We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicki Newell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicki, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I knew from a young age I wanted to be an artist, what that would fully look like I couldn’t have told you. I knew the few things I wanted in my career was the ability to create and the flexibility to play by more own rules and make my own hours so I could also have a well-balanced family life. As I’ve gotten into my creative career a bit more what continues to drive me is the need to create, to put my hands, mind, and heart to work. The beauty of my creative career is that it feeds each of these parts of me, bind them together in a way I couldn’t see doing in other professions, at least for myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a mixed media artist and illustrator, my work ranges from embroidered wall art pieces, apparel, prints, and stickers. My art and the pieces I make are mostly an outflowing of my thoughts and feelings translated into different mediums. My embroideries are some of my favorite pieces to craft. They are abstract and mixtures of painting and embroidery. The collaboration between painting that is often seen as more high art and embroidery which is often seen as more domestic is such a beautiful pairing to me. Each embroidery is an exploration, playing with a certain color palette or trying different stitches to add more texture and dimension. I like these pieces most for what each one means to me personally, creative freedom poured onto fabric. I also like the embroidered pieces as an approachable step into owning a unique piece of artwork, something not too large or intimidating that a customer can gladly hang on their wall.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Dallas for all that it has to offer in such a down-to-earth sort of way. One of my favorite things to do is to ride the Dart to Deep Ellum with another artist friend. We casually sketch some of the other passengers, knowing we’d have limited time between stops, almost like our own figure drawing class. Then we’d hop off and visit a Murray Street Coffee shop and draw some more. I remember visiting this coffee shop a few times and it just had this feeling of community, the employees knowing the customers and conversations picking up for where I could only guess, they had left off days before. From there my friend and I would walk over to a nearby ramen shop and have lunch before hopping on the DART again or even walking to visit the Dallas Museum of Art or Nasher Sculpture Center. Finishing the evening with some dinner from a food truck in Clyde Warren Park would be the cherry on top of an already near-perfect day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many people have gotten me to where I am today, friends, family, my church community. One of my biggest fans has always been my husband, Sean. I remember when I quit my graphic design job to try this thing on my own. I was pretty insecure because I didn’t really know where or how to start and it was a slow steady climb. When people would ask me what I did I floundered because I felt like my business was nothing to sneeze at yet so did it even count? My husband would always jump in and say “she’s an artist! She has her own brand and online store, do you want her card?” He did my elevator pitches for me before I ever could. Even just having one person really believe in you makes a world of difference.