Nolan Simmons owes his love of art to his childhood. His earliest memories are ones when he was drawing in his room as a kid and pretending to sleep at night but getting out of bed to create his own world on paper. His family lived in Blanchard where there weren’t many kids around so he had to create his own fun.

“It was a way to create,” said Nolan. “Art gives kids endless opportunities for their imagination. Art can be done anywhere.”

Seeing new things and traveling to new places is a huge part of what inspires Nolan’s work.

“I like seeing people from completely different mediums as well as people who work with the same things I do. Anyone who’s really pursuing their particular craft inspires me to do it with my own work,” he said.

There is a stereotype that he wants to address — the starving artist. While it’s often true that it can be difficult to support yourself through art, it’s not impossible.

“You can be a well-fed artist. You can support yourself and be comfortable doing what you love. It just sometimes takes more effort. If you’re enjoying every day, then the money in the end will be more valuable because you weren’t wasting your time doing something that you weren’t really happy doing.”

Nolan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at Centenary College in Shreveport. He used the basement woodshop at the college where he had all the woodworking tools he could possibly imagine at his fingertips. At Centenary he was able to experiment with expensive tools to learn if they were a good investment once he got out of school. He said his main medium of choice — wood — wasn’t necessarily something he meant to do but it fell into his lap as a happy accident.

Find Nolan’s work at The Agora Borealis in downtown Shreveport or by following him on Facebook (Nolan Harris Simmons Art) and Instagram (@nolanharissimmons). He occasionally sets up vendor booths at community events as well.