• Creating Art-image

Creating Art

Hi there! I’m Nicki. My digital abstracts offer a sweet release from the corporate imagery I create every day. My artwork consists of a variety of digital techniques, but my current series combines digital abstracts created in Photoshop with photography. My piece, Tech 2007, was featured on the cover of Advanced Photoshop Magazine’s 50th issue. You can learn design through my latest adventures, Design Like a Pro, on Youtube and Tuts+ Premium.

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Artist Process: UnderSea

A new abstract means a new time-lapse! Check out how I created my latest abstract in 5 minutes.


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Mottos to Design By


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52 Reasons to Hate My Father Trailer

I’m super excited to share this awesome trailer from the uber talented Jessica Brody! My graphic designs pop up on the t-shirt the lovely main character wears throughout, and a little photo comp work on the photo of her family. Enjoy!


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Album Production

One of the many joys of being an artist is the ability to tackle many art forms. I am a designer, photographer and a musician. A lot of my personal art (art I create for myself) is abstract in nature. This is a sweet release from the corporate imagery I work to create everyday. While personal projects are easily put on hold in order to finish up client work, I’m making a true effort to complete a couple personal projects this year.

I’ve posted a couple piano jams on this blog and I’m excited to announce that I plan to expand these jams into a full album in 2012. My abstract piano jams are completely improvised and never repeated. Some melodies and notes make repeat appearances, but I enjoy sitting in front of my piano and playing whatever flows. The next step is to record these abstract jams.

For a musician that means time in the studio recording your tunes. For a graphic designer that means designing an album cover. For me, that means doing both of those things, YIKES! I’m ready for the challenge and can’t wait to share my progress. Check back for updates as I venture into album production.


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The Power of Colored Light

I love photography that’s simple therefore, I am drawn to only using one light. This weekend I took a couple friends a blue light gel and my Nikon SB700 speedlight on a photographic adventure. The results were more than expected with an added punch to my urban photographs.

The Power of One Light Photography

The simpleness of one light photography makes it an outdoor photographer’s dream. The equipment is minimal yet you can achieve dramatic results. The above photos were all shot with one SB700 covered in a blue gel set to the left and the sunlight. The set up can’t get much easier unless you only use ambient sunlight.

Colors to Boost Drama

Adding colored gels to your speedlights really add drama to any photograph. They mimic stage lighting used for theater productions. For this dance photography lover, it doesn’t get much better than reproducing theater shots outdoors! By placing the colored speedlight to the left of the subject and using the ambient sunlight on the right, you get a balanced photograph that isn’t too blue. You can also move from high key to just a rim light effect when you adjust your shutterspeed and aperture accordingly. You can also vary the distance between the light and your subject to deepen or lessen the intensity of the blue light.

I would highly encourage any new photographers to master one light before moving onto others. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to carry around one set of lights and get amazing effects. Once you’ve mastered this technique you can add more lights to your kit, but it’s definitely not mandatory!

Share your one light photography uses or tips in the comments and keep shooting!


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Creating a Whole New World

Fairy Tale Photo Composition
I’ve been super busy in Photoshop over the last few weeks creating fairy tale lands for an upcoming project in 2012! Most of you know my artwork is mostly abstracts mixed with a little photography here and there. This is the first project where I literally dove head first into photo composition thus, unleashing completely new Photoshop powers.

While challenging, this has been a very rewarding and fun project. As artists, we should always try to evolve our skills and sometimes that means stepping outside of our normal routine. I’ll share more fairy tale photos soon.


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Balloons offer a great photo opportunity. Not only are they a rare photographic event, you have the opportunity to capture them in the day and at night.  I always lean toward low light or night photos for the challenge and to better familiarize myself with my lenses and settings.


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Stages of an Abstract

Final Result


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New portfolio additions!

Lily in Pink

After taking a short vacation deep in the seclusion of the mountains, I came back with some new photos!  Sometimes a relaxing jaunt in the woods is all it takes to get the creative juices flowing.

Update! Buy Art!

Now you can own the above photo in the form of a fine print complete with frame or canvas print! Choose between a variety of print sizes, frames or canvas prints from imagekind. Thanks for supporting art!


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Abstract Piano Jam #2

What is an Abstract Piano Jam?

For over a year I’ve been playing a stream of conscience like melody on the piano. There are no written notes and each time I play, the tune varies slightly from the last time I played it. I play what ever comes to mind and whatever my ear picks up as wonderful sounding key combinations.

The best part about this type of piano playing is how it clears my mind and eases away the daily stresses. My artwork has always been about abstraction to distract from the corporate imagery I work to create on a daily basis. This piano tune is the same only through music instead of visual arts.


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Drop me a line at ideas[at]nickihart.com! I love hearing from you and will do my best to respond promptly.

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Drop me a line at ideas[at]nickihart.com! I love hearing from you and will do my best to respond promptly.

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Abstract Luminance
now at kadoya gallery

Learn how I create my work with light, modern dance and a variety of spiritual influences to empower my creative genius.

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