Bizwatch: Vail-Based Artist Takes Private Commissions
Company Name : Nicole Linkowski, creative artist
Location: Lionshead Square, Vail (a private residence where I also paint)
Opening date : 2017
Owner: Nicole Linkowski
What goods or services do you provide? One-of-a-kind artwork featuring celebrity, pet and family portraits, landscapes, wildlife and most recently a “family tree” ski mountain mural on a wall of 9 ‘x15’ in a private family residence in Vail.
What’s new or exciting about you? The completion of the “family tree” ski mountain mural that pays tribute to two families and 72 members, all of whom have a dedicated ski run specifically named after them.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competitors? I reproduce photos and then create objects and images that do not exist anywhere in the world but on my canvas and in my creative imagination. My visually appealing compositions include various color schemes that create perspective and enhance dimension. If I can see it, I can paint it, down to the smallest detail.
My artwork celebrates and keeps clients’ personal memories alive through striking artistic images, expressive colors, visual and physical textures, and whimsy.
What philosophy do you follow in your relations with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? I create inspiring works of art that celebrate and keep personal memories alive through striking artistic images, expressive colors, visual and physical textures, and whimsy.
My unique pieces create an emotional and visual connection for each client. I work closely with each client to understand their vision and results, then I get to work. I strive to exceed expectations.
Tell us a bit about your background, training and experience: Born in Sacramento, California, I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I started painting when I was 10 and got my first commission, a portrait of Bruce Springsteen, for a private client. This led to another commission to create a portrait of Jerry Garcia in 2018.
Many more commissions followed, including landscapes and family and pet portraits, and my first wildlife series in 2021. The “family tree” ski mountain mural was unveiled earlier this year, along with a portrait of Lady Gaga for another client.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Regis University and have lived in Colorado since 2017. I currently split my time between Vail and Morrison.
What’s the funniest thing to happen to your business since you opened? In November 2020, I was finishing up some vacation plans with my parents in Pittsburgh. My sister was in town, and she brought her new dog, Rosie.
I spent hours fine-tuning the projects in my makeshift traveling studio (luckily I still have plenty of art supplies at their house). At the end of a day’s work, the cold and ugliness of Pittsburgh in November kept us indoors for a pleasant evening. I had convinced my sister to paint with me while we enjoyed a few glasses of wine. I was thrilled because my sister doesn’t believe in her creative abilities and generally avoids brushes.
I told him not to put so much pressure on the outcome and just enjoy using the different colors, being creative with the materials. She mixed a whole series of colors on her palette before running to fill her glass. She set the pallet aside and headed for the door. Rosie, who always needs to be by her side, rushed after her, crossing my sister’s pallet. With bright blue paint on her paws, we chased Rosie around the room, preventing her from escaping into the living room, where my mom had just installed brand new carpeting after nearly 20 years. White carpet, that is. After hearing the commotion, my dad came over to help us argue with Rosie as she left blue paw prints all over the room, furniture and carpet. Finally, we were able to join her and clean her little cerulean blue paws.
We spent a lot of time cleaning up the mess, hoping my mom’s head wouldn’t explode after yet another painting disaster in my childhood bedroom. The lesson here is to not let your paints get in the way of little paws!