Scottish artist, Lola Nicols is set to unveil her brand new collection, “Swinging With The Old Stars” at a very special exhibition this afternoon at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.

I spoke exclusively to Lola ahead of the event about music and art . . .

When did you realise that you had a flair for Art?

I studied art at school. I knew I wanted to do something with it but wasn’t quite sure what so I just enjoyed it as a hobby for a few years. Until last summer I hadn’t really done anything for about 6 years, I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed it!

What encouraged you to paint?

I worked in offices for years and no one really knew I could paint until I moved away. I didn’t think it was ever an option to do this full time, but I’m so happy to be in the position I am now. The feedback from friends initially was enough to make me want to produce more pieces, then when I started getting interest from people I admire (The View, Lana Del Rey, etc) I knew I didn’t want to end up in another office. Where I live at the moment, there isn’t a lot of job opportunities and business gateway were very keen to start me on my way. Its so encouraging to have people behind me pushing me to apply myself and make a successful career out of this.

What do you take inspiration from? 

Everything! Music, my friends, beautiful people, interesting faces. I’m inspired by the number of talented people I have come across in the last few years, its so encouraging to see young people building their own careers and working for themselves successfully.

Music is clearly an important part of your life, what (if anything) do you listen to while you paint/work?

I listen to a lot of music while I’m working. Fleetwood Mac usually wins but more recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Jake Bugg and The Coral.

Do you opt to paint only artists you admire or is it your idea of an “icon”?

I work on a lot of people I admire, a lot of them are commissioned pieces but as of yet no one has requested anything I wouldn’t be happy to paint or hang on my own wall. I’m very lucky in that sense. Sometimes I’m drawn to an artists’ background, their life and history and sometimes I am completely drawn to their facial structure or expression.

Lana Del Rey is a big fan and you got the opportunity to present her with a print in Glasgow. Did she give you any advice/encouragement?

It was a year ago this week that I met Lana. She was extremely positive and of course drop dead gorgeous!   I don’t remember anything in particular but she did ask that I let her know when I eventually have my first exhibition – safe to say an invitation has been sent, I couldn’t have not!

What does this exhibition at King Tuts mean to you?

Everything! I’ve been working for the last year to pull something together and as most people have only seen photos of my work, it means so much to have the opportunity to put the collection on show for the first time. I’m SUPER nervous but really excited!

Scottish artists (Kassidy/The Imagineers) are fans of your work, would you ever consider doing a Scottish specific collection?

I wouldn’t rule anything out and I’m so grateful to these guys for helping share my work. I’ve had interest from Europe and America in regards to commissioned work, it’s hard to believe that people all over Scotland have shown an interest so it’s a dream to have interest from outside of the UK too.

What are you aiming to do next?

I’m planning on having a VERY busy festive period! I have a lot of commissions lined up for Christmas so I’m straight back to work when I get home from Glasgow. I would love to sell some work up north so have plans to work on a small collection of pieces inspired by my surroundings in the croft/by the beach. Something a little bit different. I don’t doubt I’ll be working on another collection of famous faces soon. I would also like to do a few more band pieces, I’ve been working on EP/Single artwork for Edinburgh based-band, The Merrylees.

Lola Nicols’ “Swinging With The Old Stars” is at King Tut’s TODAY between 2pm-6pm.