Day in the Life: Nicolle Cure
I had the privilege of visiting Nicolle Cure’s home studio a few days ago full of interesting artifacts and tools. Nothing gives you a better glimpse of an artist’s world than stepping into their workplace. I felt as if I had traveled somewhere far away inside a mind of endless imagination.
The first things you notice when you walk into the studio are canvases of all sizes stacked against the walls. Some of the largest paintings from Nicolle’s latest collection, The Colors of Sound, are on display, and they hang from the walls. There are several shelves by Nicolle’s desk where she keeps some of her favorite books, a few color studies, as well as, article clippings and letters of recognition. You can also see neatly arranged tools, different types of paint in all colors, and smaller size art pieces. Even the fresh tropical bouquet of flowers in a vase that graces her studio seamlessly belongs to this colorful universe.
One unexpected item in Nicolle’s studio is a vintage cream-colored Fender electric guitar. Later, when Felipe, her partner, picked up the guitar and played some songs, it all made a perfect sense. This apartment is truly a home of two artists where they share their profound love of art and music.
A teal wall in the living room, a bright yellow chair, an acoustic guitar, vintage cameras and LP records as well as dog art sculptures from one of her projects - all the elements were unique and meaningfully connected.
Every little detail, every corner of Nicolle’s studio and home is a reflection of her colorful world. I now invite you to learn more about this incredible artist.
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I can honestly say that I don’t recall a moment when I didn’t have a pencil or paintbrush in my hand (or in my bag). To me, art has never felt like a career or a vocational activity, but as an inherent part of my being.
When I was a little girl, I would sit on the floor with all my supplies around me, ready to watch my dad paint. My objective was to learn as much as I could from him; all the drawing techniques and painting styles that he had mastered throughout the years. Also, my school friends always mention that I would constantly draw during class; I would draw landscapes, eyes, and a lot of fashion figurines. The fashion influence I picked up from my mom, who is a fashion and textile designer.
When did you create your first art piece and what was it?
I have been painting for as long as I can remember. But the first painting that felt different, as if I was unlocking a new chapter in my life, came to be when I was 12 years old.
I was attending an after school art academy in my native Barranquilla, Colombia, and the instructor asked us to paint a song. At first, it wasn't very clear to me how I could possibly translate a song into a painting; but moments later I figured if a song had enough imagery, it could evoke certain emotions that could be conveyed on a different art form.
The first song that came to mind, was "Strani Amori” (Odd Loves) from Italian singer Laura Pausini. In 1994, you couldn't escape this song. It would play countless times a day on every station. I picked up the brush and let my imagination connect with the words of the song. To this day, it remains an important painting for me, and although I lost it years ago in a move, I remember it vividly. This "experiment" kick-started my love of surrealism.
What is your most vivid childhood memory?
Going to the local art supply store with my dad when I was about 7 years old. My father is an architect and also an artist, and he would go to this particular store every week to get his drafting and painting supplies. I would always have him buy me supplies of my own, so I got to try different types of brushes, pencils, and paint at an early age.
What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?
I read the financial section of The Times. Just kidding... I check Instagram, of course.
What was the last book you read?
Arabs in Colombia: From Rejection to Integration. I’m Colombian of Lebanese descent. This book was an eye-opener; a tale of exclusion, slow inclusion, persistence, and survival. It is filled with stories of many hard working immigrant families who proudly contributed to Colombian society, and helped shape the culture and fuel economic progress.
What TV shows are you binge-watching these days?
The Crown, Mindhunters, and Suits.
What has been your favorite project to date?
Collaborating with the U.S. Humane Society, and through my art, helping to raise funds for animal rescue missions.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or uninspired?
Watch videos of puppies on Instagram. Who can resist these little angels?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching the blind auditions of The Voice––international versions: “Purple Rain” in The Voice Poland, “Boys Don’t Cry” in The Voice Finland, I love that stuff.
What music is playing when you are creating?
I listen to a wide range of artists across different genres. From Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, The Cure, to newer bands such as Coldplay or The Lumineers. I also listen to instrumental Arabic music, Bossa Nova, Hip-hop, and sometimes classical music. Music is a tremendous influence in my work.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
A plastic clay rib which I use, not for pottery or sculpting, but to control the flow of liquids when I am working with ink and water on paper or canvas.
If you were to wear only one jewelry piece what would it be?
I recently acquired an eye pendant from Spanish fashion designer, Patricia Nicolas. I paint eyes everywhere, it is my artistic signature, and this pendant was made for me.
Who is your fashion icon?
Which fictional character do you identify with the most?
El Chapulín Colorado.
What are your 3 most used emojis?
Praying hands, sparkles, yellow heart.
What is your least favorite food?
What is the best advice you could give to others?
My favorite motto: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
And the best advice you could give to yourself?
Do you collect anything in particular?
Yes, memorabilia from museums and places I’ve visited: postcards, pencils, and books.
Which artist or painter has influenced you?
Too many to list, but my ultimate admiration goes to Salvador Dali, Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent Van Gogh and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
An FBI Special Agent.
What skill do you wish you could have mastered?
Playing the piano or the violin.
If you could spend a weekend anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Figueres, Spain. Hola Dali!
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