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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with BFA Nicholas Girod

To view Nick’s BFA Thesis Exhibition, UNCIVIL, check out our Flickr page.
You’ll also be able to see more photos of his Q&A interview with the department.

Give Nick a follow on Instagram, at @puhdonkeydonk!

Introduce yourself
My name is Nicholas Girod and I am a senior BFA Graphic Design student here at the University of Mississippi, graduating in December (2019).

What kind of artist do you consider yourself?
Graphic Designer mostly, but I also lend a lot into illustrations. I create pieces that are on my mind. I don’t like to plan anything out really. Everything is done on the fly mostly.

What kind of art inspires you?
Surprisingly it’s not really Graphic Design, haha! It’s actually a lot of paintings. Joshua Flint, he’s one of my biggest inspirations. He does a lot of surrealist art dealing with memories.

Has any other classes influenced your work?
Painting. I actually wanted to be a painting BFA before I decided on Graphic Design.

What got you into Graphic Design?
Originally, I was going to be an architecture major but then I switched to Graphic Design because I saw it had more of a practical application in life and I could use it anywhere in the future.

What type of artwork do you create?
I like to create anything I’m in the mood for at the moment. Currently I’m in the mood for vintage style classical art. I’m paying a homage to those of the golden age of animation, like Disney and Betty Boop. You’ll get to see a lot of that in my thesis work.

Could you describe any experiences you’ve had here in the Department?
Yes actually! I’ve gotten into a lot of positions that I don’t think that I would have in general. I’m happy to have taken part of the Graphic Design internship here in the department. I created many graphics for posters and social media.

Have you been to any Graphic Design conferences?
Plenty! I’ve never attended a conference before I came to Ole Miss. With Tyler’s (Barnes) help, he made that dream come true. We attended Crop Con in Baton Rouge, LA. At Crop Con we got to see the ins-and-outs of graphic designers currently established and what kind of things clients expect from the modern-day graphic designer. We also went to a small meetup at the Crosstown Concourse for Loaded for Bear in Memphis, TN. We got to see their Graphic Design firm and how they created work for clients.

Any advice for incoming art students?
Start creating now! I came in with very little work in my portfolio. I think that’s the biggest thing students miss out on nowadays is just not being prepared with their own work instead of class projects.

What have you added to your portfolio now?
A majority of it is class projects but at the same time I’m doing a lot on illustrations on the side for me personally. That’s a good thing about the BFA Thesis, even though it’s required, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I feel like it’s my personal piece [BFA Thesis] rather than for the school.

How has the department fostered your growth as an artist?
When I took Art History in the other community colleges, it was mostly focused on one particular subject. Once I got here, Art History broaden the area of artists that you cover. I loved that a lot and that helped me find a bunch of artists that I never even knew about. Classical and modern day artists.

Do you have any plans after you graduate?
I really want an internship with Hershell George. He’s a pretty good mentor. I’ve been keeping in contact with Hershell through emails and showing him the progress of everything. I’m going to ask him during my thesis exhibition for an internship. I’ve applied to local places just to stay in the area and save up money before I head out.

Interviewer: Frank Estrada | Photographer: Olivia Whittington