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1 Oct 2020

Meet The Artists: Hello from Nina Bombina

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m Nina, 28, from Newcastle-under-Lyme and I live in Crystal Palace in London. I’m a freelance photographer and also work part time in Marketing for a drama school. I started my artist/maker brand Nina Bombina from a burst of creativity during lockdown, and as well as cards, I also make earrings from polymer clay and design prints and custom graphic portraits. In my spare time, I do aerial circus arts!

How did you get into the creative/greeting card industry?

I’ve been artistically-driven from a very young age and lockdown allowed me to experiment and explore. I’ve always wanted to give graphic design a go, and so I played around with digital collage and thought the results would make good card designs. The sudden Black Lives Matter activity in the media gave me food for thought, and it occurred to me that the greetings card industry is significantly lacking in the representation of black and brown people on card designs, so I made my own range.

What have been your biggest challenges to get to where you are today?

Sometimes, life just gets in the way! Until recently, I’ve had neither the time nor mental space to let my creative juices flow. Earning a living, relationships and life admin can take over, but a period of stillness makes you re-evaluate what you want and what you like, and also what’s important to you.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

Moonpig is the biggest online card company in the UK, so the moment I found out I was going to become one of their design partners was a huge deal. I’m over the moon that my range is out there for the world to see!

Do you have anyone or thing in mind when designing your cards?

I want my cards to appeal to everyone, from people of colour who want to see themselves represented on cards, to those who enjoy them purely for their design.

What is the best card you’ve ever been given?

I can’t remember what the 18th birthday card from my parents actually looked like, but on a folded-up piece of paper inside was a lovely poem my mum wrote me. I’ll always treasure it.

Which is your favourite card you ever designed and why?

I’d say my ‘new home’ card. I think it’s cosy and inviting and reminds me of myself in my little flat!

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I can’t put my finger on one person or thing, but I’m inspired by artists and makers who start something small and turn it into something big, who are recognisable just from their style.

What do you love most about your job/brand?

Anyone who knows me will know how obsessed I am with bright colours! So naturally, I enjoy how vibrant and eye-catching my cards are. The thing I love the most about being a card designer is seeing the happiness my cards bring to my customers and whoever they’ve gifted them to.

What is the one message you want to send for Black History Month?

Support the businesses of people of colour if you can!

How can the greeting cards industry be more inclusive?

We should normalise non-white people being represented on cards and for “diverse” cards to become standard rather than a specialisation.

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Nina Bombina

Card Designer