Our Artists 2017-10-05T19:26:19+00:00

OUR ARTISTS

If it wasn’t for our founder Jullianna’s discovery that her late mother had left her a treasure trove of original artwork, NoMiNoU would not exist today. Art was the catalyst that led Jullianna to create the clothing line she now calls NoMiNoU, and art remains at the forefront of our minds whenever we’re creating a new collection.

With a passion for art and design deeply embedded in our brand’s DNA, NoMiNoU has established the Global Artists Initiative to facilitate collaborations with a variety of international artists. Using work created by these artists, the NoMiNoU team will translate and adapt their art into our own in-house designs. Our goal is to highlight and celebrate different cultures from around the globe while supporting emerging artists by providing exposure and appropriate financial compensation. At a time when the world seems to be deeply divided, we undertake this initiative with the intent to unite people through art and encourage acceptance of other cultures by celebrating our individual differences.

If you are an artist and are interested in working with us, please contact us at info@nomidesigns.ca.

ERIC PARNELL

Eric Parnell has been active as an artist since 2002, yet his artistic heritage as a member of the Eagle clan of British Columbia’s Haida Nation goes back many centuries. He has worked at many jobs over his life, but making simple sketches (“doodling”, as he calls it) was always a pleasure for him. His partner, also very artistic, began to notice his talent and encouraged him to devote more time to his drawings and to show them to the public. He took her advice.

Eric describes himself as “self-taught,” saying that “books were my teachers”. He studied the traditional Haida art forms in books on this subject, learning the formal descriptions of the shapes and subjects of paintings and carvings, and adapting and creating his own distinctive paintings within this tradition. He also began to share with other artists, absorbing their examples and suggestions, but always following his own inner vision of what he wanted to portray. Eric specializes in limited edition prints, though originals can be acquired. He also applies his impressive talent to drums, garments, table tops and ceremonial attire.

PHIL VAILLANCOURT

For the past several years, Canadian artist Phil Vaillancourt has dedicated himself to the study of Polynesian culture. He has spent a great deal of time learning the differing artistic styles that originate from the Marquesan Islands, Samoa, Hawai’i, Tahiti and the Maori people of New Zealand. Determined to find out everything he could about this incredible culture, he connected directly with Polynesian people in order to thoroughly educate himself about their customs and beliefs.

As a surfer, the ocean has had a major impact in Phil’s life: it influenced his artistic direction, and he says it changed him as a human being. With the roots of surfing originating in Hawai’i, Phil’s connection to Polynesian culture is a personal and spiritual one. Influenced by Polynesia’s artistic traditions, his own designs are born out of his admiration for the beauty of this art form, and are created with deep respect and reverence.

Each symbol and motif in traditional Polynesian tattoo designs possess meaning and tell a story. Tattooing itself is an ancient form of identification and community that has existed in Polynesia for centuries. In his collaboration with NoMiNoU, Phil sought to merge the worlds of Polynesian tattooing and clothing, with the intention to add diverse beauty to what people wear. It is a great honour for him to be able to share with others what has been shared with him.

LORETTA GOULD

Born and raised in Cape Breton, Loretta was raised on a reservation and is a member of the Waycobah First Nation. She has spent her whole life creating with fabric, photos and acrylics. Loretta is self-taught and has been exhibiting her work ever since she first started making art. Her artwork is spiritual in nature, with bright beautiful colors.

Loretta’s dream is to share her art around the world. She is well on her way to achieving this, as she has already sold some of her creations in Finland and Germany. She views art as a way to get her spiritual feelings on canvas, and is currently working on a book with the stories that accompany each of her paintings.

Loretta still resides in Cape Breton, along with her husband Elliot Gould and their children: Dakota Jay, Shianne Snow, Savannah Sipu, Phoenix Lee, Ivy Blue and Montanna Sky. Loretta is in the middle of writing two books for children that will teach her native tongue.

MARK GAUTI

Mark is a Coast Salish Artist from the T’Sou-ke First Nation. He works in a wide array of mediums including paint, acid-etched glass, wooden carvings, paddles and drums in addition to photography, fashion design, tattoos and various applications of digital art. His art and inspiration range from very traditional Coast Salish art and colour palettes, to more contemporary designs with vibrant colours and themes that push edges and create a truly 21st century aesthetic.

For the past 15 years, Mark has been very involved in Coast Salish Culture, participating in drumming, language programs, Tribal canoe journeys, as well as researching traditional art and storytelling. Traditional First Nation’s art and storytelling was the original form of environmental education and Mark has worked for years at this cross road of culture, story, art and education. Mark’s social marketing and adult education programs have been celebrated by First Nation governments, the Province of BC, BC Hydro, Royal BC Museum and others. The work he pioneered at T’Sou-ke has inspired other First Nations to build similar programs that integrate, art, culture and environmental education.

Mark believes that art should be shared and has created many projects that teach youth and First Nations people about Coast Salish art and traditions of good land management. Mark connects people to the natural environment and culture using photography and digit hybrid pieces that create a mystical union between nature and culture and across time.

LEROY WIKS (JOSEPH)

Kwakiutl Carving is one of LeRoy’s talents taught to him as a young man by his Uncle Leonard Joseph, LeRoy’s mentor. LeRoy’s many creations include: traditional wood carved masks, plaques, totem poles, rattles, baby cradles, paddles, and painted traditional Kwakiutl designs. LeRoy roots originate from Turner Island and Village Island, on the northwest coast on Vancouver Island.

LeRoy’s bloodline flows through the Wadhams, Whonnock’s, Joseph’s, Bruce, etc… LeRoy comes from a long line of talented carvers and traditional people, one being his grandmother Christine “Wata” Joseph; a traditional medicine woman on Vancouver island. In 2016 LeRoy expanded his artistic abilities from wood carving to copper, silver and gold carved jewelry. LeRoy gives special thanks to his cousin Dave Bruce for being a role model and a great mentor to him during his growing process as an indigenous artist.

LeRoy is a proud member of the Tlowitis\Mumtagila nation. LeRoy wasn’t raised around his culture nor does he speak his Kwakwaka’wakw tongue fluently; he doesn’t let that become a barrier of limitations to learn about who he is as an indigenous man and where he comes from. LeRoy is grateful for the knowledge, guidance and all the opportunity given to him by his mentors, family and friends.

SHABEENA HELSLEY

Shabeena’s passion lies in sharing her artistic work with others. She believes that the beauty, colors and the rich language of art have the power to inspire, connect, heal and unite us. “When you act with courage and dedication”, she says, “then the path appears”. Shabeena’s goal for her art is to help others find their courage and inspiration to take that daunting leap to pursue their own dreams.

In her collaboration with NoMiNoU, Shabeena has created a design that includes the sacred symbol OM, which represents all of consciousness, and the word “shanti”, which means “peace”. Thus, the Sanskrit phrase “OM shanti shanti shanti” evokes personal, civic and cosmic peace, an enlightened state of being where you submit your desire to control and judge, simply going with the flow instead.