Nicole Merkens' work is about spiritual guardians, rebirth, and the soul and its energies. She draws on metaphysical as well as Catholic iconography to portray her spiritual journey. She feels through her work that she is able to document her mystical path, which is too emotional and profound to be put into words. Sometimes her work gets dark, but it is always with a sense of humor. Nicole says that if she gives into fear, she loses her insight and becomes "a beacon of restless energy." Through mixed media, she pieces together images, shapes, colors, and symbols, all chosen to produce specific effects. Their interaction with each other conveys an essence of being. Nicole believes she is working from a higher consciousness and a passionate drive possesses her. Her work comes from the depth of her soul. "The past dances with the future to correct itself." Nicole graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1994 with a BFA in printmaking and book arts.