What inspired the name of your business?
The name I used for my business is “Nicholas Brancati Studios”, my own personal name (minus the “Studios” of course.) It actually came about because I had trouble coming up with a good name for my business. I did not want a name I would regret further down the line and have go through the hassle of changing it. I wanted something that was pure and simple. Plus anything I could come up with that I liked was already taken. In the end I chose to not over complicate the situation and just use my own name, something that would be practical and easily identifiable.
What is the story behind why you started your business?
The reason I started my business is because I have always been hands-on and creative. As a child I would entertain myself for hours with a box of pencil crayons and a stack of paper. Also throughout my entire life I have never bought a greeting card. I have always illustrated my own hand made cards. That need to be creative has always been a part of me. When I went to university I chose to study graphic design and illustration. But when I graduated I found it quite difficult to get steady employment in the competitive artistic and design world. So in order to make money and still continue doing what I love I ended up establishing my own business to print up and sell my own work.
What is the dream that you wish to fund through your business?
One of the dreams I wish to fund with through my business is establishing a career as a commercial illustrator, in particular children’s book illustrating. I have a love of children’s books and have always admired a well written and illustrated story. Eventually I would love to illustrate children’s books of my very own and I hope someday my business will allow me to do just that, whether it be financially or through the connections I make.
What are you most proud of about your business?
What makes me most proud is knowing people love my cards and art prints. As well as selling my greeting cards at Giving Gifts, I attend the many craft markets and venues around Metro Vancouver. Personally being at these venues selling my own work allows me to interact with the customers who are buying my cards and prints. It is always interesting to see people walking by my booth and suddenly stop because one of my prints caught their attention. It is fun hearing people smirk or laugh to themselves or to friends over one of my cards. It is nice to notice that one of my designs made someone smile. When people buy my cards from me they usually take the time to let me know what they are using the card for or to whom they are sending the card to or simple how much they liked the card. And I love to know my work has inspired someone or even just brightened up their day.
How have you grown as a person as a result of your business?
I would have to say that I have grown artistically. Looking back at the artwork I have done while at school and the artwork that I do now, I have noticed a refinement in my technical skills as an illustrator artist and designer. I have also noticed my body of work has expanded as I am continually adding new product and product lines. At the same time I am continually exploring new subject matter and pushing my artistic medium in different creative directions as I develop new techniques for rendering my artwork.
What difference does your art make in your life, and your family’s life?
Personally my artwork gives me an opportunity to be creative in my life and do something that I enjoy doing. I am able to create something that is appealing and meaningful. It is an avenue in my life that allows me to get my ideas and inspirations out into physical form rather than keeping them bottled away or forgotten. Even if I were not doing illustration and art to support myself financially I would still make time in my life to do it as a hobby in my free time.
As for my family I guess my artwork is something that is personal to them. For example when I send an illustrated handmade greeting card or postcard in the mail it is a small gesture that is personal and meaningful to them. My family and close friends enjoy my handmade cards and I enjoy making them.
If you could say one thing to the person that buys and/or enjoys your art, what would it be? Thank you. I hope you enjoy my work.
Why we love having Nicholas Brancati at Giving Gifts:
What's not to love about animals and silly puns! Nicholas' cards are definitely a customer favourite and we love seeing the reactions when people start looking through his cards. We also love that his Animals With ♥ series started out as little cards that were sold to support HIV orphans in Uganda through a charity called The Candles. Giving back through doing what you love - that's Giving Gifts! You can see some of Nicholas' cards here, and plenty more in store.