Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview - Nancy Mungcal (aka 'pretty little thieves')

It only took one visit to the pretty little thieves website for me to be completely taken by the illustrated world of Nancy Mungcal. Nancy's work can be cute or quirky (or both) and often surprising and amusing. Her images are often full of pathos but sanguine at the same time. And beautiful. No matter what she is doing though, she executes it with skill and style. For me, it all started with this - an amazing print I just had to have. But I couldn't just leave it there - oh, no. I had to know more about her process. So I got in touch, of course. And as a result, I'd like to introduce you to Nancy Mungcal, the talent behind 'pretty little thieves'.

pretty little thieves 'plaid and glasses' print [source]

Tell us a bit about yourself, your work and achievements.

Thank you for having me here. I am so honored. My name is Nancy and my work site and shop are called pretty little thieves. My work consists of drawing, painting, cutting, pasting and making.  My work often favors girls and animals especially bears, wolves, rabbits and cats. Lately, I have been sketching plants and exploring lettering and abstracts. I have been fortunate to have my work exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Canada, and Spain as well as at South Korea's Art Daegu. I've done editorial illustration work for magazines such as Frankie and Foam.

Did you always want to be an illustrator since childhood or did you come to it as an adult? What steps did you take to make it happen?

I have always been drawing. There wasn't a plan to become an illustrator.  A few years ago, I took a giant leap of faith and started sharing my work. Before that, it was only my family and friends who saw my work.

How did you decide on your blog and shop name 'Pretty Little Thieves'?

The name pretty little thieves just came to me one day. At the time, I didn't know what I would use it for.

Nancy: 'a pile of abstracts I've been working on.' (All photos courtesy of the artist)

Could you describe a typical day? How do you balance art and a day job? Or if you freelance full-time, how do you balance the creative side with the administration?

A typical day consists of drinking lots of tea, listening to music and staying up too late. I try to balance art making with the administrative side of things and am not always successful at it. I tend to collect small piles of paper work and have a giant to do list. I work on different things daily from painting for shows to drawing for editorial clients. I also initiate self projects as much as I can.

You live in Southern California. Could you give us a little insight into the town or city where live? What are the creative or inspiring places you like to visit?


I live in a small quiet city by the mountains.

I love going on road trips, seeing my favorite bands, hanging out at bookstores, and wandering the flea markets.

Nancy: 'some work on my desk.'

Where do you like to sketch and come up with new ideas (at your desk, in a cafe, in a busy place etc)?

I  carry a sketchbook with me pretty much everywhere I go.  I'm most often sketching at my desk with music on.

Nancy: 'I have a niece and nephew who make lots of art for me. There's always a pile of it on my desk and is a constant source of inspiration for me.'

What are your favourite tools/materials for creating?

Micron pens, tiny paint brushes, watercolor and acrylic paints, india ink, markers, graphite pencils, scraps of paper, watercolor paper...

Nancy: 'a sketch on scrap paper'

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Nancy! It was a pleasure to have you here today.

Please do check out more of Nancy's amazing work at the following links:

pretty little thieves website
shop
blog
And lastly, Nancy has just opened a brand new vintage shop field and ramble!