We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Collie-Jamison and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My non-profit was founded based on my personal experience following my divorce. I found myself divorced, without a college degree, and with a young son to care for. As I began to establish myself in the art world, I realized the high costs of marketing materials and websites. Being part of the struggling middle class and grappling with the rising cost of living, I was motivated to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. After earning my degree and spending a decade in the corporate world, I developed a strong desire to support those, especially women, in similar situations. The middle class needs assistance, but there are few nonprofits dedicated to this cause.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m proud to lead my non-profit, Creating Gray Spaces, and the artist platform Emerging Creatives, organizations that allow me to support people in their artistic and business pursuits. I subscribe to the concept of #artistsupportingartist, seeking to provide assistance in areas such as branding, website design, marketing materials, and social media presence. My work facilitates building relationships that extend beyond project completion, fostering partnerships based on trust and shared ideas. My desire to contribute led to launching Gray Spaces, helping those who are proactive but need support in the visual aspects of their projects. I collaborate with Kimberly Luttery, who manages writing and editing, and Chantel Marie, a social butterfly and educator, to complement my skills. I firmly believe artists should have the liberty to use their preferred medium for self-expression. As an art world leader, I aim not to have others follow my path, but to guide them to their unique creative journey. This is the ethos behind Creating Gray Spaces and Emerging Creatives.

Getting to where I am now was absolutely not easy, but that is what makes the journey so worthwhile.
Recognizing that no one has a smooth road is very important and we all need to share our struggles with each other. Oftentimes we believe that we are the only ones experiencing life’s hardships. Knowing that other people have similar experiences on their creative journeys helps us to feel less isolated.

Some of the struggles I faced in my career had to do with painting nudes. It was my way of rebelling against religion. It was also a conscious decision to stay away from drugs and alcohol at a young age. This same rebellion turned into me seeing my self-worth. I saw the beauty of the female body, every stretch mark, every curve, and every blemish is perfectly imperfect. Our flaws make us our unique selves.

The Bahamian culture is very Christian-based, which caused a problem with my painting nudes. However, there were people that understood and supported my dreams, my parents being the most important. My father gave me the opportunity to open my own art gallery, which in turn helped build my confidence as an artist, my self-esteem as a person and a woman. This mindset allows me to adapt creatively and take on new creative challenges where I push myself outside of the box. For example, I illustrate children’s books, create websites, and do graphic design for other creatives, non-profits, and entrepreneurs.

I take immense pride in the fact that the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Minister of Health attended the Emerging Creatives art show during the HEALinc Summit, showing their support for local artists. It was a truly remarkable experience to make the front page of the local newspaper.

It’s essential for people to understand that while I’m eager to help, I also require assistance to fulfill my dream.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Arts Bishop – Dallas Glen Rose – know as Dinosaur Valley
Down Town Fort Worth
Fort Worth Zoo
Historical Grapevine

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my parents for always encouraging me to grow and never settle; failure was not an option. I am very grateful for my husband, he has helped me understand the world around me, putting things in perspective and teaching me not to take things so personally. He would often remind me that we’ve all disappointed ourselves at some point in life. So, if we can disappoint ourselves, how can we hold someone to a higher standard than we hold ourselves? Lastly, my son taught me unconditional love and that I can be wrong. He taught me to take a step back and just listen.

Website: https://www.creatinggrayspaces.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/creatinggrayspaces/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/creating-gray-spaces

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creatinggrayspaces.nonprofit

Other: https://www.emergingcreatives.org https://www.facebook.com/EmergingCreatives2019
https://www.facebook.com/nicolecollieartist/ https://www.instagram.com/nicole_collie_art/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.