You’ve probably seen this notorious logo on several shirts and stickers around town, but you may not know what it is about. It’s practically a cult icon. Chances are you’ve stumbled upon the zany illustrations of the brand Nick Automatic. Ring a bell? If not, don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for. Because we’ve got a special treat in store for you; an interview with one of the most prolific illustration apparel designers from the Queen City of the South. His work is renowned both locally and internationally by brands and bands everywhere.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nicolo Nimor the brainchild of Nick Automatic!
032: Hey there Sir Nick! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up as a world renowned apparel designer and artist?
Nick: Well at first, I just had a day job, working in a company doing illustrations and stuff. As time passed, I learned a lot – doing legitimate artwork through the use of a computer. I opened an account in DeviantART, posted all my stuff, and then started to get some “racket” over the site. I continued to develop my work. Then one day, an e-mail came up. It was Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember. That’s where all it started.
032: We all know about your super brand, Nick Automatic. Many have heard of it and bought the shirts, but could you impart a short history lesson on how the brand started? And how it has evolved over the years?
Nick: Nick Automatic started when I was bored at the office. I was sketching out logos of a kid sticking his tongue out. After a few hours, I came up with a bunch of studies and chose one to render on the PC. I chose the Nick Automatic logo that you still see today. After I designed it, it took me 1 year to finally say, “Yeah, I’ll make something cool with this logo” and then there was Nick Automatic.
032: We’ve all raved about Nick’s Doodle Store (where Nick Automatic shirts are sold). Could you explain why you opened your own shop? And what other brands does your store carry?
Nick: Nick’s Doodle Store is a concept store made for the brand itself. I was thinking about the huge following of Nick Automatic, so we decided to put up a store for all our supporters. We carry a bunch of brands like Monster Ink, Product of Uranus, Killapinas, and more.
032: What are 3 surprising things that people don’t know about you?
- I like Japanese food.
- I’m a big fan of other clothing lines… more than my own.
- I look mean, but I’m not.
Nick: I don’t remember all of my designs. But one favorite is The Pencil Crew – it was one of the first styles conceptualized for Nick Automatic.
032: Lots of people are wearing shirts with the Nick Automatic characters, but most don’t know the inspiration behind them. How did you conceptualize characters like Cliff, Zelek and Mosh?
Nick: I’m fond of doing character designs and wanted the Nick Automatic brand to be the canvass for the characters I developed. Sooner or later, I’ll give a press release on who they are and how I describe them.
032: What is it like teaming up with local bands like Chicosci, Blue Boy Bites Back, Urbandub and countless others? How is it different from getting international bands like Miss May I, Mayday Parade and Saosin to wear some of your stuff?
Nick: I’m not trying to be humble and all, but being able to work with famous people around the Philippines and the world is overwhelming. You need to do your best and that’s what it’s all about. Getting international bands to wear Nick Automatic is a bit different, but pretty much the same as when locals wear the shirts. It’s just that they are in a bigger scene – which helped Nick Automatic a lot in some marketing aspects. But we don’t treat it as something corporate. It’s like you’re lending shirts to your friends… that’s all it is actually.
Nick: Yeah, of course. That’s part of the Master plan.
032: You recently came back from collaborating with Sonic Boom/Built by Sonic to bring Mayday Parade in Manila! How was the overall experience? Could we expect more of this in the future?
Nick: It was exciting, but also tough. There were a lot of things we needed to do, more than you could imagine. You might think that it was easy, but hell no. It turned out great. The boys of Mayday Parade are really great guys. They were very nice to the fans and to everyone around. Yeah, we will try to bring more acts in the future. Just keep supporting us.
032: I heard that the shirts for the Mayday Parade concert in Manila were sold exclusively at the event. For the benefit of your Cebu readers, could you tell us a little bit more about these new shirts?
Nick: About the shirts? Apparently, I lied. I sold half of the stocks at THE DOODLE STORE! Haha.
Nick: I was a sneaker fan ever since I was in High School and wanted to own the Nike Flightposite I. Many years later, I am now a proud owner!
032: Every time a new preview of Nick Automatic apparel comes out, you usually model the shirt and on close inspection, we can see your tattoos. What is one tattoo on you that is significant? What is the meaning behind it?
Nick: I recently tattooed a Beach scene on my right arm. It means I live in paradise and life is easy in paradise. It’s called “Cebu.”
032: What advice can you give to other aspiring artists who also want to make it in the graphic design industry?
Nick: Just be original and don’t imitate. If you believe that Filipinos imitate to make a living, then you can make a difference by doing something other than that.
032: Where can people get their official NICK AUTOMATIC merchandise?
THE DOODLE STORE, D12 Borromeo Arcade, F. Ramos st. Cebu City
BUILT BY SONIC, Citywalk 2, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City
032: Before we end, any shout-outs you’d like to make?
Thank you for supporting NICK AUTOMATIC! Hope for more of your support soon! Without the Doodlers, It would never be possible. Thank you! Thanks for the interview, Mike.