Tina Nicole is a furniture and product designer at her own company Nathan Anthony, along with co-founder and high school sweetheart Khai Mai. Tina offers beautiful, bespoke furnishings and edgy designs that have been influenced by her European travels. In fact, her products are heavily inspired by travel, music, art and architecture. Tina was also named a Pinnacle Awards Finalist in 2012 by the ASFD for her Bonn Sofa Collection. So we are proud to bring you the Design Insights of Tina Nicole.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My style can be best described as soft-modern, fresh-sophisticated with playful-elegance.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I gather images from my travels, magazines, catalogs, books and the internet. I step back and take a broad look to determine what is trending. Then, I examine what’s new in textiles and finishes. I take all the samples I can and scatter them on the floor. Then, I let them speak to me.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
Mr. Khai Mai. He is a self-taught engineer and designer who is incredibly intelligent with developing systems, balancing materials and scale. He is also my high school sweetheart, husband and business partner.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
Yes, I travel. I visit local shops, museums, attend art openings, theater and concerts. This broadens my view of what design is and can be. By seeing diverse expressions of art in so many different genres, my ideas are seasoned but fresh.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Having a diverse education, an open mind and extensively traveled. I got an AA from F.I.D.M., a BA from U.C.L.A. and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. My passion was always for the arts. In the midst of schooling, I traveled through Europe, the Far East, Asia and South America. This gave me a well-rounded exposure to diverse thought, cultures, environments and design. I did not know my path early on, but always knew I would work in a creative field. By staying positive and open, a door opened for me in my chosen field and I walked inside. ☺ My advice, make sure to get a well-rounded education, study abroad and study art, study designers and artists. Find out what moves you and seek out, in every way, those people making waves in your chosen field.