Nicole Black.

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Interview for Praise You Exhibition

Where do you see yourself and your art headed in the next few years?


I am always dreaming of where my art will take me. In the past it has been a vehicle for introducing me to new people and places- whether that’s through a commission, a workshop or an exhibition. It excites me that I cannot predict where my work might take me next! That’s the beautiful thing about it… not knowing how, what and who it will connect with and what that connection will bring. Whilst it is unknown I am excited for this journey.

Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way? (Personally or professionally)


Absolutely. What comes to mind first is the copious amounts of self-doubt surrounding the work that I do/have done. The struggle and pressure to monetise your work or at least create a balance of income streams so that you can keep creating. These have been paralysing thought patterns in the past but I feel calmer in the present moment and I feel I have worked through a lot of these blocks as I move towards new ways of operating as a creative. I think these challenges were necessary lessons to help me understand my practice more intently.

Can you please share a little about how you go into creating artwork and how you’d describe your style?


I feel that my art practice is quite intuitive; I feel stirred by an image that comes to mind or I am curious to follow an idea. In the early days of making work I was largely inspired to follow this path for the art that others were doing- but in more recent years I am focusing and trusting my own voice.

I love the use of fine details versus areas of spontaneity within a work.. I guess I hope to achieve or create an element that is unexpected. Whether that’s cutting something out, covering it up or layering. When creating personal work I find it difficult to start with a fully formed plan. I start on a moment of inspiration and make decisions as the work unravels.

What’s your favourite part about your body and why?


I like my hands.. I have long fingers (that make me regret not pursuing the piano) and they allow me to create and express myself. When I’m not using them to draw or paint I’m expressive with my hand movements when I’m talking to the point where I feel like I need to sit on my hands!

What’s your idea of empowerment?


Knowledge and strength in expression- with the ability to bring others up with them. Confidence to pursue ones true calling. To follow their inspiration and creativity with a faith that no matter what ups and downs may come things are going to be okay.

What inspires your style of art? What are the best ways you've found that have refined your practice?


Whilst I feel that I am still refining my style, there have been purposeful practices that I have helped me identify my own nuances. Keeping an art journal throughout my years has been good way me recognising patterns as well looking for these reoccuring themes in my other works. I think it’s very easy to be caught up in what other people are doing but you have to spend the time looking inward to get to the real reasons why you are making.

Your work is very female/body inspired – have you ever struggled with those inspiration and references affecting your body image perception? Do you think social media has played a positive or negative role in your perception?

Looking back at my work the references I have always chosen to capture have been images of strong and fierce women so I think it is that strength that I am trying to capture as opposed to some unattainable beauty standard.

How do you keep up your creative momentum? Where do you look to for the drive to create?


I
’m learning how I work and how I make work the more I do it. I used to think that having lots of time and freedom to create were the best circumstances for feeling creative. But as I’ve become more aware of my creative output I’ve realised that’s not necessarily the case.

If I’m working from home I don’t let myself stay in bed past a certain hour. I’ll get up and make myself a coffee and then move into the studio space make a list of what I want to achieve for that particular day. If i’m not feeling necessarily inspired to create I’ll find something else work on. I’ve noticed that if I’ve got some lingering tasks to attend to I’ll find it tricky to get deep into a creative piece- so it’s best for me to tackle some of those not-so-fun tasks first.

Original interview can be viewed at https://www.praiseyou.co/blog/nicoleblack

Nicole Black