Nicola Higgins – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I'm an artist.

Why do you do it?
After being in the fashion industry for over a decade I needed a change. I had been drawing and painting my whole life but never had the guts to give it a proper go. I never imagined how much I would just love it, I've become obsessed. Creative satisfaction is like the best, natural high. I forget any worries when I'm painting, I'm just fully absorbed and content. And things like Instagram and Facebook are great because you get a lot of instant encouragement.

What do you love about the city you live in?
Sydney's warm weather, Bondi beach life, good coffee and amazing restaurants, and finding secluded beaches hidden behind the eastern-suburb mansions.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
Paris and Ibiza with friends (without husband or kids!). Needless to say I really let my hair down haha.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
Miranda Skoczek is one of my favourite artists, so I when I heard she had helped design a printed range for Gorman I ran in and bought a few of the beautiful pieces. Pretty excited that I can now wear her. I also love my vintage-linen apron that I bought in a French flea market – I paint in it so it's smeared in a thousand different colours.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
'Neighbours' for years; I watched Kylie and Jason get married! Oh and 'Young Talent Time' circa Danni Minogue.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
Roaring Twenties Gatsby style.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
To be perfectly honest I would probably be feeling lazy and might just pop down to a posh take-away store and get something ready made – I might even put it in a dish in the oven and serve it like I'd made it! The emphasis would be on the pre-dinner cocktails! I'd rather be painting or playing with my kids than cooking.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
DON'T eat hardly anything all day and then start drinking in the afternoon and then forget to eat dinner but keep drinking, because you'll wind up with your head in a toilet bowl by 8pm. I've had to re-learn this every few years.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I secretly add a touch of Ribena to not-so-nice red wine. And I can't brush my teeth at night without simultaneously trawling through Instagram.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
Well painting is my fun, it doesn't feel like work, so I've got a pretty good thing going on. The balance is not the problem, it's finding the time to fit it all in.

How do you define success?
Success is a state of mind, it's not an accumulation of wealth or status. Success is the feeling you have when you are happy with what you have achieved. True happiness is a sign that you have succeeded in life!

What's your spirit animal?
First thing in the morning it would be a sloth. After my morning coffee it's a monkey. A couple of hours after that I probably turn into a cat who is happy to roam alone but come home for cuddles at the end of the day.


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