It’s the little moments that matter the most, and as Mainers we know the value in slowing down and enjoying the world around us. My hope is that my handmade, functional art adds joy to everyday life. Because life is too short to sit on a shelf. — Rickie Drake, owner of Lola Arts
Growing up on Peaks Island surrounded by craftsmen and fishermen, the urge to create came naturally to Rickie Drake. She filled her free hours painting, sketching, writing, and making jewelry, dabbling in her father’s woodshop or working on projects at her mother’s sewing machine. “I was brought up in a community of people who used their hands and natural skills to make a living and support their families,” she says. “Island life formed me into someone who needs to work hard at something I love, something that speaks to me and has purpose for my greater community.”
Drake discovered the joy of working with clay in high school, and continued in college, even as she studied anthropology, psychology, and education. After she graduated, Drake spent 13 years as an assistant to a potter in exchange for studio space, while working full time with at-risk youth, and eventually training to become a massage therapist. In that time, Drake was developing her own unique, personal aesthetic — simple, bright, and shaped by the sensibility she developed growing up on an island in Casco Bay.
“As Mainers we know the value in slowing down and enjoying the world around us,” she says. “My hope is that my handmade, functional art adds joy to everyday life.”
In 2012, Drake launched Lola Arts — named after her black Lab mix, Lola, who sparks the same kind of raw joy that she hopes to create with her work. “I need to surround myself with things and people who make me happy, in a place that makes me happy,” she says. “Lola Arts is the action of taking all of that into my own hands.”