This month the collaborative design studio BLKCORAL inspired Lana Lane Studios with a Jackson Pollock workshop for kids. Seen throughout the neighborhood, young children covered in paint from head to toe, left Lana Lane with large-scale paintings made from splatters, hands, feet and whole bodies set free to imagine color and expression on a new scale.
If you’ve ever met Nikole Nelson, Founder and Creative Director of BLKCORAL, you would agree that her joy and energy for life is contagious. She beams positive energy and enthusiasm. “My motivation for holding this class” she says, “is to share a taste of complete freedom and abandonment through art with the keiki.”
In her design work she transforms interior spaces into immersive environments. In Hawaii she redesigned the interior of our neighborhood flower boutique Paiko and has worked with brands such as Kate Spade where she created giant plumeria and hibiscus sculptures as part of the decor of their Royal Hawaiian Center location. She’s also collaborated with Heavy Metal Hawaii on projects for Honolulu Night Market and designed custom installations for the Honolulu Coffee Experience Center.
It’s the people who will experience her spaces that inspire her when it comes to her designs. “I’ve always been fascinated by the physiological response to the interior space and how it can move people physically, mentally and emotionally,” she says. “The emotion that emerges as you watch someone enter a room, that moment when they transport themselves into the color, texture, experience—that moment is what inspires me to make.”
Learning more about what keeps her perspective fresh reveals that she is always engaged with her environment. She says, “I’m forever dissecting what I see, finding hidden compositions in the everyday—here in Hawaii our views are rich with beauty. Inspiration is never far. But then again I can stare at concrete and find treasure!”
This year BLKCORAL will be doing a summer event series of which the Pollock workshop was the first. Chef Mark Noguchi’s Mission Social Hall Cafe will be hosting their Gyotaku Workshop on June eleventh and the third event will be announced next month.
In reflecting on her approach she says, “Many of the things we build, play with grand scale as a way to immerse the viewer—allowing them to be a part of it because they are in it. My methods for achieving a vision (whether for clients or working with children) are very physical. We’re always getting dirty and breaking the rules.”
Teaching is part of her mission and is “a priority in our production schedule,” she explains. It is refreshing to see a successful business working with design embrace the importance of arts education, especially in Hawaii where some public schools don’t even offer arts classes to their students. More than ever we need inspiring businesses like BLKCORAL to support the next generation of creators. “It is important to give back and pass on knowledge to the younger generations. Especially in the arts. Creatives are unique people and it’s not an easy industry; mentoring is a huge part of our community success.”
We look forward to more events with BLKCORAL in the future that support our shared vision of inspiring and sharing the creative process with the community.