Changemakers Francis and Laurence Miñoza of Nicebleed School Us on the Fine Art of Pursuing Our Passion

The brothers behind the graphic duo and lifestlye brand on the art of living and making a living through your art

Changemaker (n) – one who breaks the mold and challenges the status quo for the better. Meet 2 brothers who decided to ditch the 9 to 5 lifestyle and instead become successful internet artists

Keep doing what you love. Be resourceful and thoughtful about where you want to distribute your work…Depends on what kind of art you make and where you distribute it, you can earn big with the right knowledge and strategy.

There’s this notion especially among older generations that art – both the production and consumption of – is only for those who can afford not to make a living. Today, in the age of information where content is distributed across geographic borders in a nanosecond, we have millions of kids creating and distributing their art. Some are even successful in making a living out of it.

Francis Miñoza and Laurence Miñoza are brothers who make up the design duo Nicebleed. Hailing from Cebu City Philippines, they started in 2008 and never stopped creating since then. A wide variety of illustrations and visuals spring from the collaboration, with by a plethora of influences including flora and fauna, the macabre, and pop surrealism. Their body of work ranges from traditional, digital to mixed media.

Today, Nicebleed’s works are displayed and sold in various online art and lifestyle platforms such as society6, as well as pioneering online shirt platform Threadless. Their works are displayed side by side with graphic artists and creators from all over the world.

loansolutions nicebleed panda
Pop art panda “Pandalicious”, one of Nicebleed’s best-selling designs

We caught up with Francis and Laurence to ask for some pointers on how one can stay true to one’s passion while successfully making a living out of it. Their answers proved to be as honest and refreshing as their art.

What made you decide to be a full-time graphic artist? Is it something that you’ve aspired for since you were kids?

Getting to do what you love is the main reason why we do our job today.

Deciding to be full-time independent graphic artists came eventually when we were no longer happy with our corporate routines. Although, we must say our previous day jobs they helped us develop the skills we have today.

What were some of the challenges you faced when you were starting out with your craft? Did it cost a lot to get started?

Just like any other profession, you have to practice more and develop your skills to be the best you can. Also you need information and resources like art materials, computers, internet and other tools that can help you mold these skills. It costs a lot both financially and in terms of your passion, hard work and focus.

In the wake of the internet, social media, and online stores, there is now a greater chance for artists and content creators to get their work out there. How did you get your foot in the door and created a following in international stores such as Threadless and society 6?

Yes, internet is a big advantage for artists to be noticed. We decided to upload our work in different social media and art community sites like Deviantart, Behance, Facebook and Instagram to name a few.

Threadless and society6 are two of the pioneers in their fields and their huge audiences allowed us to establish our own following by simply getting our work out there.

What inspires your art? Who are some fellow artists that you follow?

We mostly find inspiration in nature. We make sense of everything through art. There are many artists we follow, we’re hard-pressed to choose just a few.

Nicebleed’s homage to the ubiquitous internet cat

Do you have any advice to those who want to start designing as a full-time profession? Is it possible or cost-effective to make a living out of it?

Focus on whatever you love to do, explore different styles and learn from them. Yes, it is very possible to make a living out of it. Depends on what kind of art you make and where you distribute it, you can earn big with the right knowledge and strategy

What advice can you give those who want to follow their passion and create a career out of it?

Keep doing what you love. Be resourceful and thoughtful about where you want to distribute your work.

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Written by Kash Avena

Kash has been with in marketing and business development roles since 2014. Now based overseas, she is happy purveyor of financial literacy for OFWs and their families.

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