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Artisan Spotlight: Nicki Lenore

First off, tell us about yourself?
My name is Nicki Nysven and I live in Central California in a quaint town called Paso Robles.


How did you start your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?
I have always loved to draw and paint ever since I was a kid. I didn’t realize my passion would turn into a purpose until recently. On my journey having two children who’s lives, our lives, have been highly affected by chronic illnesses (Lyme disease & Co-infections) I turned to art as a form of therapy. I had to change my mindset. Life sucks ass sometimes, but it’s all about how you choose to handle it. My daughter has been sick with a chronic disease (Lyme Disease) for most of her life and the last 3 1/2 years it has taken her childhood completely away from her. And then my son falls ill to a co-infection of Lyme and his life changed dramatically. Well, it took me a little while into our journey to figure out that if I don’t change my mindset I would either fall into a deep depression or lose my mind, because watching your child go through this you feel so helpless and ask “why us, why my kids?”. But, I had to dig deep to figure out how to remain strong for my children, to fight for them to get well. That’s when I realized I needed to change my mindset. Instead of focusing on all the negatives I needed to find the positives amongst them.


I started turning the negatives into positives. I can’t control what tomorrow will bring, but I can control my choice on how to handle it. So, amongst finding the positive ways to change one way was to use art. It was like therapy to me and one day I decided to post some of my pieces up on Instagram. Instagram was my positive place to post what makes me happy and art made me happy. I then started to have people express their interest in my art and share how they really liked it and wanted it. I was having so much fun painting for people and friends as they started asking me more and more to paint for them. I then decided I need to get a logo, apply for a city business license and let it happen organically. So that I did and now Nicki Lenore is officially a business.


What do you love most about your art business?
Each piece I create is carefully thought out and made from my heart and most important, I am having so much fun. I guess you can say that art has saved me in a way and I did not realize that until now as I write this bio. Art lead me to meeting Caroline Matthews, the creator of the Luxe magazine, and all the incredible people who’ve been a huge support to me along the way. Lyme disease started this journey, which was so dark at times, but my art was the positivity in my life that helped shed light through all the negativity. So here I am writing this still in awe that my paintings have a purpose now, in so many ways. Our Lyme journey is not over, and will never be over….but at least this is a HUGE positive that has come out of a HUGE negative

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I really had no inspiration to paint, I’ve always loved to. It was when my children were diagnosed with chronic illnesses when I turned to art as a form of therapy.

Outside of your art what else do you enjoy doing?
Outside of art I love spending time with my family, working out or going on hikes. I also am an advocate spreading Lyme Disease Awareness. I am a contributor for a campaign called Lyme Disease Challenge.

URL of your shop
I have been given an amazing opportunity to have my paintings a beautiful high end boutique here in my home town called Ambiance. Lucy Huffman, Ambiance Paso Robles Manager, took immediate interest in my artwork and has given me this amazing opportunity and I am so grateful and super excited to see where this journey continues to lead me.


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Artisan Spotlight: Salayi Designs

First off, tell us about yourself.

I am a jewelry artist in Southern California. When I’m not at my bench, I’m busy being mom to my 1.5 year old son and taking care of our two dogs.

6 ocean necklace FWP
6 ocean necklace

Where are you from?

I’m originally from suburban Ohio, and since have lived in Boston, Michigan and now California. I have loved living in all three places for vastly different reason, and wouldn’t trade my time in any of them.

blue sapphire enamel laying on coral, horixontal
Blue sapphire enamel earrings

How did you start creating your jewelry, and how long have you been doing it?

I started early, when I was 12! Interlochen Center for the Arts was my go-to summer camp from grade school through high school. I initially went to for violin, but as long as I took violin lessons and orchestra, I was allowed free choice any other classes they offered.  So I started with a lot ceramic classes before choosing a jewelry making class one summer.  I learned how to do all the basics, including soldering.  I just kept taking classes from there on out, right through my BFA and MFA.

coral collection
Etched collection necklaces

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration changes so often: I love learning about new topics, so the range of what I’m reading, watching and listening to is really broad. Sometimes I’m way into history, and sometimes I’m deep in natural science. Something will catch my attention and I’ll learn anything I feel will help me understand WHY it caught my attention. Since what is coming into my mind is always changing, what come out in the form of artwork is always shifting too.

etched collection necklaces
Etched collection necklaces

What do you love most about your jewelry business?

I love being in charge, and the flexibility afforded to me so I can still be with my son during the day. I love the materials I get to work with. I love creating something worn so intimately, and often for such important occasions like a wedding. Helping someone’s idea turn into a physical object is rewarding too. There’s not a lot I don’t love about being a jeweler!

jewrly grouping
Jewelry Collection

Outside of crafting, what else do you enjoy doing?

Mindfulness is my favorite hobby, and I try to apply that practice to everything I do. I love picking up new skills. This past year I learned how to make perfect macarons, decorate a cake beautifully, and sew. There are so many ways to make, and I want to try them all! I’m also an avid gardener, and have enjoyed a community garden plot for the past few years. It’s so nice to be part of a group of gardeners and I love this particular garden: it’s been around since the 1960’s and has a fantastic aging hippy vibe.
Is there anything else you would like to share?

The act of creating is so important to the human soul. Taking some time every day to create puts you in touch with your deeper human nature. So be it a piece of art, a simple meal or creating a little space for yourself at the end of the day, take the time for it.

URL of your shop.

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Original, Vintage & Rare Maps on Canvas by Seaphloor

SEAPHLOOR is a geography obsessed company based out of Columbus, Ohio that sells original, antique maps mounted on gallery canvas. They decorate each piece to be one of a kind and obviously have a thing for gold leaf and constellation charts. Boasting a collection of over 4,000 unique maps, they can create custom works of any destination and do so quite quickly! If you haven’t run across their feed, do so for the outrageous captions if nothing else. They often describe their brand as never too serious, but always too beautiful.

Go here to see more..

Get your handmade business featured by Handmade Around The Globe. Go here for details.