Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Mihalik.
Nikki, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Growing up, I loved two things: animals and art. (My ideal day would have been drawing while surrounded by puppies.) When college rolled around, I didn’t think I was good enough to make it as a real ARTIST, so I majored in Art History, imagining I’d have a glamorous career as a museum curator. After years of trying to get a job in the art world, I landed a job as an assistant at The Getty in Los Angeles. I thought I’d love it, but I didn’t…and I had no idea what to do about it. Then my dad died unexpectedly. My world was pretty much shattered, and I moved home to be with my mom. With her support, I enrolled in a Graphic and Web Design program through UCSD. A week in to instruction, I knew I had found the perfect fit.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a graphic designer who specializes in branding and luxury print work. I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs all around the world, helping them attract their ideal clients with simple, clean, creative design. After getting to know the client and understanding the who/what/why of their business, I set about telling their story through a unique collection of visuals. Together, we develop a primary logo, secondary logo (or sub mark), color palette, signature pattern, and more.
For clients who want wow factor, I design paper products that will take their business to the next level (think: fine cotton papers, vintage presses, luxurious textures…). When done well, a simple yet beautifully-printed business card can mean the difference between being remembered and being forgotten. I’ve been asked before what the “point” of a nice a business card is, and I always answer with, “People want to KEEP a nice card.” In a digital world, sending a client something they can FEEL—whether it’s a well-designed business card, a handwritten note, or a thoughtfully-packaged gift—makes a lasting impression.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
It has definitely become easier for people to find me. Without the internet, I would never be working with people in Australia or England. More than anything, though, I think artists and designers need to stick together and help each other. It makes me cringe when other designers take logo jobs for $50. If you’re paid $50 for 5 hours of work, you’re basically making minimum wage. And that’s simply not sustainable when you have overhead and no health insurance. To the public, however, $50 just seems like a good deal…and all they’ll remember is that “logos cost $50.” As creatives, we need to know our worth. As a city, ANY support of the arts helps. If I wasn’t exposed to art as a child, I probably wouldn’t have this job today.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Information about what I do can be found on my website: https://www.akulakreative.com/ My most recent projects are usually posted on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akulakreative/ People can also see my work when they support their local businesses…because those are my customers. 🙂
- Website: https://www.akulakreative.com/
- Phone: 858-255-1230
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akulakreative/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AkulaKreative/
Photography by Kimberly Chau and Caroline Tran