A Sketch Above the Rest: Holly Nichols

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.


1 comment

  1. very cool work! handmade cards are always better than the mass-made ones in the big box stores. nicely done!