My name is Shamira Derakhshani Nicolas. I was born in Tehran, Iran. I spent the first sixteen years of my life in Tehran. A number of scholarships provided me with a high school diploma from USA, followed by a bachelor and a master's degree from the American University of Beirut. From 1972 to 1977, I attended the Cleveland Institute of Art.
The strongest influence in my work remains from my early life in Iran: I was exposed to the most beautiful visuals and a culture that strove for spirituality, in all facets of life. That spirituality culminated in my suffi grandmother who graced this earth with her existence.
As a child, my strongest tool for learning was my eyes. I loved looking at shapes and colors. A wealth of pure forms and colors existed in the magnificent Persian carpets. The simplicity, purity, abstraction and immense variety of forms and colors in the carpets representing different regions of Iran, etched a permanent mark in my mind. I loved looking at the Persian miniatures. Beautiful and simple forms in breath taking colors, tug at my heart, even to this day. Finally, two colors, two blues, the turquoise color of the domes of many mosques next to the magnificent ultramarine blue of the evening sky in Tehran were extremely calming and beautiful. I remember looking up at the two blues juxtaposed and feel a serenity I had never known before or since. The two blues are almost always in my work, whether the work is sad or happy.