ETSY WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Nicki Thomas

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yummy sounding lip balm from her 1st shop, Nicki Leigh



"To Be Free", from Etsy's Kyva


Today I'm sitting down and talking with Nicki Thomas, owner of Nicki Leigh on Etsy. Nicki recently opened a second Etsy shop, Kyva,  showcasing her abstract art. Let's get to know Nicki more right now!



Q: I'd like to talk to you about your new Etsy shop, Kyva. Where does the name come from?

A; The name Kyva was bestowed upon me by my fiancee and it has a great amount of meaning behind it.  I have been known as an artist behind that name for over 7 years now.  I felt odd using any other name to show my work under.


Q: This is your second Etsy shop. You have a great bath & body shop going as well. What prompted you to open Kyva?


I wanted to open my Kyva shop on etsy due to the great differences between bath & body and abstract artwork.  I have always been very conscious of how organized my work is.  I knew neither category would work fluently with the other, so that is why I opened my second shop.


Q: As a creative spirit and a business owner, I know that can be hard to find time to fulfill all of your creative desires. My collage making and art seem to have taken a back seat to my business. Have you found a way to strike a balance?

A: I try and make my bath & body products in batches large enough that I do not need to stress so much, but not too large that some of them may be wasted.  When I am not promoting my bath & body shop or creating for that passion, I am likely working on a new piece or planning it out.  I think right now, the hardest balance to strike is promoting both shops.

I promote my bath & body shop more, since it is my actual business.  Art is just a passion I have and that I love to share with others.

Q: Tell me about the materials you use in your artwork. Do you have a favorite medium?

A; My favorite medium when working with any form of abstract art is encaustics.  They are a wax that you melt in various ways and there are countless ways to apply it to your piece of work.  It can also be used in collages and even on pottery.  Encaustics is a very wide medium and one that I have been working with for over 3 years now.


Q: Pick one piece of art sold at Kyva and tell the Chic & Green audience a bit about it.

A; I would like to share my newest piece titled "To Be Free."  It was made during a week that was very taxing on me.  I knew I needed an outlet for the stress and tears, before it took the front seat and pushed my business in the back.  I use art as a way to funnle my negative energy into something positive.  I know if I dwell over things out of my control, it will only take my dedication away from my home business. I long for spring, as winter is always very hard on me.  The colors I chose for the piece reflects that longing by using yellows, pinks, reds, oranges and purples in the mix.

Q: What inspires you?


I  am not the type of artist that can just sit down and draw.  I need to be feeling a very strong emotion.  At times when I try to work with encaustics and I am not feeling a strong emotion, the work feels empty.  They seem to mean so much more when they are made through emotional energies.  I use just about anything.  Anger, sadness, stress, happiness, love, passion, hunger, longing . . . whatever I am feeling, I use it and channle it into the piece at hand.

I am also greatly inspired by nature.  I love sunsets and the woods outback.  Many of my pieces use natural colors instead of brighter tones unless the piece calls for it.


Q: Tell me a bit about you, Nicki the person--not just Nicki the artist or Nicki the business owner.


A: I have always been of the creative sort.  Ever since I was little, I had done things with my hands.  I wrote poetry, novels, sculpted, drawn, painted, sewn . . . I suppose my dad had a great part in this.  Though he left my life before I was a young woman, he has inspired me so much from the lessons he taught me when I was a little girl.

I love to go hiking.  I get a thrill out of taking a walk and cross paths with the deer that live in our area.  I take my camera with me as often as I can, to capture the beauty that I cannot possibly show in my own work.  I also enjoy spending time with my fiance and his sisters.  if it were not for them, I am not sure how high my stress level may be  ;)

Keeping young all along the way and using emotion to fuel my artwork.  I just love what I do.

Thank you, Nicki!
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