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Honolulu, Hawaii
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An artistic collaborative of artists, designers, makers and craftsmen focused on the creation of unique experiences and conceptual environments.  Building moments to be explored and remembered through the conception and creation of custom art installations, interior design, events, set design, styling & visual merchandising.

Blog

Tory Burch Sport: Behind the Scenes

Nikole Nelson

Photo by Lauren Trangmar

Photo by Lauren Trangmar

We took the term Mall Rats to a new level; 5 days, 90 hours and a LOT of coffee. The Tory Burch Sport store opened in Ala Moana mall last week boasting some quite lovely floors. Tasked to create a complicated, repetitive, geometric pattern, we attacked it full speed. It was by far the most intricate tape job I've ever executed. Very special mahalo to my rad Production Assistant, Lauren Trangmar for not abandoning me in the mall at midnight!

COACH House: 685 5th Avenue, NYC

Nikole Nelson

The new COACH flagship opened days before my NYC arrival and it lived up to the buzz. I reconnected with a COACH college and toured the store - it is AMAZING. Captured a few of my favorite highlights to share with you. The star of the show: Rexy. A 12ft dinosaur sculpture, constructed of over 400 bags by London based artist Billie Achilleos. Very cool. 

Living Art: Hawaiian Forest Installation

Nikole Nelson

Stumbled upon these images of a forest installation I did in early 2015, what seems like an eternity ago. Koa, my son was still in diapers and ran through the trees "assisting" me. I couldn't help but share this real moment in my life - art, family and nature continuously converging. These pieces are sold at Paiko in Kaka'ako. Photographed by my friend and epic talent June Cochran. 

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Nikole Nelson

Photos by Nikole Nelson

Photos by Nikole Nelson

Whether climbing, hugging, drawing inspiration from them or using their branches in my artwork - trees have always spoken to me. They capture my artistic consciousness and whisper legends in the winds. Rainbow eucalyptus is one of my favorite species. Each trunk holds a unique composition with brilliant shades of purple, blue, green, coral and orange.  As a child in Maui I thought fairies had painted them (in fact maybe I still do) - you can't help but feel magic in their presence. I stumbled on these beauties yesterday in the midst of a gorgeous botanical garden and had to share. Happy Aloha Friday!

Images taken at Botanical World Adventures in Hakalua, Island of Hawaii.

Easter Art Party: Pollock Eggs

Nikole Nelson

Photo by Nurry Kwon

Photo by Nurry Kwon

Spring is in the air and Easter is upon us. This month I took my inspiration from the queen of crafty herself: Martha Stewart. With a few custom touches, a splash of fun and lots of messy fingers, an Easter Art Party was born. My 3 year old son Koa and 6 of his buddies dove right in. It was the perfect exploration of texture and color and can be adapted for any age group. By taking your average panty dry good, food coloring and a little imagination you can create your own Pollock egg experience. A few tips to help you make your project a success:

Get outside. It gets messy. We used blue painters tape to secure the cups during preparation and protect against the natural elements (very windy day).

If working with children gauge your audience and their attention span. You want to set yourself up for success - I pre-dyed all the eggs giving them a base color.

You're going to need a lot of food coloring - I used 4 boxes in total with 7 dozen eggs. Get creative and mix custom colors. Periodically add food coloring to the dry goods - just enough to keep them damp.

Use foods that are white - they look more dynamic and exciting when dyed.

Beans are the best! Kidney beans, black eyed peas, small white beans - the food coloring stays damp longer. 

The size of the food makes a difference in the texture pattern - make sure to vary sizes so your final product is visually interesting and irregular. 

Items like peanuts and sunflower seeds take a lot of food coloring. They absorb and dry quickly. I did like how these materials provided a more subtle pattern which is why I included them for our kids. 

Above all don’t be afraid to experiment and get dirty! Happy dying and a hui hou!

Waimanalo: Dilapidated Beauty

Nikole Nelson

My birthday adventure: Goin country. Went on the hunt for inspiration and discovered a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. An expansive, dilapidated Waimanalo green house and nursery, secret garden heaven! I find my inspiration, treasures and building materials in the most amazing places. Getting dirty, climbing through over grown layers of untamed nature, discovering all the while...Indiana Jones style! Best birthday ever! 

Chelsea Galleries: Highlights

Nikole Nelson

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Photos by Nikole Nelson

With half frozen hands and an iphone camera faithfully ready to capture anything, I made a mad dash through Chelsea's art district. Unfortunately during this whirlwind 2 minute tour, I failed to grab the names of these artists. Rookie move. Regardless I still wanted to share my favorite pieces from this crazy adventure. Grandiose, massive works, that humble the viewer with their sheer presence. Gorgeous experience. NYC, December 2013.

Street Art: NYC

Nikole Nelson

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Photos by Nikole Nelson

For me street art never gets old. It is gritty, down and dirty and conveys the pulse of the city with every wheat pasted, spray painted layer. And no one does it better than NYC. These are a few of my favorite finds from a recent trip out East. Enjoy the mix of crazy, raw expression, sexuality and pure insanity! I love you New York! 

Gary Graham & Phantom Limb

Nikole Nelson

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Gary Graham, Tribeca, NYC. Interior design modeled to look like the back stage of BAM - the experience is executed to perfection. You really do feel as if a performace is about to break out. Masks by Phantom Limb Company. 

Double Knot: Tribeca

Nikole Nelson

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Double Knot in Tribeca, NYC. Gorgeous textures, colors, fibers, weaves...rug heaven. The showroom is exceptionally designed. One of my favorite, visual New York experiences, for interior and retail design. Not to mention the killer rugs! It was so good I had to go back twice. Delicious! 

The Grandmother Tree: Island of Hawaii

Nikole Nelson

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Sometimes a girl just needs to climb a tree, six acres of off-grid Hilo heaven, ten hands and a creative vision. Scraps. Hundreds and hundreds of tiny silk sari scraps. Tied together over a full moon, woven deep with hopes, dreams and prayers. Five souls sharing in the magic, a meditation to peel away the layers. Here the heartbeat of the aina can be felt pulsing beneath you, ever present and pure love. Welcome to our sacred corner of paradise…HOME. 

BLKCORAL by Nikole Nelson. Art installation. Natural Art. Hakalau, Hawaii.

The Blessing: sirena + the sea

Nikole Nelson

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BLKCORAL collection for sirena + the sea. Fall into Winter line. The blessing ceremony.

Jewelry, handmade in Hawaii, in the traditional ti leaf lei making style. Each piece blessed in the ocean before leaving our hands. One of a kind wearable sculptures.

To our clan: We are sending you energy filled with mana, abundance, joy and laughter. Wear your pieces well. Make them your own. And above all take time to feel the experience - you are a goddess. Let her roar.

Love and Aloha,

Niki

Ni'ihau Shell Leis: A May Day Tribute

Nikole Nelson

Intricate patterns, diverse styles and vivid colors of the Ni'ihau shell leis.

Aerial view of Ni'ihau.

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Hawaiian Queen Emma wearing multiple strands of Ivory colored Ni'ihau leis.

Shells are first gathered and sorted for color and size.

Each shell is cleaned of debris, pierced and strung.

I own this style and LOVE it. Very sacred to me.

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Layered shells form unique texture.

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Photograph by Tomas del Amo

As a young girl I was fasinated by the layered shell patterns of the Ni'ihau leis and find myself even more intrigued today. If you have never heard of Ni'ihau your not alone. Nick named The Forbidden Isle visitors to this part of the Hawaiian chain are rare. Privately owned, the Hawaiian traditions, language and culture are still very much alive.

In celebration of May Day we take a moment and pay tribute to the intricate beauty of the Ni'ihau shell lei. Ni'ihau holds some of the greatest shell craftsmen known. The island is very dry and lacks enough rainfall to support the blossoms of the traditional flower lei; the shell lei served as an exquisided substitue. 

I will be forever in awe of the artisans who create these timeless pieces. Their patience is astounding. Those shells are tiny! 

Happy May Day and A hui ho! 

Gettin Our Street Art On!

Nikole Nelson

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We started the New Year off with a bang, beautifying New Balance's Corporate headquarters in Boston. Street art techniques were used in their stairwells to showcase vintage and modern NB athlete prints. We installed, aged and texured them, bringing to life a rich surface treatment that emphasized the restored brick architecture. Cheers to another successful project highlighting the rich history of the NB legacy.

Jeff Harris 2012 Christmas Card Outtakes

Nikole Nelson

Photograph by Jeff Harris. Set design by Nikole Nelson Studios. Hair/Makeup by Abby Ballin.

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Kate in makeup with the talented Abby.

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Taking a break from setting props to beautify for the camera.

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Rehearsal time.

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Pregnant set designer tests lovely vintage sofa while fluffy assistant awaits orders.

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Naughty Santa.

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Crew shot.

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Santa takes a load off at the end of a long day.

Sneak Peak: Mr. Steam Commercial Set Production

Nikole Nelson

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The Mr. Steam commerical set build was a wild project! Timing could not have been more difficult as we found ourselves desperately searching for dry materials, non-flooded warehouses and open roads for deliveries right in the midst of Hurricane sandy. Alongside designer/stylist Raina Kattleson, we had been working on the project for months; our seamless production schedule required more hurdle jumping than planned due to mother nature's wrath. Our final results: A dynamic collaboration with a fantastic client who we truly grew to love.

I'm so proud of both the outcome and my team for their long hours, commitment and tremendous patience. Special thanks to my amazing tile guys, Arte Tile & Masonary.

Can't wait to see the commercials! Release dates in early 2013.