By Jamie Lindsey

Na’Kole Vickrey is a local Joplin woman, mom, and self-taught artist. Her artwork flutters through social media platforms as friends and friends of friends show off their personal commissioned pieces by her. Her journey as an artist has not been easy, but in the end, she describes her path as incredibly rewarding and empowering. 

“I started drawing ever since I was a little kid. My home life was absolutely terrible growing up, so it was always an outlet to me,” Na’Kole shares. “During school, I was always about artwork. I was always in art classes and it was the main thing I focused on.” Na’Kole confesses she was never good at math or other subjects, so art was her main focus. An art scholarship was a goal of hers, but her path changed her second year of high school. 

“I dropped out of school my sophomore year. My parents were drug addicts and there was a lot of abuse in the home. So I dipped and got pregnant,” she said. 

Na’Kole shared that after dropping out, she no longer could sit and learn in the art classes she loved. She was working towards an art scholarship when she was in high school. “Who knows where I’d be today,” she shared. But she said she wouldn’t change anything. “I have three kids and doing art at home is rewarding in itself.” 

When discussing the art she creates for others she said, “It seems to be empowering a lot of women whenever I draw them. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! I didn’t see myself like that’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I picture you. You’re beautiful.’” Na’Kole loves seeing people’s reactions when she draws them. 

Her children are also a big inspiration for Na’Kole.  Being a mom of 3 keeps her pretty busy, but she finds her time to focus on her art. “My oldest likes to draw. Watching him draw is crazy because he is the same way I was when I was a kid. He has such an imagination.” 

When talking about her children and art, she wants adults to know, “I’ve seen a lot of kids get super discouraged when they are drawing and start comparing their art with others. Art is the furthest thing from what perfection is supposed to be. It’s you on a piece of paper. Practice makes perfect, but we aren’t perfect.”

Na’Kole creates many personal commissioned pieces. She offers two different sizes with two different prices, between $30-$40. She wants everyone to be able to afford local artwork, which is why her pieces are priced low. “Small businesses are one of the best things you can support. People are working out of their homes with their hands. They are trying their best. If you can support a local business it would mean the world to them. Even one sale can make their entire day.”

You can find Na’Kole on Facebook @ Na’Kole Vickrey or on Instagram @starfairyart if you are interested in commissioned pieces for you, someone you know, or your business! 

All photos provided by Na’Kole Vickrey – All rights reserved.

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