Quick newsflash! I’ve created a Tumblr account. I’m not entirely sure as to how I’ll start using it just yet, but I believe that I’ll post some more casual material there, along the lines of progress shots and such. My main blog here is definitely more formal, so it will be nice to have a place to share content of a more raw nature. Keep them eyes peeled for more updates to come!


Sneak preview of my portfolio booklet! In anticipation of the Spectrum Live convention, I’m putting together a classy printed collection of all my latest work. It features full color reproductions of my paintings and will soon be on sale to the public! I plan on opening an online store soon where it will be easily available. Stay tuned for more details to come!

Happy Birthday Blog!

Upon realizing the imminent dawning of 2012, I am happy to say that my blog is officially one year old. As far as personal blogs go, this is a remarkable milestone. Blogs tend to be the internet equivalent of an impulse driven pet adoption. At first, writing posts is fresh and exciting- but as any pet owner knows, the monotony of care and feeding that inevitably comes along with a blog quickly washes away all initial enthusiasm. Somehow, I’ve managed to keep this little puppy alive for 12 months with posts occurring nearly every week. It’s been a hell of a year, with ups, downs and everything in between. I’ve learned a lot about my practice as an illustrator and I’m looking forward to learning even more. With that- I wish a happy new year to every reader and I urge you to check back as I’ve got some insanely ambitious plans for 2012!

111 Minna Aftermath



My Faire at 111 Minna was a unique, if not extraordinary experience. The vibe leaned much more towards fashionistas and glam rockers more than anything. I was a bit of a black sheep with my fantasy themed paintings and anti holiday postcards. Nevertheless, it was a good exercise in presenting my work to the public and building up product to sell to the masses. The band in the second photo is this ridiculous group called “Fire Tiger” that played energetic 80s pop/rock. I admired their gusto, and was not at all disappointed to have my work displayed alongside the stage where they rocked their hearts out. Not a bad idea for a music video featuring my work, I’d be happy to have their songs as my soundtrack any day!

Writing on the Wall



My piece “Lucy” is on display at Incline Gallery at 766 Valencia Street in San Francisco! Although small it fits nicely with the other work on the wall. I was pleased to have my canvas displayed alongside fellow illustrator James Larson‘s piece “Home is Where the Heart Is.” Overall the Shelter exhibition is full of great work, mostly in the realm of screenprinting and photography. If you’re in “the city” I highly recommend checking it out.

Holiday Faire at 111 Minna

I’m participating in a Holiday Faire at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, hosted by Romantic Rock Productions. The event features local artists, a fashion show, two live bands and a DJ. I’ll have a table exhibiting my latest work and will be selling more prints than you can shake a stick at. Tickets are a paltry $5, so come on out and celebrate the holidays with some artsy cheer! The first eight folks to contact me for a ticket at colin@colinnitta.com are entitled to a free print!

Back in Business

I’ve printed a lot of different kinds of promotional materials over the years, but for some reason I’ve never tapped into the genre of the business card. It seems I’ve hit all the most common forms of print up, from booklets to postcards to posters and even CD albums. But the humble business card remained in my blind spot… until now! With my latest alter ego self portrait, I decided that it was time to switch gears. The business card is obviously handy due to its slick portable format. Now I have no excuses not to show my work to anyone who has even the remotest of passing interests in illustration. My face sort of leers out of the little wallet pocket, a sort of weird side effect I didn’t exactly plan but by I happen to rather like. To get your hands on this hot property, simply send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll send you as many as you like. Look out, because from now on Colin Nitta Illustration is takin’ care of business!

Change Up

I admit it. It happened. I made a mistake. A fairly large one, yet I’m glad I realized my error before things developed further. Will Ratliff, a fellow bay area illustrator and myself have been collaborating on a joint illustration project, and for quite some time our intention was to illustrate the book Dune, by Frank Herbert. Our project was titled, “Dune Illustrated”, and I’ve been promoting it for a while, up until now. I’ve recently learned that the act of illustrating an existing work without permissions that is not in the public domain is technically a breach of copyright. Concerning copyright issues, I’ve always been taught that originality in a visual sense is the most important. I shoot all the direct photographic references for my paintings and I never, ever intentionally copy someone else’s illustration or painting. However, ideas and writing are intellectual property too. They deserve their own status as the product of a particular person’s imagination. Frank Herbert may have passed away some years ago, but someone still owns his published work, principally the Dune series. And the last thing I ever want to do is intentionally or unintentionally tread on someone else’s creative property. How would I feel if someone did that to me?

Nevertheless, Will and I are still working together on a science fiction illustration project, but we are using a new source material for our illustrations. It may be something in the public domain, or of our own creation; we have yet to decide on that, but we will definitely remain aware of all the different manifestations of copyright this time. I am glad I learned this, as it is a valuable lesson and a testament to the incredibly important legal protection granted to all artists that allows us to be productive, successful and above all, creative. Stay tuned for more developments to come.

Spectrum Live!

I’ve recently decided to partake in a brand new convention happening in Kansas City, Missouri in May 2012 called “SPECTRUM LIVE.” It’s being hosted by the same folks who put together the Spectrum annual of science fiction and fantasy illustration around November of every year. I’m exhibiting with two other fellow illustrators, Brynn Metheney and Michael Manomivibul. They’re both extremely talented and I really need to step up my game to stand strong with them. Lots to do until then!

A Very Raw Evening

My show at 111 Minna was a blast! Many good folk were in attendance and the night was jam packed with two bands, a model runway and six hanging panels showcasing visual artists, myself included. It was a great experience getting to talk to everyone about my work in person and show them the actual canvases on the wall. Sometimes I feel like my originals are lost lonely orphans, doomed to a long life of solitude in the dusty corners of my studio… but this night changed all that! Big thanks to everyone that came out for the show, it was a fantastic night. If you’d like more information about the organization that put it the event, go to the RAW: Natural Born Artists website. They take applicants for their shows that occur monthly in twenty different cities in the US and they are constantly looking for new talent.