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Inside the Studio

Ellicottville artist makes his mark in the ComiCon world

Nestled away in the Enchanted Mountains of Ellicottville, NY, the famed ‘Studio of Justice’ has been found. Inside, unbeknownst to many, Shad Nowicki has been making a splash in the ComiCon World for quite some time now.  His eclectic takes on the Comic Book/TV world with his paintings are what have people talking, recently completing portraits for celebrities such as Steve Guttenberg, Chris McDonald, Erin Gray and Lou Ferrigno. One of his paintings of Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy was gifted to the actor that plays him - Michael Rooker.

Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with my good friend Nowicki and get an update on his latest happenings. Entering the Studio of Justice - as I do on occasion - there was something different that struck me. A small water tank off to the right. 

“Miss Croft, meet my new roommate, Jaws.” 

Navin “Jaws” Johnson is a Western Paint Turtle that had arrived earlier that day. While checking out the little guy acclimate to his new environment, Nowicki tells me, “I took the month off from painting after a busy Con Season that has had me booked solid with commissions. It has been great! This month has been nice to relax and reorganize the Studio though.” 

Nowicki walks over to a display cabinet (he has some seriously cool collector pieces) and hands me a Frankenstein Head. “I had been looking for a Gabriel Monster Machine for years and I finally found one!”  To this I looked at him with a blank stare.  He laughed, then continued: “It is a roto-caster from the 1970’s that let’s you make different molds out of plaster; I have even sold a few after painting them.” Nowicki used the roto-caster to also make refrigerator magnets in the form of Hans Solo stuck in Carbonite. He painted them in glow-in-the-dark and neon paints. “You can find me handing these out all holiday season,” he said. (I was lucky enough to get one wrapped up for me at the end of the interview.)

But back to painting … Nowicki has done something truly incredible for this Holiday Season. 

He. Did. A. Print. 

Now to many this may seem like a no brainer for an artist in the ComiCon World, but not for Nowicki. Knowing him from personal experience (I am fortunate enough to be a part of the A-Team as Madam Secretary and have helped Shad at numerous conventions to date), I understand his extreme dislike for prints. “You have to work harder, smarter and more frequently doing original work only.” Nowicki’s work is usually acrylic on canvas with vintage comics and news cut-outs in the background that pertain to either that period or theme of the piece. 

Nowicki was quick to tell me not to get used to the whole “print” idea, but he was certainly excited to express that for the Holiday Season his fans could get their hands on his work at a more affordable price. (Let’s hope he makes this a tradition every year.) 

“I love to interact with people on social media; it is how I decided which painting to turn into a print … I chose four paintings and the one with the most comments won.” The winner was The Keeper’s of Endor.”

It was the perfect choice.

“My entire home is a tribute to the 80’s genre. Everyone seems to like what I am doing, and I love it. To work for someone you were a fan of growing up is something else. For the 2018 Con Season I will be focusing more on Entertainment than Comic but I hope to have over 100 pieces for the shows.” 

Intrigued? You can connect with Nowicki on Facebook (Shad Nowicki or Shad Nowicki Artist), on Instagram (@shadpaints) and on Twitter (@shadart). His website is or you can email him anytime And as Nowicki always says: “Stay Tuned” for what is coming next!