Artist Nikki paints a good picture of help

Artist Nikki Monaghan from Bo'ness
Artist Nikki Monaghan from Bo'ness

Nikkie Monaghan believes art should be affordable and accessible which is why she is grateful for the support in setting up her new website.

The Bo’ness artist now has a platform for the homeware products, including mugs and coasters, along with her gallery of paintings.

Since the website was unveiled in June, orders from her existing UK stockists have increased, as well as orders from around the globe – from Saudi Arabia to America. She has also secured shelf space in The Helix Visitor Centre in Falkirk.

Nikki received the support of Business Gateway Falkirk when she applied for a digital voucher grant.

She said: “Last autumn I tested the water with a few interior products to complement my prints, and the mugs, coasters and cushions sold out within a few months.

“Because of the textiles success I knew I wanted to expand the range and would need more than just Facebook to display it, but my website at the time was horrendous.

“A friend recommended I go to Business Gateway and the support I was given was outstanding.

“Having the new site has really ramped up interest in what I do. People who have seen my work at craft fairs over the summer and during the Edinburgh Festival have come online and bought product with many also commissioning original artwork. Without the website I wouldn’t have secured those orders. It really has given me a platform to shout about my work on a global scale.”

Originally from Polmont, Nikki attended St Mungo’s High School before going to Falkirk College to study art and design. She then studied at the Scottish College for Textiles in the Border before becoming an interior stylist, a job that took her all over the UK.

However, the birth of son Oli, now ten, was a turning point and she decided to concentrate on her artwork.

Nikki said: “Until then I had been painting and exhibiting my work but it was really for pocket money. I threw myself into my work and did quite a lot with Artlink Central and also Michelle Mathieson at Red Leaf Studio in Bo’ness.

Having moved to Bo’ness six years with partner Bruce Young, Nikki juggles being an artist and mum to Oli, who is a rising star at Forth Valley Football Academy, and daughter Ella (2).

Her artist’s studio is a boxroom in the family home, where she admits that you often have to step over Ella’s Peppa Pig, to view her work!

Her work is often inspired by memories of places she has been but can also be if she sees someone in a brightly coloured coat.

Nikki added: “I don’t tend to take out a sketch pad because then I would just be copying what I see, but more I take the idea back and translate it into my abstract work. I have a narrative feel about things.

“I love colour and can be inspired by what someone is wearing. People seem to like how I combine colours and the way I translate our everyday world onto print, and buyers from overseas – particularly Americans – love my stags!

“Art shouldn’t be pigeon-holed as something that people can’t understand or afford. It should be affordable and accessible and I hope that’s what people find my work is.”