Artist to Watch | Michelle Nunnelly and Her Healing Illustrations

Our last post for Artist to Watch we were introduced to Heather Nunnelly. This week we were able to connect with her sister Michelle Nunnelly. Michelle Nunnelly is a native Texan that moved to New York City to follow her pursuit of art work. Michelle Nunnelly is an illustrator, comic book artist and professional doodler.

Hi Michelle, Thank you for chatting with The Game Fanatics. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What makes you tick and turn?

Well, My name is Michelle Nunnelly and I recently graduated from School of Visual Arts. I majored in Comics but I also love to design and make my own merchandise such as Stickers and Toys.

What makes me Tick? A lot of things I suppose. What ticks me the most about the Art World or in general? I suppose ignorance towards feminism, racism, and social justice in general. I believe if you write or drawy you should be conscious of who may be viewing it.

Wow! I have never met anyone who has designed toys. That’s pretty awesome. So how did you get started creating art? Toys?

Well I started working on comics when my brother introduced them to me when I was younger. I eventually found SVA which was one of the rare schools that taught the program. However, after 4 years of working in the medium I realized I had more of a knack for design and illustration.

Michelle Nunnelly's Robojelly
Michelle Nunnelly’s Robojelly

Also, do you try to incorporate social justice into your work?

I do try to be conscious of the choices I make when I draw or write yet I don’t necessarily implement social justice themes into my pieces. Mostly my illustrations or designs are monsters and other cute things.

I appreciate your consciousness very much. I have now taken time to go back and look at comics of the past and notice much more sexism and racism than I originally noticed when I was younger. Do you have any inspirations or role models?

That’s a good question. I ask myself this all the time and I am not sure I have a answer. I suppose most of my inspiration comes from observing other people.

When did you discover your passion for art?

I’ve been drawing as long as I could remember. Heather, my sister, and I loved to draw our favorite cartoon characters. At night when we were supposed to be asleep we’d stay up into the early hours of the morning telling each other stories. It was my favorite part of the day, actually.

That’s beautiful. She mentioned how your support helped her a lot in finding her passion for art. Tell us a bit about your creative process:

Did she? That’s so sweet!

Yes she did. You were mentioned a few times in the interview.

Aw, I love her.

Cheers for Sisterly Love!

My creative process if pretty specific actually. A few years ago I was diagnosed with OCD. Many people believe that’s limited to just cleaning but it’s much more than that. I had a difficult time drawing anything at all. It would literally take me 6 months to finish a drawing. For the past few years I’ve developed a process with my therapist where I first draw the rough draft of my picture in marker. Then I trace it onto watercolor paper. Then I scan it and color it.

Michelle Nunnelly's Zombie Collage 2
Michelle Nunnelly’s Zombie Collage 2

I am glad you have found what works for you. Do you believe that art has helped you with your OCD?

Absolutely. Art helps gives me an outlet and a way to ease my anxiety. Also, every time I make a new drawing and it’s not as good as I thought, it gets me another step closer to knowing it’s ok to mess up. My OCD symptoms are practically nonexistent now.

That’s great! I believe art saves and heals. so I had to ask. My apologies if it was too personal. Do you listen to music while you’re creating?

Yes, I do! I usually listen to the Imagine Dragons station on Pandora.

They have easily become one of my favorite groups to listen to, they are extremely talented. Let’s say for some, totally hypothetical reason Earth is about to blow up. Don’t panic, there is a savior aka a space ship getting ready to save you! But you can only save two pieces, what will those two be?

Do they have to be objects?

I meant two pieces of art that you have created.

Because I would probably save my Bunny, JiJi, and my portfolio with my original art.

Michelle Nunnelly's Steam Dream
Michelle Nunnelly’s Steam Dream

My mom never let me have a bunny, I think I still pack some resentment from that lol. But yes which two pieces of art would you like to save?

I suppose…I would want to keep my Steam Dream and my Zombie sticker piece. Bunnies are amazing.

Maybe I can get one for my future children or god children. Your guilty pleasure video game, the one game you can play for hours on end and tune everything out, what is it?

Oh wow, how do I choose? Skyrim I suppose. I have spent years on that game. I finally just beat all the main quests. I am extremely excited about The Elder Scrolls Online. Bioshock is a close second.

Nice choices! Let’s dig into your pile of shame for a minute. Tell us one game you haven’t played, that you’re ashamed you haven’t played yet.

People give me a lot of trouble for not playing the Dragon Quest games, or the original Zelda games, or the original Final Fantasy Games before FF7….

I haven’t played Dragon quest so I understand you on that. I have heard I would like it. No Zelda!!! Do you remember the 1st video game you ever played?

Wow, that’s going back. I was so small when I first started playing. I believe it was on the Nintendo but it may be pre- Nintendo. It was some sort of space ship game where you flew around and collected “E” capsules.

I will try to find out what that game is. Was it a computer game? Your dream job, what is it?

It was definitely on a system because we couldn’t afford a computer at the time. I have no idea what it was called.

I’ll see if I can do some digging.

My dream job? Mmmm I would like to own my own business designing toys, shirts, prints, and possibly comics. My ultra-dream job would be to work in the Video game industry.

Michelle Nunnelly
Michelle Nunnelly

Well I’m glad we are getting a hold of you now. Maybe we’ll be emailing you for reviews someday. Ironically, your sister said her dream job would be to work at Valve

I hope so, haha! We’ll see.

What are your current projects?

Well I just lost all of my info this past week because my computer crashed- it’s a long sad story. So, I am redesigning my website as of right now with what I can salvage from the internet. Other than that I’ve been working around some ideas for a possible comic. I’m also drawing a Skyrim inspired print that I hope to have online soon.

Awesome, the projects not the website! Now for my favorite question: It is Friday and you are about to get off work, what song are you listening to?

Probably Monster by Imagine Dragons. It’s such an awesome song.

I cosign. Thanks again for your time, where can we find more of your work?

My website is www.OracularDream.comThanks so much for interviewing me!

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