We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicola Moore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicola, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think the most important factor behind anyones success comes down to attitude, perspective and a little bit of belief. It’s not that I don’t think hard work is important, but for me, that is the easy part. I’d happily be in the studio making all day everyday.
So, for attitude, I think it’s important to actively practice gratitude for the circumstances that are allowing me to do what I love each day. While gratitude has an emotional component to it, I do think, like love, it also takes action. And it helps to keep the focus on the positive in life. I’ve traveled all over the world and lived in 6 different countries and my biggest take away from all those adventures is that there are just so many life experiences to be had. Each of us is here to experience our little slice of the universe, and gratitude can help us enjoy it more.
And for perspective, I try to remember that if I ever compare my work to other artists, it’s my uniqueness that sets me apart. Ultimately, the ways that my work and I are different from others are the most important things I have to offer. I love the quote ‘Make visible, what without you, might never have been seen.’ by Robert Bresson. We have a responsibility to do the work our soul is calling us to do. And for me this is it. I’ve learned that beautiful, colorful art makes people happy, and with my personal and unique skill set, this is one of the important ways that I can contribute to the universe.
Lastly I believe that if I continue to do what I love, stay in balance, create positive energy, and follow my intuition, that everything will always fall into place. Not necessarily the place that I would have imagined, but always the right place for the lesson I need to learn or the way that my business and I need to grow at the time. My highest intention for my work is always to be in balance. If I find I’m taking on more than I can peacefully complete I tone it down. It takes a constant fine tuning, and always will, but learning what my limits are and how to maximise my productivity without loosing the enjoyment in my work is extremely important to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
While I consider myself a mixed media artist, I fell in love with ceramics about 6 years ago and haven’t really looked back. I still love to paint but at the moment that tends to be adorning a ceramic piece with glaze rather than canvases and acrylics! But I’m sure I’ll continue to have more phases to my artistic life. I try as much as possible to work intuitively, and focus on whatever is giving me the most joy at the time. I love to experiment and my work tends to be a constantly evolving process of hand generated processes that build on and feed back into each other. I will often look for inspiration in my past work, be it paintings or clay forms, and I also find a lot of inspiration in nature. Whilst making unique, one off pieces of functional art brings me a lot of joy, I also really enjoy creating wall hangings, baskets and pieces with a more decorative purpose.
My Spring collection this year involved a lot of experimenting with glazes and color, and some fun mug designs. While I’m always experimenting in a bunch of different directions, at the moment the most exciting component has been learning how to get unique results by combining different combinations of glazes and colors. Glaze is a fascinating medium to work with in regards to color. You can’t tell what color the glaze is by looking at in on a bisqued piece. It could be a black finish when fired, but might be red unfired! All the magic and chemical processes that create the color happen in the kiln. One cool thing is that when you combine multiple glazes, they will quite possibly have a chemical reaction and create an unexpected color. For example, I have a glossy green and a blue glaze that when combined in the right way react to create a satin lavender! It’s all chemistry that I am slowly picking up, but I’ve chosen the path of experimentation and play rather than delving too deeply into the science first. I love the magic of it all, and with all the play I’m gaining a knowledge for which glazes work together and which don’t, which allows me to trust my instincts and work in the intuitive way that I love.
As far as the business side of things go, it’s a lot of work having your own small business and being a one woman show! I sell mainly online through instagram and my website, but I also open the studio by appointment for locals wanting to come and browse in person. I often have a good amount in stock in the studio thats not listed online. I’ve also been super grateful that as a ceramic artist, I get to use all the skills I’ve accumulated up until this point. My degree in Visual Communications means graphic design experience for the website and branding, as well as photography skills for capturing good images of my work. And now I’m also trying to incorporate my previous career as a motion graphics artist by adding digital 3d components into the mix and scanning a series of work to deposit into a virtual environment. I also bought a 3d clay printer that I’d like to get some play time in with at some point. The most amazing thing about working with clay is the immense number of directions there are to explore!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Beaches – Venice & Santa Monica, and then some smaller northern spots. Lots of dinners out in Pasadena. Hikes in the Altadena mountains. We love the Lost Spirits Distillery for a fun and different tour experience, with booze! LACMA, the history museum and the zoo for the kiddos. Barnsdall art park for sunset wine and good music! Night out at one of the rooftop bars like Perch, downtown. And I do think that one of the best things about LA is how many awesome trips there are so close by. We love popping down to Mexico, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Ojai, or going camping at the beach with our pop up camper 🙂
((… this is a hard one to answer after a year of quarantine life!!)) 😉
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The obvious choice to dedicate this shoutout too is my hubby, Mike. We have 3 kiddos and his support of our family, and my need to take the time to build up my business goes above and beyond. He’s never been anything but encouraging of my work, and having someone by your side who has unwavering belief in you is invaluable.