Well… according to me anyways. I visit Miami quite often, usually once or twice a year. It is an easy and affordable “long weekend” trip for a northeastern like myself who gets sick of the cold. I was really excited to explore the Wynwood Art District and attend the exhibit parties during Art Basel. I would recommend checking it out at some point. Art Basel is a huge art festival celebrated in Miami. Although there are "Art Basel" events on South Beach and the Convention Center, I suggest the Lynwood District. The tickets for the other events aren't worth it. You can bounce around different events and galleries in the Wynwood District for free. I obviously went to "invite only" events through my blog but there is still a ton going on in Miami during Art Basel.
Gianna and I bopped around to different art galleries at the Wynwood Art District the majority of the days we were in Miami. There is so much to explore. Although with traffic is it a bit far from South Beach, it is so worth it. It is also very easy to park and walk to where there are tons of art festivities, food trucks, and bars (which happen to be on every block).
The Miami Project features artists from all over the world. My favorite piece was made from a chemical reaction creating crystal formations. If you attend The Miami Project Gallery, make sure you have at least a few hours to really take in all the art.
Surface Magazine Party
One of my favorite events during Art Basel weekend has to be the Surface Magazine Party. They were celebrating their Art Issue with Kanye West on the cover. We were greeted by a red carpet leading to a dome on the beach. Inside the dome was a DJ and projected images on the ceiling. It was insane. One of the sponsors for the event was Mercedes Benz.
My favorite art exhibit was the CJ Henry private party. The event took place in a private mansion on the water. It was breathtaking. She creates her art pieces in such fine detail that they look like photographs! It was beyond amazing. My favorite drawing was the wrapped riffle.
One place you have to check out if you are in Miami is the Versace Mansion. Former home of Gianni Versace, the Versace Mansion has been converted into a hotel and restaurant. The pasta dish is amazing. If possible ask to be seated outside near the pool. Be mindful while taking photos by the pool. The dinner tables are set up right by the pool and the servers think people taking photos makes a scene. I kid you not! I had to take my shots in under 20 seconds. Quite annoying but it is still worth going. The mansion also features a medieval themed bar.
Royale Diary: So tell me more about your fashion illustration company. Where did you get started?
Holly Nichols: I started after I graduated. I was looking for a way to combine my two passions which are fashion and art. I was always creating fashion inspired art. I thought of a social media account where I could start documenting my art. It gave traction and people showed interest in it which was a surprise to me. It kind of came as a mistake. I started my business from a demand.
Royale Diary: Where do you get your inspiration for different styles?
Holly Nichols: I get a lot of inspiration from the runway. I do two types of illustrations i create: high fashion couture and cozy everyday wear. A lot of my girls are bundled up in different sweaters and that is really inspired by the different seasons. Right now I am drawing a lot of chunky knits. The high fashion drawings are inspired by the runways. Couture week is my favorite week because there are so many great things to draw. I don't know how to make clothes but I enjoy the art process of sketching it out.
Royale Diary: What advice would you give to someone who wants to increase their following on social media?
Holly Nichols: When I started out I used 30 hashtags. That was the max you could do. That started attracting a lot of spam and a lot of people I didn't want to attract such as the "like for like" accounts. So from there I started to tweak my hashtags to ones that were relevant to what I was doing but would still get the attention. Instead of using #art with a category of probably 5million+ I used #fashionillustration which is maybe 500k or less. So you are more likely to show up. Thinking of strategic hashtags that are focused on what you are doing and being consistent with what you are posting are very important. I only post fashion illustrations I don't post anything else. Lighting is also very important. I try to shoot in good, natural lighting so the viewer can see my art in the exact color it is suppose to be in. Therefore I am not putting filters on my art. Stay really picky about what you post. It is ok to say no to someone if they ask you to post something that you are not comfortable posting. Be really vigilant and true to yourself.
Royale Diary: Where do you want your brand to go next? I know you are partnering with different brands.
Holly Nichols: I love partnering with brands but I also like doing my own thing. I have an online store where I can sell products that I am creating. I really enjoy that because I am interacting with the customers one on one. They’re real people as oppose to the brands that may have an art department, social team, and creative team. I am dealing with these customers one-on-one who love my artwork and are supporting a small business.
Check out Holly's Illustrations on her IG page @hnicholsillustration.
This past winter I attended the Jacqueline de Ribes exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. The exhibit features 60 of the twentieth century style icon's haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles from her personal archive. Included in the exhibit were photographs and videos showcasing the growth of her international style, dating back to as early as her childhood dress-up days. My favorite look was the fuchsia, backless ruffle dress.
Meighan Sauté is a 21 year old born and raised Rhode Island resident. She has a deep passion for the art of photography. Currently at Rhode Island college, she is working on getting her B.F.A in Photography. She is extremely curious and passionate about life, adventure and creativity. She has always been interested in all the different forms of photography from fashion and lifestyle to narrative. Constantly she is inspired by different events and emotions that also are reflected through her photos. Meighan hopes to eventually travel around Europe or various parts of the globe to capture the world's true beauty in every shape and form.
Meighan Taylor Photography