Bay Area artist Nicole Wargon’s goal is to push social change through female-oriented design. Nicole puts the woman at the forefront of her work with years of inspiring friendships acting as her muse.
What got you into art?
A dear, dear friend of mine was a major influence in my artistic expression. As a seasoned artist herself, she encouraged me over the course of many years to pursue art more seriously. It’s why I feel it is so important that everyone, especially kids, have the opportunity to explore artistically. It’s this encouragement that can open so many doors and teach people about themselves.
Your art is very woman-centric can you tell us about the strong female relationships in your life?
From the time I was very young I have felt that the strong female connections in my life have been the most uplifting and influential. I am extremely inspired by the unique way in which women can support each other so powerfully. My mother, for one, is one of the strongest humans I know. She came to the United States when she was in her twenties and pursued two degrees while raising two kids. She is strong-willed an,d doesn’t let negative emotions get the best of her, all the while lifting everyone up around her.
My girlfriends who I have picked up across different states and continents are my emotional rocks and I am constantly saying they are not just friends, they are family. I never feel more at home than I do when I am with these people. And of course my lady-lover, whom I have been dating for the last three years. I have very intimately watched her come out as a gay woman to her family and friends. She has done it gracefully and on her own terms, very much in the way, she lives her entire life. She is beautiful and it has been a beautiful process to bear witness to.
Does anyone ever recognize themselves in your art?
I hope so! I am fascinated by the diversity in the bodies of women. I strive to make my art inclusive and diverse so that many bodies will be able to relate. When I see a group of women together and they all look so different in their style, bodies, hair, skin, identity I am inspired. When I put all of my art together, I want to feel the same way.
Tell us a day in your dream life.
I am happiest when I am traveling, with people I love and able to enjoy the details of life. I am picturing a full table with my family and friends out on a vibrant patio in Mexico City (somewhere I have always wanted to go). Our bellies are full and we have just explored the beautiful art and culture that the people of Mexico City have to offer. After too many glasses of wine, I reside to bed where I pick up a favorite book and snuggle up with my love.
What is your day to day like?
For the past two years I have worked at a mental health nonprofit in San Francisco. The organization houses dual diagnosis (drug addiction and mental health diagnosis) clients in group homes and serves as a rehabilitation alternative to psychiatric wards. When not at work, I like to squeeze in a run by the water, go out to eat with friends, read on the grass at a local park and of course, make art.
How do you describe the ethos of the world you create? What would the motto everything you create?
I try to create a world where beauty is not limited by a certain standard or definition. The motto for my work is to be ‘unapologetically who you are’. It encompasses being confident in your own skin and not apologizing for it.
Who would you like to collaborate with? Musician, artist, actor, writer…whoever? It can be multiple people.
Given that my medium is digital technology, the ever-growing digital art community is a world I would love to try and captivate. I would love to collaborate with any online publication that informs, educates and supports women and women-centric movements. In that way, my art can be used as a tool to help gain the attention of female readers.
What is your favorite thing about creating?
I love the way it makes me feel. Before art was a big part of my life I had no outlet for creative energy. I feel myself using my brain in a different way and thinking about the things that are important to me in a way in which people will be able to understand.
Have you connected with your fans? Does anyone ever email you inspiring messages?
When I began to show my art publicly, I was overwhelmed by the support I received from friends and family. It is so encouraging to have people tell me how my art makes them feel and to see them getting excited about the same things that get me excited.
Do you have any positive mantras you tell yourself?
I constantly remind myself to live for myself and nobody else. I think it’s important to not need validation and to feel confident in yourself.
What historically inspires your art?
My fascination with women on every level. My own journey of discovering my personal relationship with femininity and what that means to me.
Your art is very inclusive. Why is that important to you?
I can only demand inclusivity in the workplace, in government, and in society if I practice it myself. I hope my art can serve as a reminder and example of inclusivity.
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