“Your best piece of art is the one you have not created yet” – art by Nicole Gelinas

Last checked and updated on July 6, 2022

Nicole Gelinas grew up in a small agricultural town in Idaho, and later moved to Washington state to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication. She attended Northwest College of Art, double majoring in fine art and graphic design where she graduated top of her class in 2009.

Compare business bank accounts & loans

What are you looking for?

In partnership with Nerdwallet

Quick, easy, no commitment!

My artwork is available for sale on multiple platforms across the web and I also accept commission projects. I exhibit my work in local galleries as well as participating in group shows.

I am currently designing small catalogues of my art series that will be released for sale on my website.

When I was in high school I had two career paths in mind, a doctor or an artist. Ultimately, being an artist was the clear choice because the amount of reading required in med school would have sent me over the edge. I
attended and graduated from Northwest College of Art with a BFA, double majoring in fine art and graphic design. My intention when I first started school was to focus on painting and drawing, but I ended up adding graphic design to my degree after hearing multiple stories of how difficult it is to have a career as a full time fine artist.

And so after college I became a full time graphic designer, but I felt like something was missing. I missed working with my hands to create a physical/tangible object, so I started painting again to fill that void. After some time I was able to cut back on design work to allow more time for painting, drawing, and photography, which is where I find myself now. It is a great balance knowing that I have a steady income from design work, but also enough time to focus on my fine art career simultaneously.

I have learned:

1. Nothing is ever perfect.

2. Your best piece of art is the one you have not created yet. The one that will surprise you and take you on a new trajectory you did not plan for.

I get inspired by certain colors, techniques, movement, nature, emotions, and I run with it. I let each stroke influence the next and intuitively move around the piece until I feel it is finished. I create multiple pieces until I have run out of things to say and then it is on to the next.

I use a variety of mediums: acrylic, graphite, charcoal, oil paints, photography, etcetera. Depending on the work I am creating, I may use one medium or a variety.

When I work abstractly I tend to use unconventional “brushes” that may come from the kitchen, a tool box, or nature itself. I experiment by making marks with these gadgets until I find a notation that intrigues me. I then attempt to replicate those marks in finished pieces.

I live and work in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I start my day doing graphic design work from 4:30-11am at my day job. After lunch, working alone, I photograph any finished artwork from previous sessions and begin unstretching and stretching canvases. After a recharging nap, I paint, draw, photograph, and work on pieces that are in progress. I create in my home studio and occasionally in the backyard, when weather permits. It rains a lot in the Seattle area so I tend to paint outdoors only in the summer months. There are also intermittent moments throughout the day where I do the office work, answering emails, shipping, archiving, ordering…I am a one woman show.

“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” I used to really admire that statement and strive to be one of those people, but I find it unrealistic. Yes, I love to paint and create, but that is only a small portion of what I get to do everyday. I am surrounded by other tasks: building stretchers, constructing frames, matting, working on my web presence, applying to shows, designing catalogues of my work, listing works for sale, shipping, archiving… all of this is very much “work” and is not glamorous by any means, but these tasks are necessary in order to do the thing I love, which is create. So I think it is best to find a balance and just keep going. Don’t let the mundane tasks weigh you down.

In the future, I would like to have a studio space that is separate from my home and hire an assistant to help with the office tasks. The studio would double as a work space as well as a gallery/gathering space for art lovers. I would like to contribute to more group shows, and work towards solo exhibitions. Ultimleltely, I just want to keep making art and creating work that I am proud of.

Learn more about Nicole on her website.

ⓘ Compare options?

Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. You should always speak to a qualified professional to get tailored advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.