Meet the talented illustrator who created our Recreate Kit that transforms our packaging into a child's play telescope.
The first time I saw Nichols Moegly’s Instagram gallery I was giddy. His beautiful hand-drawn illustrations convey a feeling of nostalgia, every day magic and comfort that is so unique. I knew he could create something truly special for our first Recreate Kit and was beyond excited when he said yes!
Together we came up with the concept of ‘A Night Time Adventure Under The Stars’ that would inspire kids to see the magic and adventure in their own backyards, while reinforcing that night time isn’t scary. His illustration features a familiar home, local creatures, and a moonlit sky and matching colorful stickers that took several hours to create. Watch the video on YouTube.
Nicholas firmly believes in ‘putting in the time’ for everything he creates and his strong work ethic has certainly paid off. His is able to choose projects the projects that excite him, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups to musical artists - including The Avett Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, and New Found Glory.
Learn more about his creative process, favorite cause and why he enjoys working with bands below and be sure to check out his online shop.
Relamp: What inspires you?
Nicholas Moegly: It has varied over time, but lately it’s been nostalgia. As I get older and have more responsibilities, as everyone does, it’s interesting to look back and remember what life was like growing up. For lack of a better term, there just seemed like there was more magic in world. Lately I’ve been trying to dig up those old feelings and views on things and design from that perspective.
R: What is your creative process like?
NM: For an illustration I typically start out by looking at inspiration imagery which is mostly photographs. Sometimes I’m looking for reference imagery to use and sometimes I’m looking for images that have the overall feel that I’d like to create in the piece. Then I start with a simple sketch to layout where things are going, the perspective and if any copy needs to go overtop of the illustration. Once I have the layout in place I start drawing in detail, then eventually adding color and lastly doing any last minute fine tuning or production setup.
R: Why hand draw your designs?
NM: Part of what I love about drawing, illustration and painting is knowing that there is a person behind it. Whenever I see a piece that has incredible detail or an amazing style I always wonder who did it, how they did it and what their experience is. I can enjoy vector or really digital looking work, but I feel like that human element is sometimes missing in it for me.
Relamp: What has been key to your success?
NM: I have two pieces of advice I like to give up and coming designers that I think have really helped me along the way. The first is: Don’t wait for that perfect project to come your way, you need to be the one to make it happen. As a freelance illustrator sometimes you do wake up and check your inbox to see an amazing project offered to you, but when that’s not happening you can’t just sit around and hope that it does happen someday. You have to be proactive and reach out to the people, companies or brands you want to work with. The other piece of advice I give and work by is: Be your own art director. When you’re designing something you are investing your time and energy and it can be really hard to separate yourself and look at your work objectively, but that is exactly what you need to do. Before I send off any project I walk away from it for a few hours or overnight and when I look at it again with fresh eyes I try to imagine what the client or viewer might see that’s feeling off with it. I’ve noticed that the little things bugging me are almost always the first thing someone else points out, so just fix them already!
R: What do you most enjoy about your work?
NM: I think the thing I enjoy most about what I do is evoking a certain feeling in someone based on what I make. For several pieces I’ve done I’ve really tried to capture a feeling of childhood summers when you have school off and stay out late in the warm night. And when people comment or message me saying “I never thought I would feel this magical night again” (a for real comment) it’s really awesome knowing I had a feeling in my head that I was able to kind of transplant in another person through a design.
R: What is it like to work with bands?
NM: Working with bands is probably my favorite thing I’ve done. I grew up playing music in bands and eventually realized it was never going to be a career path for me. So to do what I love (illustrating) and combine that with another one of my loves is really special to me. It’s also really fun to try to capture the feeling or style of a band in an illustration.
R: What cause is important to you?
NM: One of the causes I try to support every year is Smile Train, an organization that fixes cleft lips or palates for children in developing countries. It’s one of those things that really isn’t a huge deal to fix in the US, but in developing countries there are hundreds of thousands of kids born with cleft palates that can’t get them fixed because of cost and medical availability. If not fixed in children it can sometimes cause infection, eating and breathing issues and can cause them to be ostracized socially, especially at school. It’s only $250 for a corrective surgery through Smile Train and it literally changes the rest of their lives.
R: Whats the best idea you've ever had?
NM: I think the best idea I had was leaving my full-time job as a senior designer at an agency and working for myself. It has opened so many possibilities for me and truly allowed me to live the life I’ve always wanted.
R: Tell us about the coloring sheet and stickers you created
NM: This was a really fun project for me. I’ve actually had people tell me they wish they could color in one of my drawings, so this was the perfect project. For the coloring page I wanted to create that feeling of a warm summer night where you could imagine the glow from the lights in the house casting out over the lawn. I love the stickers too because I designed it so they could either work being placed on the coloring page, or they could be used anywhere else as well.