January 2015 | The Yellow Spectacles

A Sketch Above the Rest: Holly Nichols

January 19, 2015

H.Nichols Illustrations. Photo Cred: Holly Nichols' Instagram 

Meet Holly Nichols. The chic illustrator behind the fountain pen strokes of H. Nichols Illustrations. Perhaps, you have heard of her--or rather seen her sketches all over Instagram and popular blogs alike? If not. Then she and her designs are something worth checking into.

Based out of Abington, MA. Holly works out of her studio creating one of a kind prints, cards, stationary sets, and custom portraits--each one is more whimsical than the next. Her prints usually dance around a similar theme. A style girl doing ordinary activities in a demure kinda- way. Whether its walking the dog through a darling neighborhood, jaunting through a spring rain shower, or showcasing a pair of killer heels each print is unique to its own.

While she's happy to work with you to create something a la cart--through her site and her Etsy page you already have plenty of large and pint size prints to pick from. So, getting down to the nitty-gritty. What is it like in the day and life of a fashion illustrator who runs, draws, and owns her own business? Put on your spectacles and read below:

The Yellow Spectacles: What's a day like in the life of a fashion illustrator?

Holly Nichols: I wake up and check emails and social media on my phone while eating breakfast. I then head to my studio which is about 15 minutes away from my home. In the morning, either myself or my intern packages and ships the orders that have come in over night. The rest of my day is dedicated to creating new art, working on commissions, or projects. I usually get home around 7 or 8 and I continue to work from home, browsing blogs, checking my emails, and working on some new ideas.

TYS: Has fashion sketches always been a passion of yours?

HN: I wouldn't say fashion sketches specifically, but certainly  fashion. I've always loved fashion and art, so it was only natural that my sketches became more and more fashion centered as I matured.

TYS: Based on your website, Etsy Shop and Instagram page you have a real successful business. How'd that all begin?

HN: It started as a mistake! I started my Instagram page a year ago as a way to share my art--at that point wasn't a business. People started asking me if I did custom artwork. I soon was being commissioned quite frequently to do custom fashion illustrations. Soon after in February of 2013, I opened my Etsy Shop when people started inquiring about prints. At that time, I was working as a full-time teacher's assistant in a special ed classroom, and trying to keep my 'hobby-turned business'. It became too much to handle at once, so I quit my full-time job and moved into my studio, which brings me to today!

"I am literally in love with work. I get to do what I love and share my art with people around the world. I feel very fortunate to do so."

TYS: What types of challenges do you find come with owning your own business?

HN: A large challenge is sacrificing free time. When you are an entrepreneur, you do not have a start and end to your day. I work until I shut my eyes at night. The rewarding part is when I say I am "working" until I shut my eyes, I'm really practicing my passion until I shut my eyes.  

TYS: Can you recall your first paid sketch or the most memorable print you've sold thus far?

HN: All my commissions and print sales are important to me. The one commission that stands out the most to me was a custom illustration in which I sketched a girl and her recently deceased mother, as a way to preserve the girls' memory of her.

As for another print Holly hold dear is,"My favorite illustration that I have done thus far is "perfectly Peppy" girl she says, and continues, "She's one of my first and she's also on my logo, so I feel that we have gotten through a lot together."

TYS: How do you manage to stay fresh and creative?

HN: My new prints come from a "feeling" if that makes sense. My mood is influenced by the seasons, and my art is in turn. I also read a lot of books, magazines, and blogs to stay inspired.

TYS: What does 2015 have in store for you, your art, and your business?

Photo Cred: H. Nichols Illustrations' Instagram 

HN: My goal is to put together a tutorial course! I love teaching and a lot of people on social media have expressed interest in learning from me. So, I hope to get something moving on that.


DIY: Angel Wings

January 7, 2015

Victoria Secret/Valentine's Day inspired DIY

Ok. Valentine's Day is the next holiday where it is acceptable to decorate. What is it? A bunch of hearts tied up in red and pink strings. Boring. Why not look to your inner angel (hey, cupid) and craft a pair of heavenly angel wings to tie to the back of a chair?

I went to the dollar store to purchase a pair of child's play fairy wings and a box of ruffled coffee filters. Next, I scored and folded each coffee filter and hot-glued it to the play wings--covering the entire thing. At the end, I added angelic pink ribbon and gems to finish the angelic look.

Angelic Wings 
While I was adorning the wings to my writing desk chair (with pink gingham ribbon) I couldn't help that these little wings reminded me of the wings that the Victoria Secret Angels get to wear as they glide down the runway.

After all,  why should the models get all the glamour? Yes, they are gorgeous, but now I've got my own pair of wings. Happy Valentine's Day Loves.

Victoria Secret replied to my creation via Twitter!

Jasmine Dowling: Blogger & Fashionista

January 5, 2015

Image Courtesy @jasminedowing 

Meet Jasmine Dowling. She is a self-proclaimed "fashion blogger/graphic designer and typographer" as documented on her popular blog, appropriately titled, Jasmine.

With the New Year already well under way, I am still in search of daily inspiration that can be found in everyday creative living--Jasmine's simplistic blogging methods are cool & refreshing as the Mimosas served at New Year's Day brunch. Take a look at The Yellow Spectacle's conversation with the blogger darling to see what makes her so successful at what she does best.

The Yellow Spectacles: Can you tell me what it takes to be a professional blogger?

Jasmine Dowing: I think it takes a strong aesthetic or visual point of view, patience, a slight amount of crazy, huge amount of coffee, no amount of sleep & a whole lot of motivation & determination.

TYS: How did you hit it so big on Instagram? You're at 83k followers!

JD: I think it comes down to two things; I really love documenting everything & I am very particular about what I like. I think the turning point is when you realize your own aesthetic or view point and run with it.

TYS: How has Instagram helped with the success of your blog, Jasmine?  

JD: The Instagram account is why I actually started my blog. I had followers asking if I had one [a blog] or if I was going to start one. So, I thought, 'why the hell not?'.
TYS: Why did you look to blogging?

JD: I have always really loved fashion & it is another reason to play dress-up.
TYS: Personally, what do you think sets your blog apart from others out there?

JD: I think it is refreshing to see someone who always doesn't look like a model wearing clothes that they love. I also have a very particular taste and not swayed by gifted items. I would never wear something that wasn't me or didn't suite my shape.

Jasmine's cool, edgy, yet modern taste just doesn't stem from her personal taste, she recently earned her Bachelor Degree in Visual Communications after studying Multimedia Design in college.  

TYS: Where do you see yourself/your blog in the next 5, 10 years?

JD: I think I would like to expand my studio into something a little larger where I could get more hands-on creating products etc. I also think that blogging would be a huge part of it though.
TYS: Advice for people wanting to do their own thang?

JD: Find your own niche. There is no point in doing something that someone else is already thriving at. You have to find what you love and what makes you stand out--then put it out there--constantly!


Latest Instagrams

© The Yellow Spectacles. Design by FCD.