Name and Location: Nicole Medina, Philadelphia, PA
Illustrator Nicole Medina collaborated with us on our September sock subscription box, and we couldn’t be more amped. This first-gen Latinx and Philadelphia native has created for some huge names, including The Washington Post, Target, Bitch Media, and others, so we are hollering from the rooftops for everyone and their mother to get a hold of her exclusive socks!
After graduating from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Nicole has been able to make a career for herself as an artist and illustrator. Her pieces all carry a distinctive style, with bold colors and explosive use of patterns woven into portraits and tableaus. This vivid and colorful expression is rooted in her keen observational skills, which have turned strangers into studies.
“One of my favorite things to do is sketch outside. I really love people watching, and drawing moving people really helps sharpen your skills,” she says. “Before Covid I would go to cafes or book shops and loosely draw all the passing people. It was very freeing and fun to draw strangers. You don’t know their stories, but you give them one as you’re drawing them and they live as that in your sketchbook. During Covid I turned to drawing characters in shows and movies that I watched instead. I also live by a park where dogs are allowed to run around, so I also got into the habit of drawing those pups from afar.”
When she’s not working on a project while listening to podcasts, Nicole loves to watch movies and work on some personal art. Much of her style has been inspired by her exposure to city photography, pattern-work, and the evolution of art throughout history.
“I grew up learning more about art history than modern art at the time, so I became very familiar with it. I especially gravitated towards surreal art. There was something about the dream-like qualities of surreal art that I just loved,” Nicole says. “I’m also heavily inspired by pattern work. A lot of it started with renaissance and baroque paintings that usually had very lush fabrics and garments with patterns on it. My grandmother and mom are also seamstresses and I have been surrounded by fabric and patterns my whole life. A more recent inspiration is city photography. People aren’t the focus in the photo, the idea is more about the architecture and the composition the photographer captures. I find it fascinating how locations can have personalities and stories without using people. One of my favorite accounts on Instagram that I follow is @jintoniic”
Beyond the inspiration she derives from life imitating art, and vice-versa, Nicole wants to shed light on Juntos, a Philly-based Latinx immigrant organization. “They fight for human rights as workers, parents, youth and immigrants, and believe that every human being has the right to a quality education and the freedom to live with dignity regardless of immigration status.” This is an awesome community-based organization doing great work in Philadelphia, and we’re proud to highlight them.
When it comes to socks, Nicole chooses Sweater Weather. “I love seeing the little pups in sweaters and it reminds me of my dog, Leo, who often wears sweaters. I think this sock perfectly embodies my personality,” she says.
As for you getting some socks of your own, make sure to sign up for a the Sock It to Me monthly subscription box here. Our September boxes will start shipping on September 10th, so the last day for you to grab Nicole’s artist collaboration is on September 9th!
For her incredible artwork and unique perspective, we are thrilled to have Nicole Medina as one of our featured artist collaborations. Thank you for all you do, Nicole!