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Rising Stars: Meet Nikita Coulombe of Boulder

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
The desire to create has always been there and painting feels like the best way for me to capture what is happening in the present moment. I started out drawing with crayons and colored pencils as a kid, learning how to make shapes and shadows. It has been an ongoing trial-and-error process since then. One of the things that I enjoy most about creating is the sense of play that accompanies this process. Whenever I discover a new medium or technique, I play around with it; I like being surprised by what is possible. I also like that there’s no obligation to keep anything that isn’t up to my standard. Focusing on learning and improving means that I can keep the lesson and then paint over something. Being an artist, you can’t be afraid to start over.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I never questioned whether or not I was an artist, but I lacked the confidence to be an artist for a long time. Life has a funny way of not letting you escape what you are though, and sometimes, it is only when something is taken away from us that we appreciate its value and importance in our lives. A few hard-earned lessons made it clear to me that the more time and energy I can dedicate to this form of expression, the better. When we are in the greatest alignment with our true calling is when I think we have the greatest potential to inspire others as well.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am an artist whose focus is modern and wildlife paintings. I’m known for painting in varied styles, which can work for and against me. On the one hand, collectors and gallerists may not recognize my work as mine right away. On the other hand, I feel my work benefits from not being limited by a specific style or technique. Many artists go through phases one at a time, while I enjoy the challenge of working within several phases simultaneously. I think it keeps my work and ideas fresh. Over time, I believe this will result in a stronger body of work.

What does success mean to you?
I feel successful when I’m someone that my 10-year-old self would be proud of and someone that I think my 80-year-old self would be proud of. If I have a sense of expansion rather than contraction, I know I’m on the right track to getting where I need to be. Not that it’s always easy to navigate! There’s definitely an evolving balance between meeting practical needs and pursuing mental and spiritual needs.

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