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As we enter a new year, BREDA’s mission of both creative and self expression is as important as ever. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with illustrator Nicolet Schenck to pick her brain about self-reflection, transitioning into the new year and her thoughts on communicating personal style.

In terms of expression, what ways do you use your personal style to communicate?
As an illustrator, I interpret "personal style" as drawing style. I hope the style of my work communicates a gentle introspection. I like symbolism, my work focuses on the depth of meaning found in the little things. My slice of life drawings attempt to capture a fleeting moment in time to communicate a deeper feeling. There is a grace in the line quality, and a lightheartedness in the color. Now that I think about it, the way I dress is similar. I choose timeless pieces with classic shape, but accent them with statement earrings, bold Nikes (ISPA is my go-to), and blocks of interesting pattern and color.

What have you learned about yourself during this time of self-reflection?
I have learned that I really enjoy quiet. I'm an intentional socializer, I like spending time with those 5 people that mean the world to me. This year, through its hardship and anxiety, I've learned to return to that mindset, and to really dedicate my time to the activities and relationships that truly matter.

What's something you make time for?
I need creative hobbies outside of my illustration and design work. I relish in making nice things without the pressure of knowing the end result. One year I took wheel throwing classes, this year I started beading eyeglass chains, in the past I learned crocheting. Process heavy trades that reveal their final form along the way bring me peace. I'm always working to bring that energy into my drawing process as well, allowing the happy accidents to shine.

How do you take your coffee?
My partner and I were gifted a Nespresso just before lockdown, and we have become dependent on it. With a splash of hazelnut creamer, it's so smooth and tasty. Just enough oomph for me to start my day.

What are your thoughts on resolutions?
I find it funny that a lot of people say "I don't believe in resolutions" and then quickly follow it with "but I'd like to bring this type of energy into the new year". It's like they're trying to rebrand resolutions to a more individual decision than a requirement. Which, I think, is what resolutions have always been about. So, I'm here for them. I take any opportunity to reflect on the past and bring new intention to our future. I love reflection and goal setting, I'm a Virgo!

What feelings does a new year bring for you?
It's different every year. My outlook on the world and myself is ever changing, and that's something that excites me. This year, I felt both sadness and hope. We collectively have been through so much, and we're still in the thick of it. From COVID to police brutality, we have so much work to do. It feels sad to shift into a new year without closure quite yet. But, we are set up for success with vaccinations at the ready and a stacked government, so I welcome 2021 with the hope for meaningful change and the intention to keep on putting in the work to get there.