Nicole Marie Krayneski James was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Perhaps inspired by her surroundings, she won a coloring contest in first grade when she drew a picture of an elephant -- drawn freehand from a stamp on a letter that her Uncle Dennis sent her. Recognizing the greatness within, Nicole's mother Mary enrolled her in drawing classes. Fast forward a decade or so later, and Nicole took her talents to Drake University, where she earned a B.F.A. specializing in sculpture, and later earned a Masters in Teaching from Drake in 2002. 

A passion for teaching children how to do the art stuffs landed her a job as an arts sherpa at the Des Moines Art Center where she served as the Studio Programs Coordinator until 2013. Along the way, she continued to create art, including her finest creations -- four talented creative geniuses.

She currently instructs young people at the Des Moines Art Center, the Downtown School, and the After School Arts Program. 

Nicole enjoys tacos, cheap white wine, the color magenta and playing with her four boys and five pet chickens.

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