Visual Goddess Nichole Washington
By DiAna Cosey Walker
I met Nichole on the dance floor about three years ago as her husband, DJ/Producer Nick Neutronz, spun tunes. We never spoke. We just danced into the break of morning. We had no acquaintance of one another, I was just drawn to the energy web of this dynamic living canvas. We connected energetically, and then on Instagram.
The former Brooklynite now resides in her very own secret garden with her husband in Ossining, New York. Nichole Washington introduced herself with a mantra, “Who am I? I am a Libra…I am an Artist…I am Woman…I am a Black Woman. I am a Wife, I am an Artist Creator. When I say creator, I feel more in touch with my humanity.” Her reality as an artist is all around us and we are all a part of creations of the universe. To create is the natural way of the universe, or in her own words “When I say creator, I feel a part of something bigger.”
Since childhood, Nichole was always exploring her creativity, and always found herself sketching, drawing and styling as she got older. But it was only in recent years that she’s owned her artistry, and owning her identity as an artist has been a journey. She had to defeat her own expectations of what she thought she should be, feeling an artist was outside of what she could be. As she rooted more into her art, the realization glowed: “Oh...I am a creator.”
She asked me one random morning to come by her then Greenpoint apartment to shoot in her next series. I was honored and kindly accepted, not knowing this series would eventually end up on the walls of Donna Karan’s art space in the Meatpacking District, Urban Zen. This series was called “Black Girl Magic,” part of the “Her Time is Now” exhibition curated by Mashonda Tifrere. I was one of nine magical women featured, as the “Mystic Ego” of the collection. She spiritually narrated my story as the model.
Nichole’s work is an immaculate conception of photography, paint and digital illustration. Nichole’s series consisted of black and white portraits of various Black Women with energetic brush strokes of geometrics, lines and her signature symbols in high vibration colors. Every dot, triangle, circle, and line all resonated personally with me — as if Nichole was sharing her psychic abilities in her form of visual art.
Her aesthetic interest is design with inspiration to honor the bold and strong feminine energy to uplift women as well as self-exploration. She says, “I’m an extremely emotional person so the bright colors and the bold brush strokes, is like me putting all of my raw energy into my work and a lot of it is high frequency or strong vibration.” Her process of creation is to photograph her subject then she paints the prints. Nichole works in layers, as if the photograph of the subject is the skeleton, the captured essence; infusing the collective energy of the subject with her own to tell a story of the flesh, the meat with details in paint.
Inspirations range from 90’s female hip hop to Basquiat to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to her practice of Qigong. Her work is a force of empowerment of many: self, community, sisterhood, woman, black, and spiritual. Her pieces are titled as powerful affirmations like “Power of We,” “I Consider Her My Blood and It Don’t Come No Thicker,” “Majestic Sis,” “Conjurer” and her most recent “The Choice is Yours.”
Self-care and self-love play an important role in her work that came from growing up in fear of expressing her true inner identity as a creator. The lesson she applies daily to continue to manifest as the inspiring Goddess that she is today: “I would tell my younger self to trust the process. Who you are in this moment is ok and it’s what you’re supposed to be and I love you.”
Nichole Washington’s work has been featured in many exhibitions and workshops throughout New York and her signature crown symbols can be spotted in digital projects for Refinery29 to VH1. Her goal is to continue to manifest her art in various forms. As a multidimensional creator, she wants to move her canvas onto fashion as well. She has already started by printing her work on clothing pieces and expressing them individually with paint.
She hopes her body of work inspires others to see themselves with freedom in their truth. My lesson from Nichole is: Never fear your own creativity, those pressured walls of feelings of entrapment are not your truth. Break them down.
Photo: Corey Daniels