Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Spooky Girl Art, whose real name is Andrea Nicholson, has been drawing since childhood. The self-described “nerdy art girl” in high school went on to surprise everyone and major in English literature, language and writing at Eastern Michigan University. It was after her studies that she realized that her love of graphic novels and comics would allow her to marry her loves of literature and art. And so Spooky Art Girl began.
Her psychedelic art is a natural fit for cannabis lovers. This has led to partnerships with cannabis brands, and she carved out a unique space for herself as an artist and a cannabis influencer. CULTURE caught up with Spooky Art Girl to learn more about her art, her life and her use of cannabis.
What influences the trippy, spaced out themes in your art?
A lot of my inspiration comes from artists like Moebius, Frank Frazetta and other science fiction and fantasy illustrators from the late ’70s and ’80s. I love their use of color and fantasy within a science fiction setting, and I try to take that and push that even farther with my own illustrations.
Because of my involvement with the cannabis industry and the brands that I work with, a lot of people assume that the trippy space themes in my art are a result of my relationship with cannabis, but actually that’s not the case. I have always loved colors (I loved Lisa Frank everything when I was a kid!) and I have a deep relationship with science fiction, but my art tends to do well with cannabis users because of the space themes that are often associated with cannabis and just how fun it is to look at while medicated! I do feel as though my use of cannabis influences some of my more trippy drawings, but that’s often because when I create while medicated, I tend to include more intricate designs and more colors because of my state of mind.
“A lot of my inspiration comes from artists like Moebius, Frank Frazetta and other science fiction and fantasy illustrators from the late ’70s and ’80s. I love their use of color and fantasy within a science fiction setting, and I try to take that and push that even farther with my own illustrations.”
When and how did you start using social media to build a community for your art?
I started my Instagram page in 2016 after a few years of experience navigating the social media world as a working fashion model out of Detroit, Michigan. Because of my work as a freelancer before I started Spooky Girl Art, I had a lot of experience with self-promotion and a lot of great connections to other social media influencers in the metro Detroit area which really helped me when I was starting out.
I started posting my drawings on social media and as my page and follower base started to grow, I was excited to find I was cultivating a community of people who were interested in and inspired by the same things I am. The more positive support I got through my social media pages, and the more work I sold through Etsy, the more inspired I became to grow my brand. Through my connections with influencers and companies like AlienOutfitters.com I was able to partner with other brands to get my artwork out into the world.
How did you get started collaborating with cannabis brands?
When I was just starting out in the social media world with Spooky Girl Art, Madison Ortiz of @HappyTokes Instagram and blog was a huge help and support to me. We had similar connections in the modeling world and I was inspired by the platform she had created on social media where people could come together to share their positive experiences with cannabis. As someone who struggles with a chronic illness and a medical cannabis user, I was thrilled to find a community like that cultivated by someone who ran in the same circles as I did. I reached out to Madison and she was hugely supportive of my artwork and my story, and it was through her and her page that I met many of the brands that I have worked with over the past few years. Through Madison I realized the value of supporting other creatives, genuinely connecting with people through social media and many of the and marketing strategies I use today.