This season, we partnered with Artist and Writer, Morgan Harper Nichols, to bring #AerieREAL to life! This SoCal-based artist has been creating some of the amazing graphics you can see featured in stores and on our Instagram. Find out what inspires Morgan, how she balances work with life as a new mom, and her advice for anyone wanting to share their creative work with the world.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Morgan Harper Nichols and I am an artist and writer. I’m passionate about making art that is inspired by real stories that people share with me. I spend my days working from home as a freelancer and author. I live in Southern California with my husband and my son just came into the world this past May!
We love your designs! What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Thank you so much! My biggest source of inspiration has always been the people and stories I have encountered in real life. I have always been curious about the way other people live and how they see the world. In 2017, I invited my Instagram followers to share their stories with me via DM and I began writing for their stories one by one. This has become a huge part of my creative process and I am honored and grateful that people from around the world would take the time to share their stories with me. It’s been incredible to see how even though all of our stories are so different, beneath the layers, so many of us have experienced the same thought and emotions.
I am also inspired by nature and use many nature metaphors in my work. Of all the things that make us different, I believe that nature is also something that connects us.
You’re a new mom—congrats! What have you learned so far? What’s your advice for balancing work & mom life?
Yes! I became a mom in May and it has been such a wonderful and life altering experience. One of the biggest things I am learning is how to be okay with needing extra time to do things. Before having a baby, I had a tendency to overwork because I was so set on getting things done. I am learning to have a lot more grace for myself when I need to take things slower. And the amazing thing is, even when I have to take more time, surprisingly, everything is fine!
What advice would you give someone who wants to share their art, but is scared to go for it?
It’s okay to start small. It took me a long time before I shared my work on a popular platform like Instagram because there was so much going on there and it was intimidating. I starting sharing on smaller platforms as a way to get into a rhythm of just making things, and also, as a way to express myself without worrying about followers, likes, etc. I think the best way to go for it is to create a space where you feel free to just share without worrying about the outcome.