The walls of lower-income Jacksonville schools may soon be adorned with brightly colored murals if a One Spark creator has her way.

“I want to do something good while I’m alive. I use art to make things better for everyone else,” explained One Spark creator Nicole Holderbaum. “I want to inspire others to do the same and live happier lives.”

If she wins at One Spark, Holderbaum plans on using those funds to paint the murals. If she wins one category, she will be able to budget $500 per school and be able to paint murals in 15 different schools. If she wins two categories, she plans on painting in 30 different schools.


“Creativity leads to confidence in students,” Holderbaum said. “The way I can contribute is by creating murals in schools. It will visually stimulate students and make them more excited to learn; ultimately make the school experience better.”

Her One Spark Project is titled Art for Jacksonville’s Youth and Beyond and is creator No. 21948. She will be located in Hemming Plaza.

Holderbaum emphasized the importance of creativity and the ability to live from within. She is a local Jacksonville brand ambassador for STRATA clothing line. Strata’s main slogan is “Live From Within.”


Nico’s volunteers will be wearing these tie-dyed shirts during One Spark.

To live from within is to live a life driven by intuition, a positive attitude and strong faith; to coexist in society without conforming to it. To her, living from within gives students a sense of identity.

“Art should be funded because it inspires creativity and gives you a reason of for being,” Holderbaum said. “Art gives you confidence, and confidence allows you to grow as a person.”

At One Spark, Holderbaum will be painting two different murals, one with the help of children. The first mural will be 32 feet long and 12 feet tall, which she will be painting alone. Children will have a chance to paint on the second mural, which will be 16 feet long and 8 feet tall.

The Jacksonville Zoo is sponsoring her project, making the zoo and its animals the focus of her murals at One Spark. The larger mural will highlight the different things going on at the zoo, such as animals and their habitats. The smaller mural will spotlight the 45 conservation projects of the Jacksonville Zoo.

This year, Shaun Thurston, a past One Spark Winner, has been mentoring Holderbaum for One Spark.

“He gives a lot of good insight”, explained Holderbaum. “Even beyond One Spark, he gives great life advice.”

Holderbaum’s project can be taken globally. Her dream project is to be able to travel around the world and continue painting murals in schools.

“I, especially, would like to be able to travel to more schools in the United States because it seems we’re lacking focus on the importance of art in education,” explained Holderbaum.

Traveling, one of Holderbaum’s passions, enables her to go out, explore and push the boundaries. While traveling, Holderbaum has met a lot of different people who have given her different perspectives on life.

The best advice Holderbaum has been given is to eliminate ego at all costs and never expect anything from anyone. She finds it important to never judge people and to accept them for how they are.

“Somebody motivated me to live from within; to be guided by intuitions, instincts, and passion,” explained Holderbaum. “I hope to do the same for others.”