Nicole Cohen is an artist and style enthusiast who shares her passion for art, design, fashion — and bad fashion — on her blog Sketch42. Nicole started blogging in 2008 when she found herself with an empty apartment in New York City. Blogging about interior design and her favorite furnishings and art was her way to get inspired to tackle her own space. Today, Nicole is a social media maven who blogs, Tweets, sells her abstract prints and paintings on Etsy and gets inspired by Pinterest and Instagram.
Sketch42 is a personal blog — you post about your art, your love of color, your everyday life and your style influences — how would you describe your passions and how do you stay inspired to blog?
I am not a happy person unless I am creating something, doodling, painting, crafting…I even buy the kiddie craft kits from the art stores so that I can teach myself new crafts (like crocheting, just recently). The blog is an extension of my constant desire to make things. I started it because no one in my real life wanted to hear about my obsessions anymore!
As far as coming up with new blog posts daily, it’s hard. Sometimes I do feel uninspired. I try to blog mostly about things that are uniquely mine or my work, but if I have nothing happening at the moment, I’ll do some pinteresting until I find something that I can work with.
How would you describe the Sketch42/Nicole style?
Ah…My style is a kind of strange hybrid of edgy/masculine/preppy and complete hippie…and that goes for fashion and interiors. I mostly love things that are very crisp, black and white, but with very distinct shapes so that the resulting look is modern and edgy. At the same time that I love black and white everything, I am totally enamored with extreme colors. My paintings are usually either strictly black and white or contain every color I can think of! In my living room, I have a black and white striped chair (that I found on eBay, had to pick up from Port Authority, and refinished and reupholstered) under one of my bright paintings. I think the photo of it (featured in Rue Magazine) is one that completely captures my aesthetic. I just made a 7′ x 7′ black and white striped painting and Im waiting for someone to have the vision (and space) for it.
￼What are your favorite tools for painting?
So you want to know all my secrets, huh? My favorite tools: Unstretched canvas lets me create the massive paintings that I love. They are so much more fun than small ones! Some of my other tools: enamel paint stays really glossy, roller brushes, sponges, hoses, Rit Dye. When all else fails, a good hose down will usually take any painting to the next level.
What are your favorite tools for blogging?
A camera! Never leave home without one. I just broke my trusty G11, so I’m on the lookout for a new one. Some other great tools for blogging are Pinterest and Evernote…Erica of Design Blahg and I gave a presentation on our best blogging tools last December at the Lavish Conference, its kind of lengthy so you can check out the post here: LAVISH: Our blogging tricks and tips!
One of the exciting things about blogging is getting reader feedback in the form of comments and email — do you have a favorite example of some of the feedback you receive?
The best thing ever is when readers tell me that I influence them, and when they show me how! I just had a reader tweet me a photo of her kitchen! She painted all her doors black after seeing black doors in my home, and she bought the same kitchen pendants that I did! Others tell me about how I inspire their own DIY’s and thats awesome. I LOVE to see their photos!
What are your favorite sources of inspiration?
Bloggers: There are so many blogs I love. My favorite and My Best, Visual Vamp, Maison 21, Design Blahg, The Decorista, Little Green Notebook, Coco+Kelley, The Man Repeller…I could go on and on…They each have their own voice, and very distinct ones at that. I learn something from all of them every day. Of course, by now I know all these bloggers in person, and let me tell you — they are even more awesome in real life!
Artists: I’m currently crushing on Helen Frankenthaller and Robert Motherwell. They were married for a while and if I were to be the best artist I could be my art would be like their art’s child. Colorful colorblocking meets black and white…but in my dreams. I’m not that good.
Dream Project: What project have you wanted to do but continue to put off?
I’m totally dying to design a beach house. Of course, I need to buy one first. But here is my dream: Gray and white striped floors. I originally thought I would do black and white striped floors like at The Mark, running the length of the house, which would all be one big room. Then I decided I would do a gray and white honed look after seeing this restaurant in Mexico. It’s softer for the beach. And all the walls would be white and the furniture would all be wood and soft brown leather. My dream house!
You can see updates from Nicole on Sketch42.