Our next featured artist collaboration from the roster of exceptional artists/human beings at Tattoo Zoo is Nicole Nowicki - aka @interstellarwhispers on Instagram. Hailing from the prairies (or should we say "escaped from") Nicole now calls Vancouver Island her home. Nicole is a quirky artist who found her way into the wonderful world of tattooing all as an attempt to make a living doing what she loves most, making art. Combining a love of painting, illustration, tattoo and design into everything she does - Nicole is equally happy creating permanent art in the skin or designing sweet kicks for your feet, as part of our Tattoo Zoo collection.

We sat down with Nicole to get under her skin a little and bring you some more information about this talented artist!

NICOLE NOWICKI'S IDENTITY, INFLUENCES & INSPIRATIONS.

Baggins Blog (BB): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Nicole Nowicki (NN): Hi I’m Nicole and I’ve been happily working at Tattoo Zoo since March 2015. Tattooing has not only been my dream artistic job but working from the Zoo is also way more than just working from a “shop”. In the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a really passionate family/team of Tattooer’s that have a whole lot of heart in what we all do. We love tattooing you.

BB: Can you tell us a little about how you found your signature style?

NN: The style that I draw and tattoo in is definitely something that just came to me over many years naturally. It’s certainly ever evolving and changing. But more recently I have been steering into a focus on all things from the natural world. Plants, animals, patterns, shapes ...etc. A lot of this inspiration stems from going hiking and camping while trying to learn about what’s growing and going on around. Especially so when travelling outside the country or continent. Stay curious!

BB: What is your favourite thing about tattooing?

NN: It’s probably impossible for me to list one particular thing about tattooing as “my favourite” because there is just so much going on that makes it an amazing career. But if I could narrow it down to a top three I’d choose: 1. Meeting lots of amazing and interesting people, 2. drawing for awesome people as a job for a living, and 3. always having the opportunity to learn more and get better at what I do.

BB: Can you talk us through your customised Baggins Original?

NN: I feel like the best way to approach any specific design opportunity is to just go with what you know or inspires you as a person. And to apply it with some thought, love, and care. Which is exactly what I’ve attempted with my pair of shoes. Drawing up plants and floral is some of my favourite type of work but it always meshes better together with something else. Combining my career passion for Tattooing and flash I decided to use a classic skull as a planter for an elegant Chrysanthemum flower. A cheeky play on the theme of life, death, & rebirth. A subtle reminder to tread lightly and be kind to all while we’re around for this walk of life. Also, plant more plants because why not.

BB: Converse, Dr. Martens or Vans-what’s your go-to shoe?

NN: It’s tricky to pick one particular favourite kind of shoe when I’ve had the chance to wear and love at least one from each company. It’s so great that all three classic shoe brands are so versatile in so many fashion scenarios. For example, I just love how comfortable Van’s slip-on shoes are. But since it's fall and the weathers changed, right now I’d be leaning towards favouring my Docs as they are a tad warmer and water resistant.

BB: What is your favourite thing to do in Victoria?

NN: Not that I don’t love Victoria but my favourite thing is to get out of the city to explore and discover what the rest of the island has to offer. If it involves hiking and camping count me in!

BB: What are you currently watching on Netflix?

NN: As of late my favourite show to watch while I draw would be “The Good Place”. I just got into it and the light-hearted humour is the best.

BB: How did you start creating art?

NN: My earliest memory of being inspired to draw was when I was a little kiddo and my big sister was a few years older than me. She had started school before I did and one day she came home with her school things. I was always curiously checking out the calculator, books, etc. and then eventually noticed her stick figure drawings. I immediately was interested in figuring out how to make my own so from there she handed me some writing material and gave me a quick crash course on stick figures. It felt like magic making shapes out of thin air on paper, somehow it felt natural in my brain and I’ve run with it ever since.

BB: How would you describe your fashion aesthetic?

NN: Honestly, my aesthetic isn’t very exciting. I’m a mostly jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers kinda gal. The more comfortable I feel in my clothing the better. Also wearing a lot of blacks because as Tattooer’s we tend to get a lot of permanent ink on our clothing. Easier to hide it with black ;)

BB: Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

NN: Houseplants to keep company. It’s so nice to take a break from drawing to take care of all my plant babies! Also, music because it really drives my motivation in so many ways.

BB: Is there an element of art you enjoy working with the most?

NN: The best part about being creative through making art is that if you're curious and brave enough there are literally no limits to what you can try. Especially if you’retrying various mediums, practicing and refining your skills and building upon them along the way. Another valuable moment within the creative journey is that thing when you discover a new “technique” that really resonates and unlocks things within your own creative process. Aka: Levelling up!

BB: If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

NN: It would be pretty cool to hang out and chat with Carl Sagan, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Nye for a day in like a podcast style setting. I’m just super fascinated by that scientific pool of legends.

BB: If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

NN: Definitely Metallic Gold.

Baggins Original Classic Slip-On Nicole Nowicki

TATTOO ZOO LOVES TATTOOING YOU!

Tattoo Zoo has been providing a welcoming atmosphere for all walks of life since 1994. Nestled in the heart of Downtown Victoria, you can find Tami Tattoos and the rest of this team of creatives just outside the Fabulous Fort neighbourhood, at 826 Fort Street. Tattoo Zoo has built a reputation as a leading tattoo studio in the city for providing the highest quality body-art in a variety of styles. Whether you're in need of a cover-up, a bold pop of colour, a beautiful black and grey piece or something more traditional, Tattoo Zoo is the place for you. If you haven't check them out before, do yourself a favour and stop in to say hello! One thing is for sure, Nicole Nowicki and the other folks at Tattoo Zoo love tattooing you!

Learn even more about Nicole Nowicki and Tattoo Zoo by visiting their website or checking out their IG feed! If you're in the neighbourhood, we suggest popping by the shop! You might even get to meet Gerry and Sarah's insta-famous pup, Walter. Stay tuned for more Tattoo Zoo greatness coming your way in a flash!

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