Nicholas Duval-Smith was born and educated in Ōtepoti (Dunedin). He studied at the Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Arts from 1988 to 1990, and again in 2007 and 2008, majoring in sculpture and jewellery. He now lives in Motueka, and his studio is at Frost and Fire, the gallery and workspace started by Darryl Frost in Tasman.
Duval-Smith's creative practice searches for a meeting point between his love for natural form and for simplicity. He aims to make things that people can attach meaning to, and make their own stories with. Duval-Smith particularly enjoys creating art people can interact with, ideally creating a restorative experience within themselves.