We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Schier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Finding out my “why?” is what keeps me motivated and especially excited. Understanding the impact my artwork and apparel make on Individuals also gives me a sense of purpose, filling my heart with blissfulness. Most importantly I now do it because I love it, I’m passionate and not because I am trying to fulfill someone else’s vision, or a trend. It’s all about my world, my travels the music I enjoy, my fascinations or curiosities. It’s a window to my soul.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So they say…Mucho Wow! I love working with a variety of mixed mediums. Experimenting and layering the art w/color, textures, found objects, and shimmering gold. I love rose gold. My work is full of sacred geometry, symbolism and saturated in color.
I am most excited to combine all that I am passionate about in what I do. From photography, esoteric symbolism, fashion, textiles and stationary into SpicyBrain Designs. I’ve been a freelance designer since college, and a creative director 25 years. I’ve worked for studios like Disney, including private labels had my work in department stores and even worn by celebrities like Jennifer Garner.
I’ve used my female minority and health challenges to give a voice to my artwork. To keep braking ceilings created by even my culture. This actions create a passionate motivate other individuals, and celebrate woman, mothers, teens etc. I have a rare blood disease which is a chronic cancer, making it difficult to function at times. I don’t use it as an excuse or a crutch. Eventually, I discovered how to work around it by using pro-create to design and paint, rather then do traditional on those rough days. It’s debilitating at times, and in the looking for ways to holistically heal, I met people with other auto immune disorders or traumas that are just has debilitating, but they continue to make the best of the good days, such an inspiration to me. Therefore, I want to celebrated those moms that want to scream but smile and love unconditionally, they want to give up, but continue making dinner, get up and just be. Those are my inspirations, .
About 10 years ago, in my recovery from a surgery, the beginning of my health challenges, I noticed hummingbirds that would come visit or while driving. They became a symbol for the rainbow after a storm, and did a piece about it, calling it the “Vessel.” It was the 1st of a series of spirit animals, without realizing it would be a series of animal pieces. Now painted 22 total, that will be turned into a deck of Spirit Animal cards and apparel. And thus began my obsession with what animals symbolism and totems.
If I’m not feeling like illustrating animals then I will paint some intuitive flowers, a mixture of abstract and impressionism. I loved Cy Twombly’s work but also Monet, Van Gogh and the moody work of J. M. W. Turner, so therefore I used them as my inspiration for the work I now do for my roses. A combo of textures, color and a creamy frosting of strokes. Which I couldn’t help but to turn those pieces into Kimonos, Scarves and home goods, Which is where my fashion background comes in. There for it’s SpicyBrain Designs, mucho wow y mucho mas!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Our family is all about camping. We love going to the beach especially places like Malibu. Leo Carrillo or Sycamore Canyon are some of our local spots, eat at Neptune’s Nest or Drive to Ray of the 7th in off Topanga.
If we have time, then we love to camp at Refugio, Santa Barbara. Eat in Los Olivos, brunch at Ballard Inn. Walk the charming downtown Los Olivos, gather a delicious picnic from local stores and head to D E M E T R I A Estates for the most amazing getaway! Enjoy some wine tasting among fields of vineyards ( while the kids stay with playdates) It’s a dream like escape to Tuscany. On the way home, meander the streets of Solvang, kids may skateboard at a skatepark along welcoming Oak trees, joyfully feed the Ostriches also in Solvang, then cool off at the beach and camp another glorious evening in Refugio. Waking up to have the kids and husband surf Santa Barbara coast. To us, that is an ideal way to spend a nice lonnnnnng weekend. We bought a sprinter van, our gyspy wheels, so that our family can do such get aways, drive up the coast and get lost in among the redwoods. It’s California living!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to say I give a huge shout out to my partner in crime, hubby, Daniel Schier. Who is my rock and creative collaborator. I thank you my Love!
As far as the person that got me out of my mental “box” would be college buddy, Chuck Leal. He opened my eyes to create in a more surreal way, dream like state. I was raised w/an amazing Pre-Raphael painter dad who is also a muralist. So I had no idea that it was okay to just have fun with artwork. It didn’t always have to be a masterpiece. This realization was like opening the door from a cage of perfection. Self imposed, mind you, but I lived all my life in such pressure I gave myself. So I am so grateful to my buddy!!! His work is a breath of fresh air. Artwork that is about the experience not the masterpiece.
I also want to thank my father, Miguel Angel Ramirez for always supporting my shenanigans and being the inspiration to a life of not staying in an office. “You make your own destiny.” And that is my beat thanks to him.
Schier Family @Breanna Moore Studio Portrait: @Schlick Art Van life Images: @Daniel Schier