“I love downtown St. Pete. There is so much art to see, places to go and things to do. It’s hard to keep up with it all,” said Kevin Nodland. He lives and works in the downtown St.Petersburg, Florida, arts community, keeping a studio upstairs in the Art Central Building at 2109 Central Ave and 21st Street.
“ArtWalk is the most fun for me,” said Nodland. “We all hang out, listen to live music, and meet new artists and different people at a gallery that I belong to, St. Pete Art Works.”
“During the ArtWalk on second Saturdays of each month, free trolleys are available to take people around the city to different galleries. You can get on and off the trolley at lots of different venues around downtown. It’s impossible to do it all in one night, so you can go each month and always do something new,” Nodland said.
“Every Weds night, local artists meet at Bar@548 (which used to be called Sake Bomb) on Central Ave and 5th Street. We draw, paint, and have fun. I go there sometimes and it is always a good time,” said Nodland. ” I also love the Warehouse Arts District. Soft Water Studio is lots of fun during the Art Walk events. Bloom art studios is a another great place where artists meet up.”
Kevin Nodland is a versatile artist, equally comfortable painting his fine art visions or creating commercial designs for area businesses. To market each style, he came up with two different business names. “I created Nodz Art as my fine art painting name, from my nickname in high school “Nodz”,” he said. “I paint with acrylic, oil and watercolor. I use many different styles, such as abstract, surrealism, and cubism. I make up images and ideas as I paint.”
“I work full time as an artist in my own commercial art company, NODLAND DESIGNS. I create graphic design, logos, flyers, brochures, business cards, t-shirt designs and more,” said Nodland. “I also do photography.”
He specializes in pen and ink illustrations, and also uses colored pencils. He illustrates homes, buildings, cars, animals, and anything else a client might request. He provides graphic design services, utilizing Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
“I get inspired by seeing all the art posted by other artists in the art group I founded on Facebook, Artists Trying to Make a Living Creating Art,” said Nodland. Kevin Nodland is the original founder of the artists’ resource group, said by many to be the best art group on Facebook. He started the group with a few area friends, to help creative people connect, share their work and learn from one another. Assisted by his co-administrator, Nodland works as a volunteer to build and maintain the group. Over five years after he started it, the group has now grown to include over 55,000 members from all over the world, and it continues to grow daily. The group encourages experienced professionals to help the newbies and beginners, who can benefit from the feedback of their peers. Even the pros appreciate a forum for feedback on projects they are working on.
“Having blank canvases right in front of me inspires me too, knowing I need to create something for them,” Nodland said. “Being around St. Pete, at the art shows and the galleries, helps get me motivated to work on my own art.”
Nodland has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. He started his art career by working in a darkroom, running camera shots and doing paste-up art for t-shirts for R.K. Stratman (a Harley Davidson t-shirt company) in St. Louis in 1991. Then he designed Lapel Pins for Wilson Trophy Company in 1993.
Nodland moved to Florida and worked for Fish and Game Finder Magazine in Orlando as a paste-up artist in 1994. He worked at Midstate Screen Graphics in Clearwater as an ink mixer in 1995, then for Sunlover Sportswear in Largo as a camera and layout artist, as well as a screen printer in 1996.
Nodland is experienced in many aspects of screen printing on pens and t-shirts. He was employed as a screen printer from 1997 until April of 2013. He ran a pen-printing GPE print machine for fifteen years at Bic Graphic USA. He has worked in a darkroom, creating camera shots of art to be burned on screens. He stretched, coated and burned screens for t-shirt & pen printing, and he manually printed and used a 10-head automatic press for t-shirts.
Nodland has a young son, and like many other artists, he strives to find a balance between family responsibilities and his creative endeavors. His biggest challenge has been dealing with the physical adversity that has made his life very difficult at times, and still continues to plague him. He struggles with chronic pain on a daily basis.
“When I worked a full time job for 15 years, and coached my son’s baseball and soccer teams, I did not have much time or energy to create. But it was worse after my back surgery that went terribly wrong,” said Nodland. “They accidentally punctured my sciatic nerve, which will bother me for the rest of my life.”
“I had a massive head injury, a fractured skull, a blood clot on the brain and a broken back from a 1990 accident,” Nodland said. “The doctors said I probably would not make it or that I would become a vegetable. Then I had a full blown seizure in 1992, which could have killed me too. My life changed forever. I tried to work and keep up with everyone, but as age caught up with me, so did depression, pain, memory loss, and headaches. Then came the back surgery in 2012 that made things even worse. Right after the back surgery, I had to have two screws put in my toe, because they had to cut out my toe knuckle. I could not walk to rehabilitate my back, due to arthritis that is all over my body.”
“I lost my job, my insurance and my marriage. After two years of terrible pain, depression, lack of energy and hopelessness, I started painting again. I slowly got into the art scene in St. Pete. I joined St. Pete Art Works gallery, and I have been painting since then, off and on due to pain. I still take lots of medicine for chronic pain management. I continue to try and create art, but the pain has really slowed me down in the past 5 years.”
“Money is very tight, and like a lot of artists, I hope people will buy my paintings,” he said.
“I know that Pinellas County and the City of St. Petersburg has helped the art scene grow in many different ways, like the recent SHINE mural festival. The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance sponsors the ArtWalks too,” said Nodland. “It would be nice if they could find more ways to help individual artists find success and prosperity.”
“Some St. Pete artists have benefited from the business workshops held at The Greenhouse. Maybe promoting one gallery or studio a month would help get more traffic through our art areas,” Nodland said. “Pinellas Park is promoting Better Block for the artists to have studios and get noticed there.”
The Pinellas Park Better Block Project is a partnership between the community and the City of Pinellas Park, to celebrate the emerging creative district in the 5600 Block area of Park Boulevard.
“If the city and county can do more to help individual artists become professionals, that would be a great thing for our arts community. Maybe they could provide more grants and recognition, more art shows and events to promote us,” said Nodland.
Kevin Nodland has some new and exciting projects coming up, and he strives to be creative and positive in spite of the challenges he faces. His own personal contributions continue to make him a well-liked and appreciated artist and friend on the downtown scene.
Contact Kevin Nodland at 727-400-9213.
Visit Kevin’s web site:
Like Kevin’s Facebook pages: