Nicole K. Docimo is an artist and illustrator living and working in Davis, California but born in CT, very near to New York.
Even though she hasn’t had the chance to live and grow in the City, there she has some strong connections both related to her art and to her family. She compares making art to “riding a bike fast, down hills, wind blowing in her hair.” So I can’t help but picture her while she rides her blue bike along the Hudson river, with her tote loaded with groceries and food from that amazing Italian food shop she scooped in the Bronx (check her answer to question # 6).
:: Why and when did you started Blue Bicicletta? I started my creative art business, Blue Bicicletta, quite by accident about two and a half years ago. I had just started making more visual art after a sabbatical during college, and I had begun to see a lot of artists blogging about their work. So, I started my blog Blue Bicicletta as a fun way to motivate myself to make more art and get my art out into the world. After blogging for the better part of a year, I had gotten some interest in my work, so I decided to start up my online shop on Etsy.com, which was the true beginning to my art as a business.
:: Where do you get your inspiration from? My inspiration comes from all around. If I’ve learned one thing over the past couple of years, it’s that art leads to more art: the more you make, the more ideas and inspiration you get. I get a lot of my ideas while walking or biking around my hometown, Davis, California. I’m inspired by many things: nature, food, words, language, simple shapes, everyday life, and the list goes on.
:: Who is your ideal buyer? I wouldn’t say I really have an ideal buyer. Truth is that my main goal with my art is to inspire other people to see things in a new way and to appreciate life, whether or not they buy my work. I like to connect with people from all different places and situations. I like to make people laugh and think. I love to sell art, because it gives me the support I need to keep on creating, but I also get a big kick from anyone, anywhere making a connection with my drawings and, feeling just a little shift in her or his brain.
:: What is your favorite NYC place? I was born in Stamford, Connecticut, not so far from where my Italian father’s family has lived since they came over from Italy about 60 years ago, but when I was 11, my immediate family moved west, and I have lived in the western U.S. (Colorado and California) ever since. I have family in the NYC area and luckily enough, I have gotten to visit once in a while. On my most recent visit to New York -last summer- I found a hidden gem of a museum: The American Folk Art Museum. I love folk art because it’s so unpretentious: it is about people making art, plain and simple. The museum was a little trip into the beauty of making art for the love of it.
:: Do you think New York can still considered the place-to-be for young creatives? Honestly, I’ve never really believed that there is a certain physical location that is the place-to-be for creative people. I think that being creative is about making the time and space in your life to do your art, whatever it may be. Perhaps for certain types of art (acting, for example), being in New York would definitely give you more creative opportunities than say, being in the middle of Utah. But for my type of art, all I need is pen and paper and a wide slice of imagination, and that can be found anywhere. As for selling the art, the internet helps greatly in making it possible to live anywhere, but I’ve also found a great audience just locally—even in my small city.
:: Where do you shop in NYC? I’m actually not much of a shopper, unless you’re talking about food. I love to cook and eat, especially Italian food, and for that, I love to shop on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. My cousins took me there last year, and I was literally drooling over the prospects. I had never seen such an amazing place outside of Italy that has everything I want to eat in such a concentrated area. If I could take Arthur Avenue and transplant it a few blocks from my house in California, I would.
:: If I say Italy, you say…? Love. I love so many things about Italy: lifestyle, food, the vast difference in regions, the coast, the mountains, the language. I’ve had the great fortune to travel to different parts of Italy, including to Rose, Calabria, the small village where my dad was born. I also have gotten to live in Italy for months at a time: first with my family when I was ten, and later while studying abroad in college. I loved getting into the rhythm of living there, speaking the language, people-watching, going to markets, walking up and down the city streets eating gelato.