A glimpse into the mind of Nick Potts

Getting paid to put pen to paper in a creative and independent way is something of a dream in 2019. While most sit at their desks counting down the days until their next vacation, Nick Potts is getting inspired by ancient cultures and emerald tablets, and somehow living off it.

Recently, we sat down with Potts to find out whether he draws inspiration from his surroundings, if he’s ever taken psychedelic drugs, and why his subjects have no faces.

This article will appear in print in Happy Mag Issue 10. Pre-order your copy here.

nick potts interview happy mag issue 10
All images courtesy of Nick Potts

Sydney-based visual artist Nick Potts explores the intersection between spirituality, esotericism and the universe through pen, ink and paper.

HAPPY: How long have you been making art for? Do you think your style has changed since you began?

NICK: I have been making art for a lifetime but only doing it for a job in the last five or so years. I think it definitely has evolved over time, I get bored doing the same thing.

HAPPY: How would you say your art has changed?

NICK: I guess making a career out of it has given me direction and style. Before when I was just doing it for fun I didn’t really have a clear vision or style, so it was a bit all over the place. I still feel I am always learning, growing and evolving in terms style. I have always found it fun though, which is the most important thing.

HAPPY: What does your creative space look like?

NICK: I’ve got my desk with my computer, iPad, lightbox, pens, inks, printer and scanner. I like to have my walls covered in all sorts of art and pictures to keep me inspired.

HAPPY: Does the space you’re in effect your work?

NICK: Yes and no, it’s pretty chaotic but the general vibe of the space informs my work for sure.

HAPPY: Do you feel like your wider community and your surroundings have any impact on your work?

NICK: Yeah I grab bits and pieces from all my surroundings, but I don’t think that translates all the time. But I also I think it all kind of lives in a different reality or time.

HAPPY: What do you mean by that?

NICK: I spend a bit of time thinking about the possibilities of space or other worlds and dimensions. I kind of picture the characters I draw coming from these places and then, I guess visually, the way it comes out it looks like it would belong in another decade.

HAPPY: Most of your figures are faceless or have parts of their bodies missing. Is there a reason for the anonymity?

NICK: Yeah, there is a reason. I don’t like giving them a face or identity so the character isn’t defined and I can leave it up to the viewer to make something a bit more of it. I’m also big on putting speckles of space in people, which ties back to a belief that we are all connected cosmically.

HAPPY: Your pieces are very psychedelic. Do you have experience with psychedelic drugs?

NICK: I do have a bit of experience using psychedelic drugs. I was never too big on the idea of them growing up but then it did open me to a whole new world. There’s some that I don’t want any business with and a lot of the party drugs can just be a bit of a nightmare, but I think psychedelics are pretty worthwhile to do in the right setting and you can get a lot out of them if you’re open and strong enough to handle the experience.

HAPPY: Where else do you draw inspiration from?

NICK: I draw a bit of inspiration from esoteric teachings and also ancient monuments and structures from past civilisations and, in general, super ancient history.

HAPPY: Anything in particular that you’d recommend to people interested in similar topics?

NICK: There are heaps out there but I think Graham Hancock has some amazing work. Learning about any indigenous cultures is always interesting and cool. Lately, I have been tripping out on the emerald tablets and Thoth, it’s a super interesting story.

HAPPY: Do you identify as a spiritual person?

NICK: Hmm, kind of. I’m not hardcore into any belief system but I am very interested in the whole concept of spirituality. There is definitely a lot of bullshit surrounding it. I like to learn about different thoughts and teachings and practice them in day-to-day life.


This article will appear in print in Happy Mag Issue 10. Pre-order your copy here.