How Quarantine Has Affected Young Artists With Nicole Valmana

With stay-at-home mandates being enforced nationally, many would assume that this would result in a lack of personal creativity and entrepreneurship. However, one young artist has actually used this time to start up an online store featuring her newest artistic collection. From handbags to phone cases, she has incorporated multiple of her original designs onto these items. Today, we delve into the artistic journey of Nicole Valmana and her recent art designs including “A Surreal View of Niagara Falls”, “Portrait of a Pensive Man” and others.

Her Campus (HC): Tell us a little bit about your art and what inspired these pieces in specific.

Nicole Valmana (NV): As of quite recently, I have been heeding the spiritual call back to my roots as a person and as a co-creator. I am a synesthete, meaning that I perceive all five senses in a unique way; say, I will have an emotional, auditory, tactile or visual (in present time or a vivid memory) cue take on a certain shape, color, sound, smell or texture in my brain, so I will incorporate that experience into my art. My background in piano and poetry also comes into play to evoke every sensation and perception leading up to my present experience. Every work of art has a life and story of its own. Not a single piece of mine was planned, them being a totally intuitive, physical manifestation of the infinite now. 

HC: What is the meaning behind these pieces/ what is your artistic message through them?

NV: I am fascinated by the odd cohesiveness of paradox and pattern, attempting to capture a weave of inner experience, as well as outer reality, in every piece I pour myself into with exceptional precision and heart. Deeply inspired by the human form, consciousness, metaphor, synesthesia, nature, intuition and paradox, I have been on a visceral exploration of my artistic voice as a perpetual student of life experiences… I attempt to convey that authenticity and to transmute those experiences into joy or wisdom.

HC: What medium did you originally design them on?

NV: I enjoy using and experimenting with mixed media; in particular: ink, oil pastel, color pencil, charcoal and graphite on paper, as well as photography, having fun with value, line, space and color.

HC: Tell us a little about the items that come embroidered with each design in your collection.

NV: From fine art prints to home decor, bed & bath, phone cases, apparel, office and tech accessories you’ll love, with custom designs handcrafted by independent artists such as myself, there’s a myriad of items to choose from according to your liking and lifestyle needs, to not only live, work and study in style, but also knowing you just helped make the world a little brighter by supporting a local artist/designer over a draconian corporation. Art truly is the backbone of civilization despite being the most undervalued. I am currently using a 13'' x 13’' tote as my carry-all bag (from my Threadless store) donning my abstract piece “What Do You See?” and I absolutely adore it! I carry it around with me wherever I go! It’s minimalistic yet unique and uber-comfortable, matching with whatever outfit I choose for any given day. Merging the inner world with the outer world, “What Do You See?" displays the always-fluid layer of one's reveries within the mind's eye over what is seen with the physical eye. It was below-zero temperatures when I took this dreamy photo in Niagara Falls, Canada. Hand drawn with India ink. Another innovative item is the 6” x 8” lined notebook with my wraparound design “Here Comes The Sun” (via my other online store). This piece showcases the glory of the sun of the dawn: if one can only be sure of one thing in this life, is the rising of the warmth of the sun after the dark. “Here Comes The Sun” is a representation of hope. This design was spontaneously drawn by hand with ink on paper over photography.

HC: If you had to recommend to anyone something to get from your collection, which would you recommend?

NV: Well, it would depend on whether you are looking for something more abstract, expressive portraiture, or pure photography! If you don’t really have a preference, I would really boil it all down to color scheme. If you are more into cool colors, “A Surreal View”, “Euphoria”, “Crystal Castles”, “What Do You See?”, “Wistful By The Waterfall”, “Amethyst” and “Primordial Dream” would be my first recommendations. If warm colors are more up your ante, “Here Comes The Sun”, “Portrait of a Pensive Man”, “Simplicity and Snow”, “Dewy Berries” and “Flurry” would be for you! Somewhere in between neither warm nor cool (or straight-up monochromatic) would be “Waters In The Firmament”, “Portrait of an Androgyne” and “Oxygen: Remember To Breathe”. More pieces are either still being decided upon whether I want them published, or are in the works of something completely fresh in my studio.

HC: What are your future goals as an artist?

NV: Ruža's Studio is committed to providing above-par services for original and commissioned fine art, photography, illustration & logo/web design, emphasizing the importance of involving her clients throughout the creative process. My goals are simply to expand my artistic endeavors, explore my artistic expression and technique and even exhibit internationally. Perhaps branch out into involving more paints in my work. Earning my BFA in graphic design or art history is also on the horizon.

HC: Has being quarantined inhibited your artistic creativity?

NV: Actually, on the contrary. Being in quarantine has given me ample time to ruminate the depths of my own mind and emotions, and therefore my creativity, in an unprecedented way. It has given me the window of opportunity to finally launch my art printing stores and my brand as an artist, illustrator, designer, and photographer; something I have been meaning to properly do for a long time. Considering the times we currently find ourselves in, we could all enjoy something meaningful and beautiful, indeed. I have the deepest gratitude for all who will and have thus far helped my artistic dreams come true, little by little.

You can purchase her art prints and designer merch on Society6 and Threadless!

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