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Blog

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. 

BFG'S Art Kids

Nikole Nelson

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Photograph by Jeff HarrisDesign development and construction drawings.

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Casting plaster bases.

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Custom fabricated steel desktop by 2nd story wood

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On the hunt for a vintage office chair.

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A total of 3000 sharpies were used in the sculpture.

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Installation day.

Photography by Jeff Harris

Do we ever really outgrow the thrill of a wall of unlimited markers begging to be scribbled on a massive blank canvas? As designers we will never stop reaching for pen and paper. We will never stop doodling, sketching, releasing the insanity and brilliance that makes us unique. When an idea strikes, it is a craving that needs to be immediately satisfied. Paper. Markers. The hand flies. We are and always will be "the art kids".

Nikole Nelson Studios, a new york based collaborative of artists, designers, and makers, tackled the creation of the BFG communications reception for their new Soho, NYC office.

Nelson developed the "art kids" concept after interviewing BFG’s creatives at their headquarters in South Carolina and New York. Researching and dissecting their individual design processes, she dove into their childhood and art kid dreams. When did it all start; and had it changed much? Nelson’s sculpture focuses on the diverse elements that make up the company – the 90 creative minds of BFG’s design team.  What sparks the initial stage and layers within their work? It begins with the simplest of tools - a marker, paper - and becomes a global marketing platform for Warner Brothers, Captain Morgan, Coca Cola and beyond.

Over 3000 sharpies, all functioning, created a wall of possibilities. Nelson used the individual marker colors to emulate pixels or mosaic tiles – each contributing to the visual movement of the sculpture.

Stacks of carved paper climb the walls blending into a gorgeous gray scale. Plaster cast bases emulate the concrete streets of the city buzzing below. A roll of industrial butcher paper begs to be tagged with spur of the moment creative visions. It is art that functions, turning from installation to reception desk. An interactive piece that engages the staff and visitors to participate first hand in BFG’s creative process.

Adding another layer of the personal, Nelson incorporated illustrations by BFG designer Ryan Kasal into the butcher paper roll and custom entry wallpaper.

“When you enter the space it's as if you’ve stepped within the mind of the BFG artist, the tools they fell in love with as kids and what continues to stimulate them today. It is essentially the experience of who they are.” Nikole Nelson

Written by Jennifer Tripp for Nikole Nelson Studios.

View Full Project

Michele Varian: K/LLER JEWELRY

Nikole Nelson

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I woke up this morning to a glorious reminder that my favorite Soho boutique, Michele Varian, is having a trunk show of K/ller Jewelry. Talk about craftsmanship and design! These peices are gorgeous examples of rock-n-roll meeting the chic city vibe. Add this one to my Christmas list! If you haven't visited Michele's store give yourself a treat - the home decor options, overall interior design and energy of the space are truly fantastic! I never leave empy handed.