1. Your name and title/business name? City, Country location?
My name is Nick Misani and I’m the senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd in New York City. Starting in August, I’ll be transitioning to full time freelance and working for myself. Though my mother is American, I was born and raised in a small town outside of Milan, Italy.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
I first started studying art in high school. In Italy, high schools are subdivided in specialized fields of study. I attended a Liceo Artistico with a focus in architecture and industrial design. At 17, I moved temporarily to Japan, the time spent living, going to school, and working there instilled a love of Japanese language and culture in me that I shaped my studies when I later relocated to the States for college. At Skidmore, I majored in music and Japanese studies, but upon graduating, I shifted gears and got an MFA in Communication Design from Pratt in New York City. My first design job was a three-month internship at Mucca Design, where I got the opportunity to work for Matteo Bologna, whose work I always admired. I was then hired to work in the cover design department of Penguin Group, led by Paul Buckley. I worked my way up from junior designer to designer to interim art director of Blue Rider press while the imprint was between art directors. After just under two years at Penguin, I got an email from Louise Fili, telling me of an upcoming opening at her studio. I jumped on the opportunity to work with one of my idols and a living legend of the design industry.
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
My work is primarily digital, with only a few exceptions. I used to be a big fan of tracing paper or light-boxes, but I have since started using an iPad Pro for all my sketching and connecting needs. I really love analog mediums like linocuts, mosaics, stained glass, embroidery, etc but I get frustrated by the amount of time it takes to master these techniques. This is probably why I’m so fascinated by recreating these techniques digitally.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I wish I had a good answer for you, but I’m pretty bad at knowing how and when to recharge my own batteries and often struggle with burnout. At various times in the last year I’ve tried exercise, meditation, and taking a pottery class. I enjoyed doing all of those things (except meditation, perhaps), but I usually lose interest pretty quickly. I love reading, though I don’t do it nearly enough, and particularly enjoy discovering English classics like Austen, Dickens, and the Bronte sisters, since I didn’t have the chance to study those authors in middle and high school.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
In was a classical harp student in college and one evening, I smuggled the school’s 7-foot harp out of the music department in a huge rolling mail cart so I could play at an impromptu student-organized recital on the opposite side of campus.