Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recent Shows at iam8bit Gallery in LA

Last week was a busy week for the iam8bit folks! They had two gallery openings, one featuring the 10th Anniversary of video game Psychonauts and the second show was celebrating their own 10 year anniversary!

The Psychonauts show featured work from artists, concept art from the early years of the game development, and Tim Schafer - the founder of Double-Fine was there too! Here is my painting from the show.

Another Day At Camp
9x12 inches
Gouache, ink on wood panel
©Nicole Gustafsson


The 2nd show that opened last week was iam8bit's 10th Anniversary show! I am super happy to have been showing with the gallery since 2011 and pumped for Jon, Amanda, and all the iam8bit crew for this celebration in the galleries history. This show featured over 150 works remixing their favorite retro video games memories. 

I chose to feature Donkey Kong Jr for NES a game that has me frustrated and hooked all at once. I can never get very far in this game, but I sure keep coming back for more!

Jr. in the Jungle
9 x 12 inches
Gouache, ink on wood panel
©Nicole Gustafsson

Monday, June 15, 2015

Artwork from Fantastical Fauna and Flora at Gallery Nucleus

Over the weekend was the opening to "Fantastical Fauna and Flora" at Gallery Nucleus, in Alhambra California. Featuring artwork from  Mall, Nicole Gustafsson, Lorena Alvarez Gomez, and Amelie Flechais

The entire show is now online at Gallery Nucleus: here 

Beautiful Bizarre did a lovely writeup on the show, visit their website to read about it: here

Below are all my paintings I created for the exhibit. I love making up homes and spaces for creatures, and that was the focus of my pieces. I revisited a lot of animals I haven't drawn in a long time - like iguana's, bats, and wombats. Many of these creatures I was obsessed with as a kid and really fun to draw them again! 

The Shiba dog reading, ferrets shopping, and the iguana were also influenced a by pets I had through out my life (or in the case of the Shiba is modeled after our pup Toshi!). 

"Bakers Den" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 10.75 x 8.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "Feline Florists" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 10.75 x 8.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "Night Reader" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 6x8 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Book Keeper" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 10.75 x 8.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Crystal Collector" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 6.75 x 6.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Lantern Lighter" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 10.75 x 8.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Merchant" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 6.75 x 6.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Star Gazer" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 7 x 11 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

 "The Wandering Isle" 
Gouache, ink on paper | 6.75 x 6.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson

"Thimbleberry Pickers"
Gouache, ink on paper | 6.75 x 10.75 (image size)
©Nicole Gustafsson
Available at Gallery Nucleus 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fantastical Flora and Fauna exhbit at Gallery Nucleus

This Saturday, June 13th is the opening to "Fantastical Flora and Fauna" exhibit at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. This show features work by Mall, Nicole Gustafsson, Lorena Alvarez Gomez, and Amelie Flechais.

I am a huge fan of each of these artists works and couldn't be more thrilled to be showing with them--especially with a nature-based theme that I love!

The show is free to attend and open from June 13th - June 27. Visit for more details on the exhibit.

Here are a few pieces and progress works featuring artwork of mine that will be in the show! I wish I could attend the show in person, but traveling just didn't work out this time.

The Book Keeper, Gouache and ink on paper, ©Nicole Gustafsson 2015
Sketching the Shiba Inu character in The Book Keeper
First color washes down on The Book Keeper

Thimbleberry Pickers, Gouache and ink on paper, ©Nicole Gustafsson 2015
Drawing all ready for color for the Thimbleberry Pickers

Starting to put in a few details on the little elephant shrew in Thimbleberry Pickers
I'll be posting all the images and more process pictures after the show is up!

(I get a lot of requests for tutorials, but my process pictures are the closest thing that I have to explaining my process. Someday I hope to do a video and more complete tutorial, but need the time and equipment to really set it up and do it right!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Haunted Depths - New Print at Tiny Showcase

Just released yesterday is a new print "Haunted Depths" now available at Tiny Showcase. I've done several prints with Tiny Showcase over the years and it's always a pleasure to work with them!

Tiny Showcase also donates a portion of the sales to the artists charity of choice. I chose Mission Blue and $250 of the sale of this print will be donated to the organization. Mission Blue is an alliance created by Sylvia Earle, works to raise public awareness and ignite global support for marine protected area's and creation of Hope Spots to help restore our oceans.

Haunted Depths
By Nicole Gustafsson
11 x 11 inches
Limited edition of 100
$30 unframed

Here is additional information about the print:

"Haunted Depths" is an edition of 100 prints by Nicole Gustafsson. With a small border for framing, the print measures 11" wide by 11" tall. The archival print was created by Tiny Showcase and ships with a corresponding certificate of authenticity. The archival artwork has been printed on a heavy 290gsm natural white print making paper made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton.

Nicole has chosen Mission Blue as her artwork's charity. The organization is an ocean community hub that seeks to make good on Sylvia Earle's wish to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas by elevating public awareness about critical ocean issues and inspiring support for organizations, projects and scientific expeditions that make a positive difference for the ocean. $250 dollars from the sale of Nicole's artwork will be donated to the organization.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Crafty Wonderland Recap

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who made it out to Crafty Wonderland Colossal Spring sale on Saturday. It was great to chat with new and familiar faces again.

Here is my setup for the show. The wood display on the left was made be a friend and my card display on the left I found on Etsy (made by Wudls Woodshop). I'm always working on new ways to show my wares (and talking to the other vendors, it seems like everyone's displays are always a work in progress).

I haven't had greeting cards in my Etsy shop in a while, but I will be rephotographing and listing them all soon. Also I have added a few new mini prints, stickers, and other goodies to my shop.

Shiba 3 piece set - postcard, bookmark and stickers

4 piece postcard set featuring crystal worlds

Badger Picking Berries, Mini print - 5x5 inches

My Etsy shop online is 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Crafty Wonderland Colossial Spring Sale this May 9th

This Saturday, May 9th is the one-day event - Crafty Wonderland Colossal Spring Sale in Portland, Oregon! Crafty events have quickly become one of my favorite events of the year and I'll be there with a booth (#39) with lots of new prints, paintings, and other goodies in tow. The event features over 200 local makers selling everything from homemade cheese kits, jewelry, clothing, artwork, prints and more.

Visit Crafty's event page on facebook for more info:

You can find me a booth # 39. As you can see here on the map that there's going to be cat adoption teams, a DIY area to make your own crafts and also a plant sale. So much awesome in one spot!

Here's a bit of the selection that I will have on Saturday. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol 3, #2

Last Wednesday was the release of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol3, #2 published by Archaia. I have followed the Mouse Guard series by creator David Petersen for many years and was incredibly touched to be asked to illustrate a story for his Legends series! This is the third volume of "Legends" where select guest artists get to play in David's world of mice, battles and storytellers. Mouse Guard is also celebrating it's 10 year anniversary, congrats David!

My husband, C.M. Galdre (Matt) and I teamed up for our short story contribution, where he wrote the storyline and I did the illustrations to match. We've always played around with collaborations but this is the first time we've had a published project of this type. It was really nice to sit down on a focused project and flush out this story together for Mouse Guard.

Here are some process photos of our story "Fall of Brierwall". It was really wonderful to have David (creator) and Rebecca (editor) walk us through the process and give their insights as the work progressed.

After receiving the outlined script from Matt I roughed out thumbnails to get a better idea of movement from panel to panel and here I started to develop the looks of the main characters "Ivytha" and her father "Rond". Something that I always loved about David's Mouse Guard pieces is how he developed kingdoms of mice with their own heraldry, clothing, and type of weapons that would be local to their area.

If you look closely at our finished piece you can see elements of Brierwall in their clothing--from a briar crown, to a Brier celtic knot on King Ronds shield.

At this stage we had a good idea from the thumbnails on each panel, so this is a rough pencil of the first page of our tale at full size. Giant brier branches work their way though the city, and mice go about their daily lives.

Here is a cleaned up pencil drawing on my good paper that I will use for the final painting (I prefer to use Rives BFK printmaking paper for painting on these days. It's super soft and absorbs the paint in a way I really like).

From the pencil drawing I paint in the color using Holbein Acryla Gouache. I try to use the paint lightly like watercolor and build the layers to create shadows and light. One of the main reasons why I like this specific paint is how well it layers and can be used transparent or opaque.

A look at a page completely colored and inked. I then scan this and insert the type digitally in Photoshop.

Finished page how it appears in Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol 3, #2. 

Animated gif of the process from start to finish!

Cover artwork by David Petersen
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume Three: Issue Two features work by David Petersen, Nicole Gustafsson, C.M. Galdre, Dustin Nguyen, and Kyla Vanderklugt. Issues 3 will be out later this summer and all the issues put together in a hardcover volume! Huge thanks to David, Rebecca, Archaia and everyone involved for this wonderful opportunity.

A little look at the final publication. Visit your local comics shop or purchase online to read our whole story!

Visit: for more information about Mouse Guard, Legends of the Guard, and other projects by David Petersen.