Nicole Holley is a hiking enthusiast, and mother of two outdoorsy young girls. She dotes, "Lennon is my oldest. She is six and her name was chosen from the first day I knew I was pregnant. She's my trail blazer. Ivy Bird "Birdie" is 3, she is pure gold dust. She's an empath leaving smiles everywhere she goes. I'm blessed to have been chosen to mother them both in this life." Along with motherhood, Nicole is also the
artist behind Lennon and Birdie,
a collection of handmade small batch products that are friends with Mother Earth. In her Vancouver home, Nicole works on her one-of-a-kind hand painted Rainbow Chain wall hangings. And while she's super groovy, don't call her a hippie. She shares with OZMA why she believes creativity and gratitude are the secrets to a life well lived.
Nicole's art fluxes day to day depending on the inspiration she finds and what supplies have found her. Her pieces are always an extension of herself, with bits from the earth and special appearances made by recycled gems that stay out of landfills. She has always been a cheerleader for Mother Nature, and is happiest soaking up the outdoors with her family. With plenty of forest and lakes around them, they define slow living immersed in nature. Supporting her local farmers and markets, teaching her children how to be good to the earth, and being a force in her community are just a few reasons we love her. Finding peace and beauty in small simple moments with her family keeps her balanced, and is at the heart of her artistic pursuits.
Left: Nicole at Alouette Lake located in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Rain or shine, she loves being near the water, animals, and taking magic hikes, even in the winter. She wears OZMA's 1930's Bandana in Sand. Right: Peace and Pine, 4.5 x 16" Images by Nathan Holley.
What do you hope people glean from your work?
I guess it's a reminder to look for the good. To find the light.
How have you developed your career as a maker?
It's honestly just unfolding organically. I create when I'm inspired and create what I wish to exist.
Which current art world trend are you following or resisting?
I'm not totally up to date with what's trending in the art world. However, I tend to gravitate towards natural fibers and pieces that have been crafted by hand.
What's integral to the process of an artist?
Freedom to let your mind run completely wild, letting your work speak for its self, and finding inspiration in the everyday.
"Something spectacular happens when you shape clay with your hands and string it to a piece of driftwood your children found while playing at the lake."
What art outside of your own are you drawn to?
Anything made by hand.
Do you strive towards any recurring themes in your work?
Peace, love and light.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
When you live in such a supernatural place, it's hard not to be inspired. Taking in the sounds, smells, textures and sights of the land. We're lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. You can literally drive one-way to a rain forest, a mountain top view, or a desert. It's truly a dream. I'd say my inspiration for colour comes from my daughters. Watching them not only take in the earth's beauty, but them naturally wanting to protect it. They see such wonder and magic in everything they do. They make me slow down and experience it with them. When we're not exploring, we spend time in our home which is a collection of pieces from like- minded artist, antiques and natural materials from around the world. I really adore mixing those elements together and watching the story unfold, especially in my artwork. Something spectacular happens when you shape clay with your hands and string it to a piece of driftwood your children found while playing at the lake. Or freehand paint onto a piece of natural fiber your friend found in her grandmothers attic.
"I'd say my inspiration for colour comes from my daughters. Watching them not only take in the earth's beauty, but them naturally wanting to protect it. They see such wonder and magic in everything they do."
Pre-painted Rainbow Chain, 3 x 15"
Do your goals as an artist overlap with your goals as a parent?
My goal is to put out good energy, in every way I can. Whatever that looks like.
What is your dream project?
That would have to be the dream to build and run a small hobby farm. Acreage for our children to run free, to live close to the earth and tend gardens to grow our own food.
We can't wait to see what hidden treasures Nicole continues to find in the landscape around her.