Get to know London- based artist Nicole Rose

Get to know London- based artist Nicole Rose

Nicole Rose is a London-based digital designer and artist specialising in oil painting and abstracted, digitally-created art.

The giclée prints Nicole creates are complementary to her paintings, a reflection of the original piece – and a new perspective on it. After photographing a section of a finished painting, the work reimagined in Photoshop; blending, blurring and rebalancing to create a run of limited-edition prints.

How did you get into painting? 

I’d always enjoyed the creative side of design (my foundation and degree course were both very creative), so I took some refresher art classes around 6 years ago, and started painting again, although I didn’t have as much time as I would like to practice, as I was still at the design studio. So when the time was right, around 2 years ago, I stepped aside from the studio to concentrate on making art a full time practice. 

What is your main practice? Did you study at University? (if so what in ?) 

My original practice (for 25 years) was in Graphic Design.
This is what I studied my degree for at Central St Martins (1989-1992). I then ran a graphic design studio for many years before side stepping into my art practice (painting and making limited edition giclée prints)

Do you like any other creative method? – if so which ones? 

I really like collage, and I find it a great way to process ideas, colour ways and space/symmetry. I quite often will start a collection of new work with some collage to get the creativity flowing. 

I also really enjoy using my mac to make digital work – this is the other half of my practice - where I manipulate photographed sections of my oil paintings in photoshop to create an alternative landscape to the ones I have painted.  These become valid landscapes in their own right and I make these into limited edition giclée prints. 

You have lots of paintings, do you have a favourite? 

I always have a few favourites of a collection – the ones I feel work well – having the best symmetry and colour balance, and somehow just happen as I’m painting. My work is very abstract so I never have an end image in mind. The two below are my favourites from the summer – ‘Coming of Age’ and ‘At the Mirabona’. I love the sense of space they each have, their etherealness, and their colours.

What inspires your designs, do you have a creative process you go through? If so what steps does this include?

My designs are inspired by my paintings. That’s the starting point for the designs/prints. I photograph sections of my paintings and rework them in photoshop. Again, like my paintings, I don’t really know what the outcome of the design will be. I do begin with the technical side, making sure the images are the correct resolutions for the finished print sizes, but from then on I go through a series of blurring an blending, playing with the adjustment layers etc… until I have something that I’m happy with. Some of the designs happen very quickly, and others just take forever to get right! Although now I know which paintings will make a good starting point to become a print edition. And occasionally I will do some paintings specifically to make prints from. 


Do you have favourite themes you like to focus on?

The theme which has been the backbone to my work is the natural landscape around me and my reaction to it – this is what I paint. It’s not necessarily a stunning view, but perhaps when the sun is coming through the tops of the trees or a winding path. When I’m back in the studio, I recreate these images, and my emotional response to them.

What is your favourite design? Do you have any favourite designers?

Out of my giclée prints, my favourite is Coalescence (attached below). It has just shown at the Woolwich Contemporary Print fair and has been shortlist for one of the Fairs prizes, which I’m thrilled about.

I really like the work of the Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister. His work blurs that line between art and design.


Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own independent brand?

Have a good idea of what type of brand/business you want. Think about how much time you can give it if you need to supplement your income with other paid work until it takes off. Take time making connections and chatting to people along the way. These might be your future collaborators, clients, suppliers, colleagues. Keep on practicing and evolving your ideas. And enjoy it!

Any big plans for the future? Any cool collaborations lined up that we should watch out for?

I’m obsessed with maps and routes, so I’m starting a new collection which will focus on my journeys rather than one aspect of the landscape.

I’m also planning an exhibition next year with another artist who also comes from a graphic design background - our work really complements each other, so that’s very exciting.

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