We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca and Nikko Gallardo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca and Nikko, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Over this past year with the pandemic, our work life balance has definitely changed quite a bit. At the beginning of the year, we had quite a few events planned that we were excited to be a part of so we were feeling very motivated and ready to hit the ground running. By the beginning of March, it became clear that this year was not going to go as planned. For awhile, especially during the stay-at-home order, we struggled with being able to stay creatively motivated and inspired but we did our best to fight through the anxiety we were feeling about the state of the world and all of the uncertainty that went along with that. We tried to push ourselves to work and finish pieces when we could, but we also quickly figured out that we needed to be understanding with ourselves given the circumstances and give ourselves time to rest and relax mentally. As the year progressed and we settled into a new “normal”, the anxiety subsided a bit and we’ve been able to move forward with some ideas we’ve had for awhile, including some new products we’re excited to share soon. Lately, we’ve been working to balance our full-time jobs with completing commissions, developing a new clothing line and skateboard designs. We both work Monday-Friday so we really try to balance how we spend our weekends, pushing ourselves to complete tasks when we need to but also making sure to take time to just relax and recharge as well. This year has been a big reflection for us in regards to finding a balance mentally between pushing ourselves to create because we felt like we had to and allowing ourselves to rest because we recognized that we needed to. Some days creating the balance is easy, some days it can be hard; regardless, we will always be driven to create.
What motivates you to create art and the challenges you’ve overcome?
Our main motivation in creating art is to create pieces that people can connect with. Primarily, we try to focus on a positive message while still recognizing the depressive aspects of life. Over time, we’ve developed a “creepy cute” aesthetic with our handmade toys and our digital art that we feel has started to become recognizable as our work. We got to where we are today by taking the first step in sharing our artwork publicly. We were both artists before we met but neither of us put it out into the world very much. Once we decided to take the leap, we created our website, started our Instagram account and started sharing our work and showing support to artists we admired. Things moved quickly from there, but it wasn’t always easy. Learning how to prepare for vending at a variety of events, figuring out how to curate our own shows and overcoming feelings of social anxiety have all presented unique challenges. We’ve learned many lessons both from personal experience and observations we’ve made, including the importance of listening to your intuition. We are excited to start releasing new designs and merchandise we’re super proud of, as well as sharing new designs in our artist shop with BoardPusher Custom Skateboards. In the coming years we look forward to continuing to push ourselves creatively, learning new things and continuing to develop our brand. We have so many ideas that we can’t wait to bring to fruition and we look forward to continuing to have fun working in a variety of mediums.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Assuming COVID-19 doesn’t come into play for this question, we’d highly recommend the following: Twist and Shout, Vegan Van, Wong Way Veg, City O’ City, Watercourse, Tabletop Tavern, Mutiny Information Cafe, Hooked on Colfax, The Gothic, The Bluebird, Beetbox Bakery, Make Believe Bakery, Nooch Vegan Market, The Gnarly Toy Box, Sally Centigrade and Valkyrie Gallery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We definitely want to thank Sally Centigrade, Remixed Gifts, Hooked on Colfax and Valkyrie Gallery for giving us those early opportunities that made us feel so inspired and encouraged. We appreciate you all so much, we wouldn’t be where we are now without you. A huge thank you goes out to Mr. Mars Studios and Sam Uncle Studio for giving us so much encouragement from the very beginning, for answering our questions and giving us advice. And of course we have to thank all of our clients who have commissioned us for logo work and all of our friends and family that have shown us support!