Nicoline Smalbraak

  • Netherlands (b. 1984 in Rotterdam)
  • Currently in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Freelance Philosopher, Collector of Stories and Visual Artist


I started painting while I was living in public. I was a contestant in the real-life television show 'Utopia' and started to paint pictures to be able to express my feelings and connect with people who would tell me their life stories. As a real-life Bob Ross the TV audience took a liking to my pictures and my work became quite a success. I'm still developing as an artist and feel so lucky to be able to make a living out of it.

Since I left the show painting has become my life. My paintings can be viewed as mini-stories. All my paintings were made after collecting personal stories of people. The Public-Private distinction is not so visible in my paintings as such, but by collecting and painting pictures, i make very private personal histories public in images. I find it so interesting to try and convey the emotions of stories that i get told onto canvas. So please share your stories with me!


Nicoline Smalbraak was born in Rotterdam in 1984.

From early childhood she's always been busy drawing and painting. Her childhood dream was to become an artist one day. After being rejected from the Rietveld Academy on her 18th she pursued a career in philosophy. After finishing her degree at the University of Amsterdam she started working as a philosopher and collecting personal stories.

Nicoline's career as an artist only begun after entering in the television show Utopia. In this place Nicoline developed her own style and was able to focus on nothing but art for a few months. At the end of her stay in Utopia she published a book with 28 of her paintings: 'Reizen in Utopia' (Travelling in Utopia) 

Nowadays she continues to collect stories and make art in her artist studio in Amsterdam. 


  • Reizen in Utopia - Nicoline Smalbraak & Isabella Smit

    A book with the collected artwork of Nicoline Smalbraak and poems of Nicoline Smalbraak & Isabella Smit.