LOOK smart, WORK smart - A fresh way to accessorise

Who is the face behind NeNe & Bop?

Hi, I’m Karen

I started NeNe & Bop whilst on maternity leave with my second child and named by business after the nicknames they gave each other as babes.

I was born just outside of London UK, a child of the 70’s and I have an intense love of travel.

From a young age I was fascinated by colour and totally believed I would find the end of a rainbow one day…..

I left school at age of 16 and went to Art College and there my love and life truly began on the most epic path.  

 There is something incredibly supportive and humbling about the creative community.  A shared passion and love to express thoughts and ideas.  In my view, creativity is the ability to experiment and explore without judgement.  It's a silent yet mutual respect between each other to ensure creativity isn’t crushed and is instead nurtured.

 I went on to university to study Textile Design, specialising in weave and later, after a time of travel and teaching ceramics in the USA, I decided to get my post graduate in Education.

 This led me to my career as a Visual Arts teacher, teaching for 8 years in England before emigrating to Brisbane in 2010.  I have since taught high school Visual Arts in Australia too and am so proud to see former students working in the creative arts to this day.

I have always loved learning about artists through the centuries and have a real soft spot for the Impressionist era and beyond.  It was a time when artwork transitioned from realism to explore different ways to use colour, materials and techniques to create an emotional response.

My love of pigment, painting and Pointillism has never dulled


What inspires my work?

Colour, line and light.

Pure and simple.

All have the ability to gain a physical response, just look at dopamine dressing as an example.   It involves dressing in a way that brings you joy and boosts your mood. It's long been understood that we can have psychological connections to certain colours.

Inspired by simplicity, I love to explore the basic elements of art.  A humble line travelling across a surface, layering colour to create new combinations and hues.

 I grew up learning about European masters and one of my long term inspirations is the Pointillism Movement.  Pointillism, in painting is the practice of applying small strokes or dots of colour to a surface so that from a distance they visually blend together.  When I cluster colours together it changes the hues and allows me too create a greater variation from a limited palette.

Being able to create subtle colour changes that appeared so abstract up close and so vibrant and clear from a distance continues to push me to create different variations of this concept.  To this day, the humble spot, dash and line are very much at the foundation of my artworks, its even the basis for my long standing heart logo.

Working with different aspects of colour theory is the basis for lots of my pieces.  I remember clearly being told black and white aren’t colours by my art teacher.  That was so foreign to me, of course they are, my uniform was black and white after all!

One thing I have always said to my students, a concept I also follow, don’t decide on your outcome until you have fully embraced the journey.  Our minds are ready to explore and it's up to us to listen to lessons learnt along the way and follow our intuition.  By deciding on a final outcome you will only limit the possibilities of what could have been.  Enjoy playing and never let that spark burn out.

 Here’s to continuing to explore and making new discoveries and most importantly enjoying the journey.

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