Show us your space: artist Nicki Crock

From light-filled private painting studios to collaborative offices with cityscape views, the varied workspaces of CCAD students and alumni represent the multitude of career paths an art and design school can help forge. Here’s a peek into where several of our students and grads make the magic happen M–F (or, sometimes, 24/7).


nicki crocks workspace

Photo provided by Nicki Crock 

Nicki Crock (@nickicrock) moved a lot in her teens and early 20s. Those experiences—coupled with her fairly recent sense of “semi-settledness” in Columbus—inspires her artwork, which focuses on themes of home, community, and location. (You can see it in two upcoming solo shows she has scheduled in 2019, one in the new ROY G BIV gallery space in Franklinton and another in the Springfield Museum of Art, both in Ohio.)

As an artist, she continues to be on the move, not settling for one particular style of art-making. In addition to her studio practice, she also runs Wayward Adventure Co. (@waywardadventureco), a business where she makes and collaborates with local designers to produce adventure- and travel-themed home goods and accessories. And she works part-time as a project manager for a printing business and runs French Leave Collective, a group that operates mostly as a monthly critique club, where members can bring their artwork to the group and get feedback.

Crock credits the graduate studies program at CCAD with helping develop her artistic voice and studio practice. The members of her cohort became some of her biggest supporters and sources of inspiration, and without the program, she said, she would not be making the type of art she creates now.

We recently spoke with her about where it all comes together.

Can you describe your workspace?

I work in a spare room in my apartment. The luxury of being able to work whenever I want, in pajamas, with zero commute, keeps me from thinking too hard about moving into a separate studio space.

My workspace is a mishmash of surfaces and storage that changes as my needs and art practice evolve. I like having plenty of work surfaces to fill, and all my materials and in-process projects within easy reach, but organized so that I don't feel too cluttered and chaotic.

What kind of work do you do in this space?

My art practice is pretty varied and includes large and small scale sculpture and installations in many mediums such as paper, photography, fiber and found objects. Needless to say my workspace has to serve many functions, and ends up being part studio, part office and part gallery. 

How do you work?

I find I work in waves, or shifts. I can be very productive for a few weeks or months, rotating through multiple projects. And then I'm less productive for a while, during which I try to focus on documenting projects, updating resources, and sending out completed artworkanother reason I prefer to work from home. I know that I can run in and work for a few minutes or hours, or days, whenever I can. And when I need some time away from work, to let things coalesce in the back of my mind, I know it's just a step away, ready for me jump back in when I'm ready.  

What do you love about your space?

I love my window. I am definitely solar-powered. I need the natural light to feel motivated and awake. I also love my plant studio-mates and the artwork of other artists I have on display. I rotate it out, along with displaying my own work, depending on what I am working on and what inspires me and makes me feel good.

And I love that my studio is wholly mine. I can use and abuse the space however I need to and I do not need to answer to anyone about what I make or why when I'm in there. I love having the choice to close my door to the rest of my apartment and close out all distractions, or I can open it up and let it all in.

Learn more about CCAD’s Master of Fine Arts program.

Are you a Columbus College of Art & Design alum making work in an eye-catching, unusual, or otherwise compelling space? We’d love to see it! Fill out the form here for an opportunity to be featured.