Spicybrain Designs - run by Latina owner Nancy O Schier. Not only does she come from an extensive and impressive design background, but her designs have also been worn by celebs like Jennifer Garner!
Nancy's work has also been featured in companies like Disney, Macy's, Nordstrom's, Michael's, and even Harrod's in England. She's worked in Feature Animation, Video Gaming, Consumer Products, Stationery and Fashion.
The complexity of Nancy’s artwork captures an intuitive process that she commits throughout her work. Her style varies but her passion is an impressionist flair with accents of gold and whispers of vintage handwriting within the artwork.
-Please tell us about yourself
Hola! I'm Nancy aka- “SpicyBrain”. Known for bringing a bit of “spicy” to all I do. I love mixed media, especially working with oils and acrylics, pastels and found objects to create a fusion of impressionism and surrealism.
Yet, I also admire fashion, event planning, theater, and fairies. So I created and directed an entertainment party company for over 9 years. We taught etiquette, empowerment, and emotional intelligence to little kids. Some of my team created their own costumes inspired by classic literature like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella. Unfortunately, Covid has forced us to take a break. Hopefully we’ll be performing again soon.
-Where are you originally from?
I was born in Mexico City. My father, also an artist and muralist. He was invited to exhibit in a group then solo show in Beverly Hills during the 70’s. He was here for a year alone and decided to stay. My mom brought us to California with one diaper bag for my 1 yr old sister and me to join my dad. We left everything in Mexico. The 4 of us moved around until he fell in love with Santa Clarita in 1981.
-How did you start this journey?
I always knew I was going to be an artist. It's in my blood through my amazing father. I was curious about textures, collaging and finding objects. As a very competitive girl, I never wanted to be one to do “girly” art. (no disrespect) I explored graphic novels, dark films like Dracula, Elephant man and applied it to my illustrations. Loved making things “moody” However, I also secretly loved fairies, gnomes, angels, and mermaids. I didn't understand what kind of artist I was going to be. Until I went to Art Center in Pasadena to earn a degree in Fine Art and Illustration. There I explored illustration, printmaking, fine art, puppets and letterpress. I fell in love with Klimt, Toulouse Lautrec, Monet yet had a appreciation for artists like Heinrich Kley, Basquiat, Rauschenberg, Dave Mckean and Kent Williams.
Eventually, I became a concept artist for Disney Interactive and consulting for various studios. My eye for detail got me an invitation to Disney Feature Animation. But you see, I'm a curious creature and my Gemini nature made me unhappy in the corporate world. Stuck to a screen and desk made me miserable. I want to explore fashion, photography, and stationery. I wanted to travel and bring back unusual trinkets. Working at Skinny Minnie Clothing was the window to breaking the rules in design. I was able to be an expressionistic fine artist, paint flowers in any style or mess with Letterpress- making this montage of styles got people extremely excited yet confused by my mixed media approach to designing. Hence, SpicyBrain nickname was created.
-What would be your spirit animal?
My spirit animal is a hummingbird. I'm an idea starter. I love to pollinate concepts and spread joy. I love to be social, and dream of what ifs. I love to travel from place to place, be out in nature and Basque in the sun. I love to dance in the wind and feel the seasons in my bones.
Yet I also can relate to Monkeys, for my playfulness and goofy humor. I nicknamed my kids little monkeys the way they held onto us. Eventually calling my Entertainment Company Painted Monkeys.
-Are you currently learning something to amplify skills?
I am learning to trust my intuitive nature. Mediating and just being still has become the key to creating intuitive art but trusting in the visual messages that I “downloaded “. I've learned energy work and sacred geometry, which I apply to my paintings. In college, I read Man and his symbols, by Carl Jung. It's taken such an essential role in all I create. I find I am now an animal magnetic; I get visitors that encourage me to paint them and be part of my spirit animal deck set coming next year.
-What inspires your work?
I am a hopeless romantic. I am inspired by vintage postcards, French music, natural history, anthropology, and fossils. I love animals, their incredible textures, personalities, and characteristics. For some time when I was 16, I was resentful of being born “too late”, wanting to walk among an impressionistic circle and the theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century. Yet there is the expressionist in me who loves artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly’s flowers. I am spiritual with a lust for crystals. Ultimately finding ethereal art to be my calling.
-How do share your business and passion with others?
I had been a freelance consultant to many apparel companies, selling my work in numerous department stores, but as a “ghost artist”. Now I've decided after Covid to focus on my own line of empowerment apparel and a spirit animal collection.
-Is this a Full time or a Hobby?
Currently I freelanced as creative director and designer part-time to be home for my 2 kids. Family is so important to me. But now that they are teens, I can now focus on my label and artwork. I plan to bring Painted Monkeys back also as a non-profit making educational characters creating videos for our young generation.
-What do you hope to accomplish?
I am currently working on an oracle deck about spirit animals. It's been 10 yrs in the making, starting with one little hummingbird. It was called the “vessel.” Now it's a deck of 22 cards of spirit animals which will be a 3-part series. I intend to inspire and offer spiritual guidance to encourage you to find strength when you are unhappy and helpless. They will offer synchronicity and support using animals if you are lost. These whimsical animal decks will provide divine messages & guide you while meandering through life, the world, and your own shadows.
Being a Mexican woman, I have always been challenged to prove myself. Even my own people won't believe in us. Now as someone battling chronic blood disease, I want to bring light and humor to empower.
I design w/subtle messages in everything I create. We must never give up on our dreams, our desires, ourselves. I want to celebrate you!
-Can you share a traditional beauty routine?
I deal with lots of health issues, so my face had a beating from the steroids and treatment after having kidney cancer. Now I deal with chronic blood cancer so I learned about neem and turmeric. Turmeric on the skin and taking it internally is amazing for rosacea and skin irritations. Nothing was as healing that the doctors offer than herbs! Olive oil or avocado is also a skin saver. Nutrition is vital to our health and skin.
-What’s the most important thing in your life?
My family. They are my vital foundation and solid rock. They inspire me.
-What is your favorite quote?
“Where there is a will, a divine will, there is a way”. Matt. 6:10
Here are some beautiful pictures showcasing Spicybrain deigns:
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Love + Light
Jenn Sher ⚛️🌀💟