EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Nico Niemi

Who and where are you?

My name is Nicole Marie Winkelman, but I still use the nickname Nico and my maiden name Niemi for my artwork. I have loved creating artwork for as long as I can remember. My mother is an artist as well and was a source of inspiration for me from a young age. I’ve traveled the country but always reside in Wisconsin, and currently live in Waukesha.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I joined Facebook to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives who already used it. After exploring other art pages I realized how easy it is to create one, I made one for myself.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

Invite your friends to your page when you first start out, let anyone else who is interested in your artwork know you have the page, and post artwork as often as you can. People love pictures! Have information about where to find your artwork if they’d like to own some, and how to contact you. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always get the ‘likes’ you’re looking for-getting going can take a little time.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

My favorite feature would have to be sharing. When people share your artwork it broadens your reach and brings so many more people in-some who might never have looked for your artwork in the first place. Facebook makes your art so easy to find for anyone who has it, and makes interaction with anyone who is interested easy as well. I really like just about all the features it has.

What’s coming next from your studio?

All sorts of things! There will be fantasy creatures, and brilliant colors, some holiday items, but definitely more cat-themed artwork. I have a new kitten in my home and he is a source of inspiration I literally can’t ignore.

See more of Nico’s art and follow her here:




Vicky Knowles: Holding onto a Vision

Your paintings have revolved around Wibbley World for more than a decade, tell us, what is a Wibble and where did you get the idea?

The Wibbles are just the creatures who live in Wibbley World! I never set out to come up with a brand or a name for my universe of characters, it just evolved on its own. At first the name was “Wiggly World” which came to me repeatedly when I was painting (back in 1999 when I first started selling on ebay) – it was literally as if my characters were telling me who they were, but I heard it wrong – “Wiggly World” wasn’t quite right. A few years later I was redesigning my website and for some reason I wrote “Wibbley World” as the title, and that was it!


Are there any artists you feel are/were instrumental to your style of painting and the subject matter?

I would say there are many artists I admire and I’m sure that they do influence my work, although probably mostly in technique rather than subject matter, since my characters are so completely personal to me. I study the work of other artists with the goal of better representing my own vision. For example, if I see an artist whose technique I admire I want to know how it was done – what materials were used, etc. Even if I’m not successful, I still believe the information is still being processed on a subconscious level and eventually I hope to incorporate it into my work.

Have you ever found it difficult to stay inspired and true to your vision?

Yes, periodically I get bored and feel uninspired – at times I feel like my work is too predictable, particularly when I’m creating “for” something (like a show, or for the Nibblefest contest, etc.), or when I’m trying to interpret someone else’s idea instead of my own. At times like that I feel frustrated and am tempted to quit (although invariably that’s when some sort of external validation will come along.) What helps me through this is looking back through my older paintings and sketchbooks, and creating for myself rather than with the intention of selling. I have no problem staying “true to my vision,” in fact I wish I could branch out more (be more serious, more commercial, etc.) but somehow I always end up “Wibblifying” whatever I’m working on, even if that was never my intention.

Do you have a favorite character from your World of Wibble?

I don’t like to have favorites, but if I did it would have to be Lunchbox, the lunch-pail toting, diaper-wearing chipmunk. Lunchbox is a true innocent who frequently finds himself in predicaments. But everything always turns out ok in the end, because when you have your lunch-pail and your diaper, what more do you really need?




EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Jo Hards

Who and where are you?
I’m Jo Hards. I would describe myself as a Gothic fantasy artist. I also make ‘Strange Little Girls’ Gothic art dolls. I live in a small town in Cheshire, Northern England, a very green and beautiful  part of the world.
How were you introduced to Facebook?
A few years ago, while I was studying for a degree, most of my fellow students used Facebook to keep in touch, so I opened a personal profile, just to keep up to date with everything at university. More recently, in 2011 my sister-in-law over in  Australia, started a Facebook page for her handmade dolls. I saw what a fantastic opportunity it was for artists to share their work with a global audience, so I took the plunge and launched a page for my own art dolls. I’ve enjoyed running that page so much in the last year, that I recently decided to open a second page for my paintings and drawings.
Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?
Make use of the many networking pages on Facebook for artists, crafters, and small businesses. Not only are they a great way to reach a wider audience, they are a wonderful source of support and advice. You will find lots of like-minded people in the same situation. It’s good to help each other out.
What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?
There are so many great apps that you can add on to your page. My personal favourite is Ecwid, a free shopping cart, which allows you to open your own store right there on your Facebook page.
What’s coming next from your studio?
I’m loving working in acrylics at the moment, so there are plenty more paintings to come. I’m also enjoying creating smaller pieces, so there will be some more ACEO’s very soon.

EBSQ Friday Faces of May

The internet is full of various challenges for creative types. Several of our EBSQ artists are participating in the 29 Faces challenge. I’ve been highlighting a face every Friday this month during the challenge. Today I’m highlighting two faces from each artist. Click on the images to see more!






This month’s participating artists are: Patience, Sherry Key, Vicky Knowles, Christine E. Striemer, and Windi Rosson.

EBSQ Friday Five

1. Babette – This week’s Face comes to us from EBSQ artist, Patience. Something about this portrait pulls me in and I can’t help but wonder what she is thinking, what she might be looking at with those thoughtful eyes.

2. The Tangerine Process – Oh! You must see the WIP images from Sara Burrier’s latest painting. Wow!!

3. Ten Reasons to Commission a Portrait – An insightful look at portrait art by Miriam Schulman, and why you should commission a portrait today.

4. Painting with Don Cincone – Melanie Douthit had the opportunity to paint with internationally recognized artist, Don Cicone! She has a wonderful post on her blog about the workshop.

5. I’m always on the look out for great blog articles from EBSQ artists. If you have something you’d like to share in the Friday Five drop me a line at amanda[at]ebsqart[dot]com.

Have a wonderful weekend!

EBSQ Friday Five

1. Lifesong – Sara Burrier’s latest painting, Lifesong, illustrates her personal journey. Check out the post for the full version of the painting and the symbolism she has worked into this beautiful work of art.

2. April MOTM: Hell0 – April’s mandala from artist Maureen Frank is about opening ourselves to new ideas and perspectives. I love her description; which includes a bit about Sherlock Holmes! Maureen’s Mandala’s are free to download and color.

3. Robert Lange Studios Group Show – Pastel artist Kari Tirrell shares her two paintings for this upcoming exhibition in Charleston.

4. A Return to PFATT Marketplace – Lisa Nelson will be returning to the PFATT marketplace to sell her wonderful paintings, dolls and more. Check her blog for details.

5. Day 96 – Took Gallagher is still pushing forward in 2012 with her 365 Project. Don’t miss her latest plaster creation, a work-in-progress.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!