Nicole Labonte is a self taught artist who now calls central Oregon home. She also travels around the U.S and abroad with her partner and two children.
Wherever she goes, she takes her appreciation and love for nature and creates artwork that captures her memories of travel and wonder.
We’re drawn to the grounded feeling Nicole captures in her whimsical drawings. Since all her work begins by hand with pen and paper, Nicole feels this is a way for her to put a piece of who she is into every drawing. The scrawl of her pen, the mood of that moment, translated visually.
Mostly silhouettes filled with fine line details, her work is an expression of the natural connection within all things.
I began my journey in drawing a few years ago while we were living in Costa Rica. My partner and our two children wanted to experience a new country and way of life so it was great place to start our international adventures.
I was used to being able to paint while back in the states when I had all my supplies with me and quickly found that although I was surrounded by such beauty and magic, I still needed a creative outlet. I turned to pen and paper and quickly fell in love with doodling with lines and dots and abstract shapes. I found myself incorporating shapes that I saw around me such as waves crashing, magical seashells. I shared my work with a group of people and discovered that others really enjoyed my designs and was asked by a few business’s to create their own custom logo using my personal style. What an honor it was! I feel so grateful for those people who helped me really get on my way to continuing to trust and grow my approach to drawing.
Custom work has continued to be a large part of how I make a living with my artform. It is a wonderful way to give back and create a positive impact. It really pushes me to continue to advance my techniques and to go beyond my limits of comfort. It pretty magical to begin with some basic ideas that my clients have and then watch how the drawing progresses and how it changes and morphs into something alive and personal to them.
I feel so honored that I have so many wonderful people in my life including my beloved partner and amazingly special daughter and son who have encouraged me to realize that what I do in my artwork really does have the potential to touch people’s hearts and minds. With the gift of my family beside me cheering me on we have created a life of love and magical adventures and freedom.
It’s amazing to me that a simple thing like paper and ink can make people feel something deep and truly personal. Each person can look at one of my drawings and feel something different or relate to it in their own special way and that, to me, is MAGIC!
My process begins with pencil and paper. It is at this stage that I create the basic shape of each design. Then from there I begin thinking about what I would like to see incorporated within that shape.
I have resided in Oregon part time for the last 5 years and I feel like being amongst all the trees and rivers and beautiful black night sky with all the stars and moon shining down on me has really shaped my artwork to point where even if I were to live in the desert for a time , the trees and rivers will forever be etched in my heart and soul. They are a part of me and I want to show them in as many lights as I can! The mountains, the trees, the rushing rivers all sing to be drawn!
I am in awe of how everything in nature flows together and works with each and every form. I feel that if we listen, truly listen and look we can see and feel the connectedness of each thing to another. All of Nature dances together and we are all a part of that beautiful dance and can contribute our own beauty and individual gifts.
Photos courtesy of Wild Slice.