Utah based Nicole Parish is an autistic artist with an intense love for insects. Her fascination with the natural world started as a small child, with much of her time spent outdoors playing in the dirt and looking for insects. Her mother would read A Girl Of The Limberlost aloud to her as she drew and painted, introducing her to entomology and raising insects. She then grew up taking care of praying mantises, beetles, butterflies, and moths, along with other creatures like snails and spiders. Saving the insects she found and cared for, Nicole learned how to preserve them once they passed. Her collection, all ethically sourced, grew and soon became the subject for her art.
During an apprenticeship Nicole was given the assignment to create a still life painting. Having a difficult time finding anything of interest to paint, she turned to an Ecuadorian cicada that her father had given her. She loved being able to capture the beauty and details of the cicada and started using more of her insect collection as reference. Preferring to paint the information she sees as accurately as possible, the insects are painted to scale. They are mounted on pieces of colored paper and placed next to her canvas as reference. Inspired by the variety of colors and shapes, she honors and captures their essence, giving them new life in her rich, colorful oil paintings.
Nicole is also passionate about spreading autism awareness. With a strong social media presence, she speaks about daily life as an autistic young woman and provides others with tools and resources surrounding autism and the autism spectrum.