· By Jeni Himmer
Customer Spotlight - Nicole Poppell
Meet Nicole Poppell! A designer, muralist, and friend, interested in holistically creating experiences through environments, products, and business.
How did you get started?
"As a kid, I thought I'd grow up to be a graphic designer or architect. I loved art but never thought it was a profession you could go into, so I drenched myself into all aspects of design. Starting in Graphic Design, and finishing my degree in Interior Design at ASU, I fell in love with the idea that my creativity could solve real issues in our built environment. More so, college piqued my interest in art installations and how they can be incorporated into the projects I was working on in interior design."
"I never went to art school, however I did take many elective classes to learn art processes such as welding, blacksmithing, screen printing, and wood shop. I love the craft of hand-building and that stuck with me as I moved into my career."
"After college, I moved to San Francisco to start, or rather discover, my career. Moving from a distinguished interior design job at Gensler, I quickly transitioned to designing/producing large scale art installations for large companies such as Google, Facebook, Adobe and more. I then went on to work for a mural painting company for 3 years before moving back home to start my own company, Mural Mates LLC."
"While working for myself, I've really given myself the time and freedom to explore my personal style as well as pursue the projects that are a right fit for the company. Being back in Arizona has been a breath of fresh air and a joy to be reconnected to the creative community where it all began."
What inspires you now?
"I get a lot of my inspiration from materiality, processes, and fashion. I love experimenting with new mediums and seeing how they can add texture or visual interest to my work. Because my art is very pattern-based, with abstract shapes and bright colors, fashion has always played a big role in my personal style. I'm always looking to create a statement piece whether it's jewelry, painted canvas, or sculptures."
How are you expressing your creativity in your free time and professionally?
"This is a tricky question. It's easy to feel burnt out when your hobby becomes your full-time job. Luckily for me, Mural Mates does not represent one single style. We aim to create art that fits the brand we are working with, and if they would like my personal style then it's a win-win. For me personally, my free time has become more about experimentation and trying things I may not get the opportunity with in my client work."
What color totally represents your vibe and why?
"Currently, I would say Orange. It's vibrant, positive, bold, and for the risk takers."
Do you have a favorite moment that goes along with one of your illustrations?
"My 'Mirage' print was a total accident. I was working on edits for my 'Brian's Sunset' print when I inverted the colors and became absolutely in love with the results. So much so that I decided to add both to my permanent print collection because I couldn't choose between the two. The 'Mirage' print reminds me of the desert, where I come from and the 'Brian's Sunset' reminds me of my time in the SF bay area which is where I've been."
You can view more of Nicole's past corporate work at www.nnuzzo.com.