The Artist is Present
By Margo Steines / Photography by Adam Jung / 06.15.18
A sculpture artist, a creative director and, now, a film producer, Nicole Naone is on fire.
Nicole Naone is a Renaissance woman for the modern era, able to move seamlessly through a broad range of creative roles with a style so intuitive, she is not always fully aware of its impact. “Do I have a style?” she muses, asking a question anyone familiar with her edgy punk-inspired glam would answer with a resounding yes. “I think fashion decisions are more performative than anything else.”
As a trained visual artist with an international portfolio (primarily in sculpture), Naone is deeply attached to her creative work. “Art is definitely my first love. Sculpting is the only language I’m fluent in.” But in 2013, shortly after winning the prestigious Doris C. Cromwell Award for excellence in sculpture from the University of Hawai`i Manoa, she made a bold pivot—from studio artist into the business world, creating boutique marketing agency Point Hawai`i. In her role as founder and creative director, she is deeply immersed in the world of new media, and her navigational savvy in the digital sphere is evidenced by her thousands of Instagram followers (@nicoleforever).
But her skills and interests are not confined to any one space or discipline. These days, she is absorbed with her work in yet another new role, this time as producer of Sundance Lab’s feature film Waikiki (out later this year). “Producing a feature film is intense. I’ve always been more of a sprinter, and film is a marathon. It is my first time producing anything of this scale, with this many moving parts, involving this many people. It’s a lot. I love it. But it’s a lot.”
The common thread between these pursuits is her deep well of vibrant creative energy. “I know it seems like I wear a lot of hats, but, to me, they’re all the same hat. I just create. That’s it. If there’s a movie, art piece, business, sound or shape I want to exist, I make it. I like to create my own reality.”