In conversation with Nicole Cooper.
Many are creative, and then some have creative juices permanently on tap; flowing endlessly. These people seem to have an eye for the details that many seem to glance over, the small details that seem pointless are brought to the very front of our minds. Nicole Cooper has enough of that oozing creative energy and eye for detail that seems to permeate the beautiful imagery she constantly produces. Let us continue basking the glow of yet another creative woman, paving the way of strength and power in her own industry.
INTERVIEW BY ONDINE PURINTON-MILLER
She captures beauty in her artistry; to see the unmistakable sublime glow on a woman’s skin and seize that timely moment, frozen in time, is a wonderful offering to the world. Nicole offers just that, her work with Chanel, Vogue, i-D and a slew of others is testament to this woman’s eye for detail.
So it goes, another woman, another day where laugh soaked conversations are speckled in between the sound of shutter clicks we know too well. These mornings, where simply the expanded and authentic conversation gets us all up, no caffeine necessary. These mornings we spend are priceless; the diamonds settling in comfortably on the hands and shelves of Nicole, nestled in between Nicole's books on expanding consciousness and rare matchbooks that joined her on her vast worldly travels. She's one of the lucky ones, who’s passion takes her to other lands and she is supported in her quest for seeking and seeing beauty around her.
Nicole, at this moment in time, what is your quest in life?
My current quest in life is to be happy.
As a creative, constantly expressing yourself through various mediums, what do you feel is your purpose?
I feel as though my purpose is to inspire - to spark or to ignite a fire within others. I gather my inspiration from those around me and I want to pass that on as best as I can.
To create is in and of itself, a very personal offering to the world. Many feel like a little piece of them is inherently woven through their creations. What is this process like for you?
My process is somewhat meticulous. As a perfectionist, I tend to labour over each and every image, film or project until I feel as though my hand has done enough. It’s only when I can see little elements of myself or my aesthetic within the work that I feel comfortable letting it go.
For many of the ladies we’ve had the pleasure of talking to, there has been a signpost in the road that has signified them embodying their female power. Have you had a moment like this?
I couldn’t pinpoint a definitive moment where it suddenly felt tangible. Maybe in a few years time I’ll be able to look back and see it clearly but I think I’m still in such an early stage of life that makes it hard to visualise.
At what point did you see yourself pursuing the path that you’re currently travelling? Many have often inadvertently laid out their passions from an early age, often only hindsight gives you the scope that it was your purpose from the beginning.
I may be the first to admit it but I cannot see my path. I have always had rough plans for my life but I’m certainly not set in my ways, I tend to adapt each and every day. I welcome and adore the mystery attached to my journey though.
How do you remain in your passion every day? Where do you source that magic from?
I would have to say music and light. I am such a lover of light. My job is to capture it in its many formats so I find myself constantly drawn to it. Even in the most seemingly banal situations, I can find it to be utterly magical.
At what moment do you feel most powerful as a woman?
I’m definitely at my most powerful when I’m surrounded by the amazing, creative talents that I have the genuine honour of calling my friends. These women are incredible individuals, but as a collective, they're a forced to be reckoned with.
Is there a personal ritual you hold dear, that assists in creating a harmonious existence with yourself?
The lighting and burning of incense is one of the most calming and beautiful experiences for me. In my line of work, I tend to spend a lot of time overseas, living out of a suitcase for months on end. The one question I was asked time and time again was if I carried anything that reminded me of home? My answer was always incense. Regardless of the continent, the olfactory ritual follows me around the globe.
What has been the biggest driving force in what you do - something that each day pushes you to continue?
My ambition. I have an abundance of it. Possibly even too much? Quite honestly, I wouldn’t it any other way though.
How do you remain grounded whilst traipsing across the world?
Staying in constant contact with my friends and family. Knowing that they’re available and willing to discuss my deepest concerns or chat trivial nonsense at the drop of a hat has always aided in keeping a level head.
Some of us ladies can be ultra self-deprecating, we need an outside perspective to see ourselves from a different slant. How would your friends describe you?
I’d be described as incredibly confident. I embrace it. I was raised by a beautifully strong woman who truly knows her self-worth. It may have taken me some time but I’m finally at a stage in my life where I can see my value.
What is your Zodiac Sign? Do you identify closely with it?
I’m a Capricorn. We’re famously (or infamously) known for our ambition. I honestly feel it within every fibre of my being.
As a December baby, I’m fortunate enough to have three. They’re Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise.
Is there a stone you are drawn to most - do you keep it near you?
It’s a common known fact that I’m a fiend for an opal. I wear a rough cut boulder opal on my right index finger every single day, without fail.
What is your most recent infatuation?
I have many infatuations that tend to grow into great loves. Good company, good wine, good food, good music - the list is endless.
To you, what is most precious in your life?
The people in it.
Do you have any heirloom jewellery that has been passed down to you?
I have the most beautiful sapphire ring that I inherited from my grandmother. It sits between two small diamonds on a white gold band and although it’s far too large for my own hand, I just can’t seem to let it go.
Is there a lesson you’ve learned, that is laced through your life that has been the most important one thus far?
I’m definitely still learning these lessons day by dy.
What makes you laugh?
When do you feel most cherished?
When I’m with friends and family.
What gives you courage?
Music. A lot of the time, my strength can be attributed to an incredible tune.
Jewellery has the ability to convey so much about a person and about a woman. What piece of jewellery do you value most? What does it make you feel?
I’d have to say the rosary I stumbled upon whilst traipsing through the backstreets of the Amalfi Coast. I’d dreamt of its replica the night beforehand.
What do you consider your proudest moment?
I’m still striving for that moment, each and every day.
When do you feel most your authentic, connected self?
At home, in my own space. I’m quite a social human being but I really do cherish time alone, reading, writing, gardening, etc.
We’re all for breaking the rules at the best of times; but is there a rule you live by?
The rule I endeavour to apply to my life is to simply put others first. It’s nothing profound or new but I feel as though altruism creates unparalleled joy.
If you could time travel, to where would you travel? Why?
To a point in time where space exploration has come in leaps and bounds. I was once asked if I thought I was ‘of this earth’ and although it seemed to trip me up somewhat, my answer was a simple ‘no’. I have the strongest desire to encounter that realm.
Interview by Ondine Purinton-Miller
Photography by Matisse Ruby