Illustrator Nick Sirotich is nervous and exhausted, but excited overall. He just hopes that everything doesn’t explode.
Sirotich’s first solo show opens at Clothesline Gallery this Saturday, and since Sirotich doesn’t settle for just hanging prints on a wall, getting ready for the show has been a huge process.
“It’s bigger than anything I’ve taken on on my own,” Sirotich says. The upcoming show will feature high-quality framed prints, original drawing, and never-before-seen paintings in acrylic and gouache on wood and an envelope. Sirotich has also undertaken the painting of a site-specific mural to interact with the work hanging on the walls. Just as he does with his freelance illustration work, Sirotich has put far beyond 100 percent into the show to give a proper representation of him, his work and what seems to be quickly becoming known worldwide as the brand of Nick Sirotich illustration.
Many Sarasotans are likely to be familiar with Sirotich’s style of “goofy monsters and insanity;” his work has been featured locally on Drummer’s Night posters, Ringling Underground posters, Harvey Milk Festival posters, in Sarasota Magazine and elsewhere. The Clothesline show, titled “Bon Voyage,” will feature mostly recent work and a few timeless, fun, favorite pieces.
The title of the show refers to Sirotich’s next step: driving cross-country in his Winnebago, which he has outfitted with a complete illustration studio so he can continue working on projects for clients while on the road. While traveling, Sirotich plans to keep a blog with photos and stories from the road which will later on, probably, become a comic book. After a little cross-country meandering Sirotich plans to land in San Francisco, where he looks forward to continuing to grow as an artist and illustrator in the company of friends and his sister, illustrator Erica Sirotich.
Upcoming projects for Sirotich include murals and learning woodworking, as well as working on the “Sweet Sibiling Rivalry” illustration blog with Erica. Sirotich hopes time in San Francisco might include a “Hansel and Gretel” show with Erica, showing a boy’s and girl’s perspective on the story, as well as working with more clients and companies he loves.
“I need to advance myself because I’ve done a lot with what my style is now,” Sirotich says, “so what can I do … That’s the artist spirit … What can I do next?”
Just because we are saying “bon voyage” to Sirotich doesn’t mean you won’t continue seeing his work in Sarasota: Three t-shirt designs are scheduled to be released by Clothesline after the Bon Voyage show, and Sirotich will continue working with his Sarasota clients and friends.
“I like all my local clients and I like my work with them,” he says. “They’re amazing … I’ve lived here for 17 years. My family lives here. My grandma lives here. It’s really difficult to leave that. But I feel like I need, personally, a change. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be visiting, that I won’t be working with people in Sarasota. This is where all of my people originated. I will return eventually.”
Bon Voyage opens Saturday July 28 at Clothesline Gallery and Boutique with an opening reception from 6 to 11 p.m. Festive refreshments and drinks will be available, as well as t-shirts and posters of Sirotich’s work. Music for the event will be provided by DJ Eric Barker. Sirotich’s work will be on display through August 30 during Clothesline’s normal gallery hours (Tuesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.). To see more work by Nick Sirotich, visit his website. For more information on Clothesline Gallery and Boutique, visit their Facebook page.