The Art Shop: Emily Nichols

The Art Shop is a new series highlighting the community of emerging artists represented in our online shop, Curated by Brittany, as well as independent female artists that we love!

Let’s welcome Emily Nichols to The Art Shop!

The wonderfully connected world we live in continues to provide beautiful friendships that bloom into collaborations, mutual support, and collections to come when you’re a creative entrepreneur!
Emily Nichols & I “met” last spring over a mutual love of a pair of fabulous emerald flats I had ordered online, no joke!
When she formally introduced herself, it was to consider her art for any upcoming client projects. Having a similar home aesthetic, I was naturally inclined to offer to Emily that I would create quick renderings for her art as she began to grow her following as well as source for upcoming client needs.
Our first collaborative art & design renderings were shared in May of 2022, and garnered such a tremendous response from those who follow our creative journey! Naturally, we’ve kept in touch and continued to cheer one another on! I knew Emily deserved a permanent spotlight in our blog so here we are.

Bee: So Emily, what inspires you? And are there any places that you find particularly inspiring?
Emily: Being a stay at home mom of three is a huge inspiration to my paintings. I tend to gravitate towards bright, happy colors that reflect the joy my children being to my life. Each day is crazy busy, full of little things and little moments, but some days bring big lessons and big memories that I want to really hold onto. I think in a way, my paintings reflect that- they are overall bright and cheerful, but when you look closely at them, they are made up of so many layers, textures, and details. It’s the big moments layered with the small everyday things that really make life, and my artwork so special and a in the end, a beautiful work of art!

Bee: With three littles, I know your life is constantly on the go and I’m continually impressed with the sheer volume of special holiday art you produce! I love the idea of big moments layered with small everyday things that make art (and life), beautiful. Where do you start in your creative journey, among all the busy moments? Do you have a favorite color palette, brush or technique?

Emily: I always start a painting by pulling out my paints deciding on my color palette, and almost 100% of the time, that will include shades of blues and greens. I definitely gravitate towards those colors in my paintings and in my own home décor. I think they are beautiful and naturally calming colors and make me keep going back to them every single time. I love starting each canvas with thick layers as a base. Most of the time I will use a white to very light blue and just lather it on to get started. I love how the texture comes through as each layer of the painting builds and builds.
Unless it’s a very specific commission, I try not to think about the end product when I’m painting. I love to get lost in the process and just see where each painting takes me.

Bee: Who can argue with blue and green? They’re in every room of our home too, in various shades but they evoke such a calming feeling in the space. In your own home, which you often share from your art-filled formal living room, what would you consider your design style to be? In your opinion, what do you think every room needs?

Emily: I would say my home and style is “transitional style.” I love traditional design as a base but with pops of color and fun accent pieces (like the perfect painting) that are a little more contemporary. That way, it’s still pretty and timeless, but it doesn’t feel as formal as a super traditional room. I think every room needs to make you feel something, make you feel joy! That’s what I hope that my artwork can bring to the walls of people’s homes.

Bee: Your artwork absolutely adds a touch of whimsy and fun to every space I’ve seen them installed in! That is one of our signature elements that I love to add in our designs as well, a touch of whimsy (preferably through art or fabric). I always adore seeing your client’s photos of where your art finds a home, that must be such an amazing feeling! So now that your work can be found in homes across the country, tell us how you began creating in the first place!

Emily: Like so many people, during the pandemic when we we’re spending so much time in our own homes, I started to feel like we needed some updating to our décor. One thing I wanted was to get a new painting for our dining room. I turned to Instagram and began to search for different artists and paintings that I loved. After becoming so inspired by the different artists that I saw, I thought “why not me?” and decided to give it a try myself! I went to Michaels and bought a canvas and a cheap set of paints and brushes and during my daughter’s nap time, got to work! I found myself looking forward to the times during the day that I could keep working on it and over the course of the week finished the painting and was already buying more supplies for a new one!

Bee: I absolutely love that, “Why not me?” mentality! If anything good ever came from a global pandemic, it was that so many people found a creative outlet that not only helped them to stay sane, but for several thousands of people, it became a full time creative job that you could build around your family life. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the very same reasons: a pandemic, a leap of faith, and a whole lot of hard work! With all of the holiday pieces you’ve created, custom commissions, fun accent pieces and pop-up shops you’ve painted Veuve bottles for, there has to be a favorite somewhere, right? Give us the behind-the-scenes on your favorite piece!

Emily: I feel like this question is like asking “who’s my favorite child”… I have so many favorites, but these are especially special to me:

These three blue and green paintings (my favorite colors) were all for one of my very first clients who took a chance on me! They were all commissioned for her gorgeous home and are still some of my favorite paintings I’ve done. I was so nervous to be creating these for her since I was just starting out, but beyond excited that she had asked and trusted me with them!

Speaking of blues and greens (can you sense a trend), this panting is another one of my favorites! I had started to really create a signature style for myself and that clearly was my “confetti” style of painting that I used on my seasonal items. When I was deep in painting my confetti pumpkins, it was my husband who said, “why don’t you paint some actual paintings like these?” I had just received a Serena and Lily catalog and was immediately inspired to paint! I painted three different “inspired” paintings each paired with a page from their catalog, but loved this one so much, that it found itself a home in my own house!

The final piece that I have to mention, is “Celebrate Every Day.” This painting was the original painting that I used to create my line of textiles. It will forever be special to me because it is the one that helped me grow my business in a totally new way!

Emily Nichols “Celebrate Every Day” & Textile

Bee: Oh friend!! I am beyond excited (and not quite ready to share our own news) about your textile line!! Let’s just say this is only the beginning for you and I’m so thrilled to cheer you on and collaborate together! Let people know where they can find you (locally & online):

Emily: People can find me on Instagram and on my website
I am also represented by The Collective Dallas in Dallas, TX. You can shop pieces in their store or on their website.

Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman

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