Occasionally the team at House of Coco Magazine meet some extraordinary people, many of whom are women, and this interview is one of those memorable occasions. We had the opportunity to talk to Nicole Collie based over in the USA, an artist with more than just a flair for art. She is truly passionate about her art, and every element of Nicole’s paintings have a back story ignited by women.
Take us back to your childhood and when you first started drawing and painting…
My first memory of being creative is from around age 4 when I was always coloring and making art while at home in the Bahamas with watercolors. My parents were very conser-vative and I had quite a strict upbringing but I was always allowed to draw, color and paint. I went to private school and graduated at 16, but I didn’t want a traditional job, because something inside me knew that I was meant to work in or around art.
Tell us about your style of art…
I like to push boundaries, and coming from such a strict background, my way of doing this was to rebel and as a result I started to paint nudes. So, my style of art is showcasing women as the strong and vulnerable women they are. Mothers, daughters, the female form, the female shape, the black woman, the embodiment of a woman; these are all my passions and my art.
My art goes through different phases; it can be very maternal and warming, right through to angry maternal and the struggles that come with being pained. It’s light and bright and dark and dangerous all at the same time.
If you to were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?
Passion, Drive, and Desire
Talk us through an average business day in your life…
Now that we are working from home I have found my art to be my amazing grace. My first 6 months I was very depressed, I did not realize how important physical contact with other people was. I ended up diving into my art. I set it up where anytime I walked past my art table (the dinner table) I would put paint on the canvas. It didn’t matter the color if I had an idea or not, the purpose was to release whatever was being built up on the inside because within that 6 months of depression I had totally shut down. My art has saved me so many times during my life.
Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?
I paint, and I spend time with my husband and kids. I’m also deeply inspired by women of all shapes, sizes and color, so I tend to focus on all the achievements of women all over the world. As women we go through so much during our lifetime so it’s worth spending time thinking about all the positives.
It has taken many years for me to be happy with who I am and feel a sense of self worth, this is a great way to stay positive. I want this for the future of our children too, they should be taught self worth from an early age. I was invited to illustrate a number of kids books recently, they are all about being different and being wonderfully you, I love this. We are all unique in our own special way.
What is your go to quote when lacking motivation?
“Being creative is about living life and finding the beauty in it. Being true to oneself is being creative”.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
I started out over 20 years ago selling my art when there wasn’t any kind of social media, so the fact that I can now showcase all my work across different platforms is an added bonus.
How do you want people to feel when they first see your work?
I want them to feel uplifted, enlightened and interested to see more. I’m always around to talk to anyone about my art and give them the full story behind a specific piece of art. I want them to be as passionate as I am and to walk away happier than before they saw it.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I’m from the Bahamas and think that everyone should visit at least once in their life. Equally, I’m now based in Fort Worth in Texas and this is an amazing place for a vacation. Personally, I want to visit Africa and Ireland to experience both cultures.
What’s next for Nicole Collie Artist?
Well, this is something I’m very excited about. I’m looking for someone to represent my art, a Talent Manager or an Art Dealer. I want to be represented by a professional who under-stands the world of art and where to hold large scale events and art shows around the US and the world.
Where can people find out more about Nicole Collie?
Website – NicoleCollie
Instagram – @nicole_collie_art
Facebook – Nicole Collie Artist
Twitter – @nicolecollie