Nicola Keelan has painted on and off as a hobby for many years. Painting and creating images that inspire and grab the attention is now a happy obsession that has seeped into and colours most aspects of her life.
Here, Nicola spent some time with us at House of Coco to tell us more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I’ve always painted on and off since my school days, but in 2012 owning my own home with enough space for a permanent studio and an ambition to try something new and completely different led to Speedyegg Art. I was curious to see if people would buy something I had painted and I was floored by my first sale and the notion that someone wished to hang my painting in their home. I haven’t looked back since then, most of my spare time is now dedicated to painting or seeking inspiration for new paintings.
Whats your background?
I haven’t sat in an art class since my GCSE’s back in the 1990’s. I’m a Psychology and Philosophy graduate with a post graduate qualification in Occupational Therapy. I work for the health service with patients with new neurological injuries. I’m what’s known as a “self-taught” artist and whilst I’ve never actually picked up a “how to paint” book, I’ve dedicated many happy hours to practice.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Ha! There’s me and my frequent small furry studio assistants in the form of a cat or my two house rabbits. My partner works in IT and so set up my website and my family and friends frequently end up helping me at art fairs!
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I can’t think of anything, I find myself where I am with Speedyegg Art because of where I’ve been with it so far. I have done art fairs where I haven’t sold anything but because of those fairs I’ve been noticed by galleries and other curators. I’ve painted pictures that I now don’t rate very much, but I think I needed to paint those to hone my current style.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Time will always be my biggest challenge, I work fulltime and I’m also studying part time for a master’s degree in Rehabilitation, all this doesn’t leave much time for social stuff let alone painting.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
After my first degree I lived in Kenya for a year, teaching Maths, Art and English to Deaf children, I used to be fluent in Sign Language!
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Painting wise I want to keep trying new scenes that challenge in terms or perspective and detail. In terms of Speedyegg Art I hope to take my work to new art fairs and open exhibitions. I also hope to expand and explore more options to selling my work online as a way of reaching a global market.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Oh, so many, my first sale online, my first sale face to face with a customer at an art fair, my first art fair, my first commission, being taken on by The South Galleries in Kent as a resident artist , finding a hive of other artists around the world through social media, I could go on and on!
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
London! I’m a Londoner through and through, I LOVE London and right now I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Best thing about London to you?
The fact that creativity and inspiration is around every corner.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My painting outfit, stained and smeared with oil paint but popping it on means a joyous day of painting in my studio.
Favourite love song?
Ooooh, I’m rather fond of music so it’d be hard to choose between Biffy Clyro – Many of Horror, Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats, Foo fighters – Everlong, The bones of You by Elbow or Starlight by Muse…oooh there quite a few more……. I’d also have to say Ben Howard – Only Love or Pyro by Kings of Leon!……………..OOOOO AND James Bay Hold Back the River!!
Best place for a coffee?
Any of the old coffee houses in Vienna
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
“Don’t stress” given to me by a supervisor at work
Cadburys cream eggs
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Venice…no Vienna…….no Berlin……Rome ………Aaaaaahhh! That one’s too hard!!
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Eventually I’d like to be able to work part time and paint part time so that I can still do the job I love but have a more even balance between work and art.
Where can people find out more?