A Chat with Shad Nowicki
By Caitlin Croft
The Ellicottville Times had a chance to sit down with Ellicottville artist, Shad Nowicki, after his most recent art show in Philadelphia at Wizard World, a company that produces numerous pop culture conventions across North America to celebrate the entertainment industry. Nowicki, who grew up in North Boston, NY, started painting with his fingers as a kid. Once he got a brush in his hand, he says, he never stopped.
EVL Times: Tell us about the artwork you produce.
Nowicki: All of my work is pre-1989 vintage comics and pop culture. The majority of my work is done with acrylics on canvas. I also incorporate original comic book, magazine and article clippings from the time-period of the piece. My work is 100 percent hand-painted and original; I do not reproduce paintings, create prints or paint the same picture twice.
EVL Times: Recently there has been a resurgence of Marvel & DC comics, characters and movies in mainstream pop culture. Was there ever a time where you painted outside of the comic book world?
Nowicki: Yes, I have been featured in art galleries all over the country, ranging from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City. I was known for using pizza boxes as my canvas. Now, I am all in with the comic book themed work. It is my passion and hopefully the success I have found will allow for that to continue.
EVL Times: Tell us what Wizard World is and how you got involved.
Nowicki: Wizard World started out as a monthly comic book magazine highlighting anything and everything that had to do with the world of comics. In the late 1990s, the company purchased the Chicago Comicon and expanded into multiple conventions across the country. I was approached by Wizard World to put together a booth for the 2015 Philadelphia Convention.
EVL Times: Were there any artists at the convention who inspired you throughout your career?
Nowicki: Yes, two of my all-time favorite artists were at the convention, Neal Adams & Michael (Mike) Zeck. Neal & Mike have been working as comic book artists for the last 30-plus years. I actually got the opportunity to meet both of them during my time in Philadelphia.
EVL Times: What was that like? Did you have a star-struck moment? Were there any other memorable visitors to your booth?
Nowicki: It was unbelievable. They both came over to my booth to check out my artwork and told me how much they like it. This was amazing to hear from two of my biggest idols! There I was, standing in my booth, and the famous Neal Adams was complimenting my artwork.
I also had a visit from Rob Bruce and Ming Chen of the AMC show “Comic Book Men.” They loved my artwork and are excited about what the future holds for my career. Also, Chris 51 from A&E’s “Epic Ink” stopped by to talk art and comics.
EVL Times: Speaking of the future, what is next for Shad Nowicki?
Nowicki: On June 5-7, I will be at the Comic Con Niagara Falls to meet fans and hand out sketches and posters. They will have to come find me though. It is held at the ScotiaBank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Hopefully, I can get another Wizard World show on my schedule for 2015, as well. A handful of commissioned work has come my way from the show in Philadelphia, along with a few other projects I want to keep under wraps for now… Stay tuned!
EVL Times: You can keep up with Shad via Facebook (Shad Nowicki), Instagram (@shadpaints) and his website www.shadart.biz.