Born in Redondo Beach, California, Nichole Blackburn started her art career early on. Inspired by her high school art teacher, Nichole continued on a scholarship in the Otis Art Center’s Young Artist Program, then went on to receive her B.A. in Fine Art and Design from San Diego State University. After graduation, Nichole went head first into her art career, and is currently the Owner and Creative Director of Celadon Studio and Fine Art, a Los Angeles-based business whose main focus is large-scale murals and decorative painting. www.celadonstyle.com
By 2005, Nichole’s business, Celadon Studio, was not only a success, but she was booked up to a year in advance for mural projects and decorative painting. It was at this time Nichole felt a deep need to do more with her art, as well as give back to the community. When the opportunity arose to do a donation mural at a Center for Troubled Youth in Long Beach, CA., Nichole enthusiastically agreed. The children at the facility were asked to draw pictures of what they wanted to see in the mural, which was to be painted on a 15 foot wall in a Therapy Room. Nichole took all the children’s drawings and combined all the individual ideas into a universal theme. A lot of hard work and 7 days later, the first donation mural was complete! Not only was the mural a hit with the children and Staff, but Nichole was creatively inspired - free to paint openly, she felt fulfilled and ready for more.
Always being an avid traveler, Nichole grew up a globe-trotter. By the time she was 18 years old, Nichole had been to over 30 countries. In 2006, while working on a mural project on the East Coast, Nichole became deeply inspired to do more donation murals, but this time wished to take them international. By the time Nichole left the East Coast, she had made a commitment to visit 5 different countries in one year, donating murals in each country. The following year, using only her own money and taking no donations, Nichole travelled to Thailand, Ireland, the Philippines, Bolivia and New Orleans to paint donation murals, each ranging from 15-40 feet long. From children’s schools to orphanages, with each donation mural Nichole found the inspiration she had been seeking, and painted like she hadn’t in years. From these experiences, Nichole created a true passion project: Big Sky Countries.
While on a trip to Peru, Nichole came up with the idea to use a sky from the previous country in each mural. Nichole took a photo of a brilliant blue sky right there, in the courtyard of a market in Peru, with children playing everywhere. That actual sky from Peru is seen in the first mural, painted at a children’s school in Thailand. From there, each mural unfolded, one after another, with future projects projected in Morocco, South America, Indonesia and the U.S.
Nichole continues to paint and donate murals around the world, as well as in the United States. Nichole is proud to say her biggest support is her Mom.
If you know of a facility that is in need, please contact Nichole Blackburn at Nichole@BigSkyCountries.com
PLEASE NOTE: Big Sky Countries is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.