Timothy Nimmo is an incredibly talented sculptor. He’s a down-to-earth creative who has no overwhelming aspirations to gain fame through his work. Instead, his focus is, “Can I make a good piece of sculpture?” From there, he says, “Everything else will fall into place.” And when you look at Nimmo’s sculptures, this unassuming dedication to quality of work shines through.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Timothy Nimmo, artist and sculptor, in his studio. Like many artists, his background is a long and winding road that ultimately led him to fully exploring his sculpting. After growing up in Janesville, Wisconsin, as the middle child of a big family, Nimmo went to U of W Whitewater to earn his degree in Art Sculpture and Painting with a minor in Art History. At his first job in the industrial sector, Nimmo had a near-death experience where almost 500 pounds of molten iron was poured over his head. This accident changed his perspective on his career, and he had a revelation. Nimmo wanted to be able to dedicate more time to raising his first daughter and son, and to do that he had to choose a career path that would keep him safe.
He helped to start a new foundry. Nimmo decided to start a foundry. He brought in a wide variety of partners, and ultimately grew the business to be the largest foundry in the Milwaukee/Chicago area. When the business had successfully grown, Nimmo felt he could move on. He moved to Loveland, Colorado, in 1998 where he opened his own mold shop and provided project management services to other sculptors.
Nimmo moved to South Dakota in 2006. However, Nimmo found himself socially isolated in his small town He was in a windowless studio, and knew nobody. But Nimmo found an escape in his sculpting, and threw himself into his creative work. During this time, something clicked. He thought of a Scythian tattoo he had seen back in the 90’s. on a science show. Curious as to what it meant, Nimmo showed the image to a Lakota shaman years later in South Dakota to get his opinion. Nimmo was inspired by the design, and the sense of transition it represented. He created the first piece of his that he truly loved – Sacred Stag.
Nimmo has battled health problems in recent years, but this hasn’t held him back. In fact, in many ways his health struggles have fueled his inspiration. Nimmo has undergone surgeries, complications from surgery, and more – yet he always comes out better and more inspired as a result. Many of his amazing sculptures, like Awakening Buck and Storm King, have been created during times when his health wasn’t top-notch.
Nimmo has continued to draw inspiration from creation myths and the wonder of nature. Currently, he says he’s inspired by the night sky and the constellations. He says to distance yourself from expectations of results. He works to sell enough to continue making the next sculpture – and the powerful drive to create something of quality keeps pushing him.