Local Artist Hailey Nolin Brings her Work to the Surf Station
Interview & Intro | Darby Moore
What inspired you to start working with resin? What was the learning curve like when working with this medium?
I have a couple friends who shape surfboards, and how they’re made has always fascinated me. I loved the idea of a material that is fluid only for a certain amount of time. A few years ago I even dabbled with making my own surfboards and that’s when I realized that the part of the process I liked the most was the glassing aspect. So that’s when I set out to find resin that was specifically created for artistic purposes. Resin is a lot different from painting with acrylics, watercolor, or oils. The learning curve was mainly trying to figure out how to color resin since it comes clear. There are very limited resources and articles on the internet when it comes to dying resin, so I ended up doing experiments on my own to figure out what worked the best.
Tell us a little bit about how your ocean-centered upbringing has influenced your work.
My dad is a huge influence on me to this day and always encourages me to get in the water as much as I can. The water is definitely my happy place and I feel more at home when I’m in it than when I’m on land. If I’m having a bad day, a dip in the ocean fixes everything and gets me back to being calm and level-headed. That seems to be the reason my artwork centers around the water. It’s my happy place and I want to share that happiness with others.
How would you describe your style of artwork?
I’d definitely describe my style as fluid-abstract. Some people may not even be able to notice that certain paintings are a representation of water, but it does give off that flowy-watery vibe so the essence is always there.
Can you explain a little bit about what your creative process is like? Where do you source inspiration for your pieces? What sort of space do you enjoy creating most in?
I start by taking pictures of the ocean. These then allow me to reference my own imagery so that I’m depicting artwork that is authentic to the watery scenes that I have actually seen for myself. My dad and I converted the third bedroom of my house into an art studio a little over two years ago and I haven’t looked back. All of my paintings are created on a handmade table that my dad made. Most of the shelving and storage in my studio is wood, including the art table itself. I have always loved making things out of wood, so it’s extremely comforting to be surrounded by so much of it all the time. Woodworking is a huge part of the resin process that most people don’t know about. When I am finished with my pieces I make sure to sand any imperfections and put finishing touches on them like wiring and my signature. All of this is done in my outside studio which is actually an enclosed portion of my home’s carport. This is another area that I spend a lot of time in. And of course, my dad custom a massive table for out there too.
What advice would you have for someone who’s interested in starting to work with resin?
I definitely encourage them to purchase a small kit of resin and just give it a go! Make sure you wear gloves, a respirator, and tarp your work surface. At first resin can be tricky due to its short amount of work time. You only have 45 minutes maximum to work with it, so you should have a plan for what you’re going for in mind before you start!
What are some future goals that you have for your business?
My goal is to make tropical inspirational artwork that can be available for everyone at affordable costs. I am working on creating 100% large original pieces that will always be under $200 so that almost anyone would be able to afford them. Resin artwork is hard to price low since the resin itself is extremely costly. I’m also heavily into educational content. I have many courses on resin and provide resources for people to learn from so that they don’t have to teach themselves the hard way like I did. I currently have one class on skillshare.com now and am working on building out many more in the future. And lastly, I have a Patreon subscription service that allows collectors to sign up for monthly free art gifts from me, so I hope to build that out to be even bigger and better!