My Story

Welcome to Waves of Expression! Formally known as The Smiling Hippo, we are now so much more!

The Smiling Hippo is now what I like to call my watercolor brand, while Waves of Expression is now the company name! 

Now about me, my names Holly and I’m the CEO around here. I’m also a part time elementary art teacher, and full time art student! My plate is a little full this year. I’m currently studying studio arts with an emphasis in ceramics, which is why you see some ceramics featured in my shop! Those are all handmade in class by yours truly. 

I officially started The Smiling Hippo two years ago in 2020 while running a crochet business, that’s when I made the transition to watercolors, and never looked back! 

February of 2022, in the middle of planning to finish my last year of my Art Education degree I decided to shift career paths. While I still love being a teacher, I decided the public school system was not for me, and the battle of everything going on was not the lifestyle I wanted to pursue. Therefore, I am going for a degree in studio arts, which will give me classical training to pursue a range of job options! 

As of now, I am planning to pursue a Master’s degree into Art Therapy after I graduate this spring. This degree will allow me to eventually turn Waves of Expression into an online therapy center for people who wish to realign themselves with their creativity once again! 

Creativity is something I am passionate about in all aspects of my life, through the products I offer, to my teaching style. I currently part time teach at a wonderful private school. And I always try to offer my students opportunity to think creativity and problem solve within their projects.


Creativity is truly the foundation of Waves of Expression. There are different forms of expressing ourselves, and I’m so here for it! As you can see from our main page, I want YOU to become a part of my brand here. Therefore, I’m sharing more artwork of all forms on my page created by real customers, and I’m planning more fun things with the blog. 

I hope you find some creativity here, be it from a new product, inspiration from the blog or artwork you see. Take a good look around if you haven’t already! Feel free to reach out if there’s anything I can help you with in the meantime. I love making a new friend. 

Until I see you again!