike And Lazy Oaf

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

Rosy Nicholas’ job is pretty hard to explain - from illustrations to props, she literally has her (covered in glue) hands in about five different pots at all times.


After graduating from Camberwell College Of Arts, she started working across a range of different fields for clients including Selfridges, Lazy Oaf, Nike and Adidas, to name a few. We caught up with her to find out exactly how much she gets up to in her daily life and how she stops herself from slacking.

**What made you decide to start a business, was it a clear path or did you move around a lot? **

I’m not sure it was ever a clear decision. After I graduated, my first few jobs were on a freelance basis and I really enjoyed the freedom so just carried on. Although I had no idea what my ‘job’ would be, I definitely don’t have a skill set of a normal employee, so I’m probably stuck doing this weird job forever really, and I’m totally OK with that.

**Was it difficult getting recognized and securing clients? **

When I first started out I literally had no regular clients, and didn’t know what I was doing so I just took any job. I did lots of weird things, like screen printing Y-fronts to folding thousands of zine pages at a printers. Being freelance is hard on the money side, but I’ve made the choice to live hand to mouth rather than 9-5 and I’m pretty sure my general happiness is down to avoiding rush hour and boring meetings.

**You work from a studio space in London, but how do you stop yourself from slacking and watching TV instead of working? **

I’m a one woman team so there’s only me to get things done. Paying my rent and going on holiday are both pretty good daily motivators to keep going. And working for yourself makes you a bit of a control freak, so I’m probably motivated to please myself as much as a client.

**And what happens if you’re feeling a bit demotivated, is there anything in particular you do to get you out of the slump? **

If I’m feeling stuck on a project I like to go outside and look at things to get my brain going. If I have a tricky work email to compose or I’m worried about anything, a few lengths of granny breast stoke at the London Fields Lido normally helps me to figure out how to handle it.

**You work across lots of different projects from illustrations to props, do you ever feel like you have too many disciplines to focus on? **

I think I just see them all as work, and not as different mediums. I’m lucky that I am multi-disciplined as it keeps my jobs varied, and interesting.

**You’ve worked with some amazing clients, from Nike to Lazy Oaf – what’s been your biggest pinch me moment? **

I'd say its probably my book coming out last month. On the day of its release I had to be in town for a meeting so i went into the big Foyles on Charing Cross road and went to look at it on the shelves.It was a weird moment, I quickly felt like some sort of egotistical perv so I ran back out the door after about 10 seconds.

**What time do you get most of your work done? **

Probably the afternoons, I don't think i have any good ideas before around 4 o'clock. I'm a night owl and have never been a morning person, probably because i was born at 9.30pm so the evening is my natural time to get going. I especially like an afternoon of working in the summer because it means we can have a desk beer at around 5 and working late doesn't feel so bad.

You can buy Rosy’s book now at Lazy Oaf

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Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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