Nile Livingston

Nile Livingston holds a BA in Studio Art from Kutztown University where they studied studio art and now they work across an array of media, including mural arts. In 2017 Livingston founded Creative Repute, LLC where they work with a deep bench of specialists in graphic design, website development, and brand identity. Livingston’s work as an artist has been recognized by Rad Girls, an organization that celebrates women’s accomplishments; The Colored Girls Museum, the only institution in the US exclusively dedicated to the history of black girls in America; and Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation’s largest public art program. In 2020 Livingston was ranked amongst Philly Magazine’s list of the 76 most influential people in the city. You can find their work at nilelivingston.com or on social media at @nilelivingston

Walk us through a typical day for you. 

I usually start my day by responding to the most pressing emails. I’ll spend the morning working on Creative Repute projects and checking on tasks. I usually try to schedule meetings after 11am. During lunch, I like catching up on happenings in the world, via podcast, news, social media, or chatting. Then, I’ll usually dive back into work for the design agency. After work hours I’ll work on personal projects like art or I’ll spend that time exploring new ideas. Then, I’ll get some fresh air, exercise, and sunlight before the sun completely sets. Finally, I’ll cook dinner or I’ll organize what needs to happen the next day while my partner cooks–we take turns. We usually settle the day with a movie. 

What does your studio/workspace look like?

During the pandemic I’ve been working from home – in my living room in an open floor plan apartment. It’s not an art studio space at all. If the weather is nice I’ll paint outside. If not, I’ll temporarily rearrange the room for a particular project and restore it back to a communal living space as soon as I’m done working. It’s not ideal. I’m going to buy a home with a room that I can work in and shut the door so that there’s some separation between living space and work space in the future. 

What are your biggest obstacles in being creative every day, and how do you overcome them?

My biggest obstacle is finding a balance between work and life. There’s no real separation. I don’t have a clear solution on how to overcome it. 

How does Philadelphia influence your creativity?
I grew up in the city with the most public artworks compared to anywhere else in the world. I’m surrounded by accessible expressions of what humanity has to offer and by possibilities. I love Philly and the sense of community that I have here. At the same time, I will also welcome opportunities to reach a wider audience. I don’t really want to be known as just a local artist, even though I’ll always maintain gratitude for Philly. Philly has been the foundation for my being, the city that shaped how I can see the world. 

What woman/women are you most influenced by?
I can’t think of anyone that has overtly influenced me. I admire Nina Simone, I’m a fan of her music and I appreciate the effort she put towards equality, her vulnerability, and her elegance. I appreciate the women in my family, they are leaders. My friends are fantastic humans as well. I’m influenced by women who don’t subscribe to uncritical prescriptions of what being a woman means. 

By aigaphiladelphia
Published April 1, 2021