top of page
Artist Spotlight
Nichole Wong Forti

In a few sentences, please introduce yourself.

My name is Nichole and I have been illustrating and sketching since I was 5yrs old. My dad, taught me rough lighting when I was young to keep me entertained. I'm not sure he ever thought I would become a professional illustrator!


What do you love most about your profession?

What I love most about illustration and storytelling is that you can create a completely unique world with characters and environments developed from your imagination. And digging even deeper, storytelling is a way for me to deeply connect with others.


What's your strongest memory of your childhood?

One of the strongest memories in my childhood was hanging out in my best friend's backyard. Her mother was a professional flamenco dancer and encouraged us to play! We made a secret playhouse and her sausage dog, Max, was our villain. This was a safe place to be silly and create stories that came from our weird imaginations.  


Describe a real life experience that inspired you.

I was very inspired by my co-workers at DreamWorks. On one show in particular, we hired a character designer to create concept work for Penguins of Madagascar. This character designer decided to become an artist after being in the hospital for several months from a rare infection. His hospital stay and near death experience inspired him to follow his passion in a very disciplined way. He drew every single day, took classes and did not stop until he achieved his goals. Life for him was too short to waste a single moment on guilt, missed opportunities or doubt. He just did it and is still working today!


What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

One of the best pieces of advice that I have received is to create from a place of meaning. We all have our own unique experiences to tell. We can share these stories through our own lens.


Check out more of Nichole's fabulous art on Instagram @nicwongf!

Kat Waddell
Katherine Waddell

Introduce yourself.

My name is Katherine Waddell and I’ve been an animator and illustrator in the games industry for about 14 years and have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I currently work on mobile games in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love illustrating, animating, sewing plushies, crocheting and playing piano. I also have a strong love of dinosaurs and space exploration (and I secretly wish that I could be an astronaut!).


What do you love most about your profession?

I think the thing I love most about animation is seeing something you’ve drawn moving around on the screen on its own; it’s always been a magical experience and it never gets old.  My parents used to put on plays with my stuffed animals when I was a kid and I’d stare in wonder at how the animals came to life in front of me. I think deep down, I’ve always loved to share that feeling with others.


What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

Drawing X-Men characters with my brother on our living room coffee table. We would spend hours coming up with our own characters, complete with backstories and stats to go with our other X-Men cards and figures. My favorite part was always drawing them in action poses and having my brother think up cool sounding names for them.


Describe a real life experience that inspired you.

My first full-time job involved a project in the style of 60’s cartoons, and to help me acclimate to the style my art director lent me the book Cartoon Modern. I went home and promptly devoured it in two nights. The style of UPA cartoons instantly inspired and transformed the way I thought about shapes, lines and forms. It was a way of drawing that I had never thought of before, rooted in abstraction and basic shapes and it has informed my own art style ever since. I’m really thankful I was introduced to it!


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Be kind to yourself. I always try to remember this when I feel defeated or stuck. I think it’s important for artists to have compassion for each other, as well as for ourselves.


Check out more of Kat's fabulous art on Instagram @kwaddellart!

bottom of page