For Nicole Wong, encountering beautiful art and design is a cerebral experience. It is intuitive and calming; even a cacophony of bright colours and extreme textures can evoke in her a sense of sublimity that, at base, makes her brain feel good.
“For me, it’s on a subconscious, inner level,” she says over iced coffee at JJ Bean in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. For Wong, seeking out and surrounding herself with these artistic experiences deeply informs both her personal and professional endeavours. You can almost always find Wong out and about, tasting beautifully-plated food and vibrant cocktails or visiting art galleries—all in the name of finding inspiration.
Her own creative process, which is put to hard work in her role as a creative marketing lead in the luxury goods industry (along with as an Instagram influencer), is regimented: Wong tracks her ideas and visual references in various computer folders, and blocks out time in her schedule to seek out new things. Her process looks a lot like that of a professional artist: streamlined, well prepared, and intentional. “I think it’s a bit of extreme organization, but also an openness,” she reflects. “I thrive better when I know there’s a plan in place. Then I can fully explore the creative side of things.” This love of beauty and art means Wong is constantly on the move, and is never without her calendar. But over the years, she has learned that the innate sense that draws her to her muses also needs relaxation. So, like any good Type A creative, Wong has narrowed her self-care ritual down to something of a science, with carefully planned free time. Her salve of choice? A great romantic comedy, for starters.
To re-centre her creative energies, Wong favours a robust, sensual approach. “As much as I thrive on doing a lot of things, I do get tired; it gets to that point where I do need to take a step back and give myself a break,” she says. With To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before rolling on Netflix and a glass of wine in hand, Wong will set up her vitruvi diffuser with punchy and energizing Sweet Orange Essential Oil or calming Dusk Essential Oil Blend to round out a rejuvenation practise that targets all of the senses.
Wong has learned that, like many hardworking creatives in cities like Vancouver (though she has just made the move to another great Canadian destination: Montreal), one must carefully protect the time she needs to unwind. Without it, burnout is inevitable. “As much as you can be on to go all the time, it is exhausting. I do enjoy doing a million things, but I think it is important for people to recharge and recentre,” she says. “If you don’t, you sort of move away from who you are as a person. I think it’s so necessary to take that time to relax.” After all, even storms need their calm.