Tag Archives: hand drawn type

>> sketchbook glimpse part 2

My newest sketchbook is a mixed media hardbound book with thick pages perfect for laying down watercolor. Here is a glimpse into the first pages, which I always find very intimidating… so empty yet filled with endless ideas. In order to break an old habit, I forced myself not to leave the first page blank… Image

… the second page I simply laid down fields of watercolor and then drew marks and patterns on top with ink as well as white gouache. So far this new sketchbook is a fun experiment of trying new things and working outside of my normal creation process.


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>> a new year!

Happiest of New Years dear friends! 2013 was a pretty spectacular year and I’m hoping, wishing, dreaming and striving to make 2014 just as fantastical. A turn of the new year is often a time of reflection, resolutions, and goal setting. This very time last year I made a list of things to accomplish. Simple things to keep in mind each day. I would often refer to it in a mundane moment and feel inspired. On the left I wrote things I wanted to do, on the right- how I would go about achieving those things. 2014 is no different except some of the to-do’s have evolved. One of my favorites is to create more and share often. 


Here’s to 2014, 12 months full of potential! 



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>> goal #8

Nearly a month ago I celebrated my 27th birthday & decided to compile a “Things To Do/Accomplish While 27” list.  I love to write down lists as it helps me to visualize my goals and allows me to reference them as a happy reminder whenever I need to. Most of the goals are personal in the sense that I simply want to become more aware and actively pursue them in my day to day life. Goal #8 is to draw from life more often. I tend to, especially with my map series, search for reference photos because it’s quick and  easy to do while I’m researching. Though I will still work this way, I’ve begun a sketchbook that will solely be observational drawings. It forces me to unplug (another one of my goals!) and to carve time out to really observe, as well as improve my drawing skills. I bought a new fine-tipped ink pen and got started! Inspired by a sweet package of seashells all collected from the Gulf of Mexico- I thought they would be the perfect subject matter to study first. Here is a glimpse at the first two pages (with a little addition of watercolor!!!)!

Hello Niccoco Seashell studyHello Niccoco Seashell Study2

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>> a whirlwind

Have three months nearly passed since my last post?? Well, its been a bit of a whirlwind of all good things since then!! In brief, Matt and I spent 10 days traveling the oh so beautiful state of California in May and once we landed I started a shiny new job as an admissions counselor at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design!!! Phew! Sounds quite seamless when condensed down into one sentence… but looking back it was a moment of crazy filled excitement with little time to do much else but breathe.

Because we went on such an epic adventure, flying into San Diego and driving northward to San Francisco visiting friends and family… I’ve decided to share just a few (out of the 1,500) pictures we took! The trip was filled with such visual inspiration its hard to believe its over and gone… that we left a month and a half ago. Its just sinking in.

our first view of the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla

our first view of the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla

On the edge of the USA on Highway 1

On the edge of the USA on Highway 1

Woke up in Cambria to explore the tidal pools

Woke up in Cambria to explore the tidal pools

Felt so tiny while walking among the Redwoods

Felt so tiny while walking among the Redwoods

can not wait to come back and visit again!

can not wait to come back and visit again!

Truly, it was a trip of a lifetime and we have open invitations to visit again! Next time, we plan to explore the National Parks- there is just so much to squeeze in we may have to go for a month!

Since starting at PCA&D last month, a routine is just now forming for me to find the time and desire to work on my personal projects. I’ve just completed illustrated state number 33 and I’ve already begun number 34! Plus I’m willing myself to doodle each day with the instagram doodle-a-day challenge.

a peek at my bulletin board

a peek at my bulletin board

The past three months have been filled with change, growth and learning and I can not wait to see where this new path takes me. I’m most excited about the people I’ll meet as an admissions counselor- students, parents, peers and instructors and discover where their path has been/is going!

I’ll still be sharing snippets of my work, inspirations and doodles amongst the new routine of my daily life!

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>> finished!

It’s a miracle. For the first time I think in the history of ever, I finished a sketchbook. Not only that, but in the process of completing said sketchbook, none of the pages were ripped out and immediately trashed!! Truly amazing if you ask me. I’ve had this horrible habit of disliking a drawing so bad I would risk ruining my bound sketchbook by tearing the paper out for fear of constantly being reminded of my embarrassing doodle. So silly, huh?

a peek into a "never been seen before" page

a peek into a “never been seen before” page

Even though each page isn’t a masterpiece, or even the beginning of something remotely interesting, I feel quite accomplished. Weeks ago I knew this moment would soon be approaching so I went ahead and purchased 2 more Moleskine’s to fill up. Each blank spread appears as an opportunity to draw whimsical notions that pop into my head, its an amazing feeling.

colorful new moleskine's

colorful new moleskine’s

Here’s to embracing quirky drawings and loving them even if they are never shown to another set of eyes!

first page in the sunny yellow sketchbook

first page in the sunny yellow sketchbook

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>> a longwood afternoon



Longwood Gardens may be one of my favorite places here in south eastern Pennsylvania, I never tire of visiting (and we go fairly frequently)! Matt and I have been members the past few years because its an ever changing landscape of inspiration. Truly.

We spent just a few hours a couple of weeks ago to soak in the new Orchid exhibit with our sketchbooks in tow. It’s kind of amazing to break out of my drawing routine… I rarely set aside time to draw from life! It’s an exciting challenge for me since I just don’t work that way anymore… Of course I use photo reference to help and inspire, but to closely examine your subject and know every detail helps to slow moments down. You begin to notice every fold and know exactly how many petals are on the flower because you are recording it.



Throughout the afternoon I filled four pages in my sketchbook and snapped a ton of photos that I may use as inspiration later. You may have seen snippets on Instagram… but here are a couple more of my favorites!



If you can believe it, our next trip to Longwood is already planned… I can’t wait to bring my trusty ink pen and sketchbook to doodle even more botanical goodness!!

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>> new designs

In between the project of designing all 50 states (I’m currently on number 21 now- Colorado!!) I have had this need to create something else, something completely inspirational. Adventure is brewing deep inside me and I can hardly wait for warmer temperatures, sunny days turned into sunny evenings… so, I turned to some favorite naturalist quotes and decided to illustrate them!

The first that sparked my desire is John Muir’s quote “The mountains are calling and I must go”.  It might be my favorite of the newest designs because it was the first or because its overlapping with bright bold colors or… the connection to the words, to be surrounded by something larger than life.



“The bluebird carries the sky on his back”… I found this quote to be so sweet. For the longest time I thought if I could be any creature in the world for just one day, I would choose a bird. The sights they must see…  just priceless.


The third quote is absolutely a popular one, with good reason! “All good things are wild and free”, so simple and oh so true.

Each of these nature filled designs are listed as 8×10 prints in the hello niccoco Etsy shop! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and feel inspired to make your own adventure!

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>> wedding collab part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of the Matt and Nicole wedding gift collaboration!!

We chose to create the piece on a nice sheet of bristol paper- it was more fitting for the couple and the quote we decided on. Can I just say how much I love the irony in the gift/quote. The bride and groom literally have been together forever, and have such a sense of humor that we knew this was perfect (I kind of want to make a print for ourselves, is that bad?!).

Like the previous collaboration, Matt designed the type layout and I created the decorative border of frames. As I was inking inside the frames, I was inspired by our very own home decor and included things we have on our walls- like maps and our initials… can you tell we had such a blast designing these gifts?

Really can’t wait until we work together again- maybe this time it’ll be for us to keep!!



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>> hello iowa

I must admit, I’ve been wanting to first illustrate all the states that are near and dear to my heart… you know, all those ones with favorite vacation memories and the ones on the top of the must travel to list. But, there’s something thrilling about learning all about those other states. The ones where I really only know their location, capitol, and abbreviation- embarrassing but true!
So I chose Iowa, partially because I’m connected to the state (selling prints at the fabulous shop Domestica which is located in Des Moines), and because I knew very little about it! See the cowboy hat, thats where John Wayne was born, an amazing fact I did not know!

The Hawkeye State

For me this whole process isn’t just about creating, but learning as I move forward in this self driven project. I truly hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.
I already shared a peek of the next state I’m currently working on instagram…

it’s Virginia!

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>> wedding collab part 1

Happy Monday!!

I can hardly contain my excitement for what I’m about to share! The past 2 weekends Matt and I have attended weddings, and decided for each of them to give a more personal gift. We combined our super talents of being creative and worked together for the first time EVER on a finished piece of art. In our 5+ years of being together, this is truly the first collaboration of Matt and Nicole. Its amazing that you can see both of us and our styles melding together.

Ok, on with the snapshot!

Matt discovered the quote and found it quite fitting for the future husband and wife. And yes, that is a slab of wood! How perfect for the quote (which in case you haven’t figured it out, Matt designed) and the surrounding imagery done by myself! We were able to draw right on the wood, with no ink bleed or smearing.

We fell so in love with how it turned out, we almost didn’t want to give it away!! However… we are completely thrilled that the happy couple gets to enjoy/hang it in their new home together.

And here’s a peek at the gift wrapped up in the most lovely Rifle Co paper that I  got from Mommalicious!!

all wrapped up

Did you notice this is wedding collab part 1? Collab part 2 will be shared next week, so stay tuned!!

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