I can’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t creating. 

I spent many childhood afternoons combating only-child boredom by scrawling poetry and drawings on the inside of my closet door where my mom couldn’t see my own private ‘art gallery’. When I was nine, I DIYed my first ‘business cards’ with Mr. Sketch scented markers and Mrs. Grossman’s stickers for my first ‘business’: a handmade stationary shop housed in a refashioned refrigerator box in my front yard. In fifth grade I snuck into the teacher’s lounge to self-publish my first short story on the mimeograph machine. In high school my love of making continued when I almost got getting kicked out of my Catholic girls’ high school for submitting nude sketches for the student art show. A post-undergrad summer spent on the Venice Beach boardwalk hawking my paintings to tourists led to nearly a decade designing prints and imagery for my clothing line in my twenties. Creating has been not only been present but been a driving factor in everything I’ve done.

While I juggled running my clothing line, teaching art and crafts to hundreds of children and adults in my own brick and mortar workshop space and other schools, and getting a master's degree in English, I co-founded Patchwork Show: Modern Makers Festival

Now, I’m still co-producing Patchwork Show (and illustrating posters for the events), Craftcation: Business + Makers Conference as well as our Dear Handmade Life blog and creating design and illustration work at Nicole Stevenson Studio.

Working with clients on editorial work, branding, commercial illustrations or custom invitations or portraits allows me to experience and interpret the world through my client’s eyes and reimagine it in my own style. My personal work like exploring my life through working in my sketchbook helps me connect to the world around me and imprint my experience and story on the page through drawing, painting, mixed media collage and printing.

Head over to my shop for custom illustrated people or pet portraits, watercolor portraitswatercolor or illustrated house portraits and invitations or view my portfolio to see more.

When I’m not working, you may find me breaking up scuffles between my dog and two chickens, couch crafting while watching a film I’ve seen too many times to count, playing guitar with my husband, sitting in my backyard with good friends and a margarita while playing Cards Against Humanity or squeezing in time for a quick trip to a lovely place where people are scarce and trees are not.

-Nicole Stevenson


"The first time I saw Nicole's art, I was blown away. Right away I started scheming on ways I could hire her and use her work to represent me and my personal brand. She quick, creative, talented and professional. Her natural ability to translate a photograph or idea into an amazing illustration knocks my socks off every time. I am constantly trying to think of things I 'need' her to draw. Hire her right now for a fresh perspective on your personal world."  -Kari Chapin

"Nicole is always a pleasure to work with. I love it that she can quickly draft a handful of ideas, then build on the one we like best. She's very professional, quick to respond, and never misses a deadline." - Kristin Link: Sew Mama Sew + Craft Industry Alliance

"We hired Nicole to create illustrations for our website because we love her handmade style. She designed our logo and has created over a dozen illustrations for us to date and we couldn’t be happier. Her illustrations are distinctive and thoughtful. Nicole is easy to work with. She listens to our ideas and comes up with great ideas of her own as well. She always delivers the files on time. We highly recommend her and hope to continue working with her for years to come." -Abby Glassenberg: While She Naps + Craft Industry Alliance

"Before I opened the doors to my art gallery, I hired Nicole to brand the business.  She first designed my logo, which quickly turned into a beloved neon sign. She secondly used my logo to create business cards that I’m still using and always proud to pass along.  Now that the gallery has been open for over two years I continue to work with her.  She currently designs my print ads, postcards, invitations and media banners. When you want to work closely with her on a concept she’s a great partner and when you don’t have time, she delivers on her own. Also, for a beginning small business, not only are her creative abilities vast and fresh, she’s also affordable." -Paige Wery: The Good Luck Gallery

"What makes Nicole's work so special is her ability to capture the subject's personality while at the same time adding her own unique, colorful perspective. Her color palette is so unexpected and vibrant too! The illustration she did of my sweet dog, Stella captures her spirit so perfectly. I absolutely fell in love with the mustard and pink colors juxtaposed against my Pitbull's brindle coat. It was nothing I ever would have chosen, but I fell in love with it immediately. It's perfect. And that's why Nicole's work is so unique; she brings out the beauty in her subjects that we all see and really takes her time to make them shine even more." -Meighan O'Toole