Tweet

I Will Never Turn My Back on the Ocean.

Some things you might care to know...

Nikki is a girl whose body cannot contain the amount of things she wants to do.
She had decided to marry the ocean a long time ago.

Quoting Kerouac, she believes...
"The only people are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

She thrives on positivism and good vibes, which might annoy the hell out of you; but that's the only way she knows life. And she ain't sorry.

Like the Beatles, she is a lover of love.
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy. - ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE."

She requires a regular dosage of happy pills, which consists of Vitamin A-rt, Vitamin Sea, and her drug surfing- which is perfectly fine to OD on! (Don't panic, it's organic.)

Nikki is all about dreams and making them come true. She constantly ponders on the word "passion."
She is all for making a difference because she knows that "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

She, from time to time, enjoys burrowing into her rabbit hole- a world of mermaids, and flowers, and rock and roll showers.
To Nikki, the world is a playground. She hopes to meet you in the sandbox, where you can talk about the random hidden treasures waiting to be discovered amongst the dirt. Surprise her.

VISUAL ARTIST. DREAMWEAVER. MERMAID.

tropical meets design



Eat Some at Flotsam

image

This beats any chichi café in the metro on any given day—given its free wi-fi and spacious tabletops, it’s the type of ambience that makes (creative) work, a total pleasure. When in San Juan, drop by the Flotsam and Jetsam Café for a taste of the surf life. 

image

Ragged details dress down the café’s surroundings to give its guests a nomadic vibe.

image

Working with a minimalist menu may be a good thing. The café spread prides itself on hefty servings, quality taste, and top-grade freshness! Some of their leafy ingredients are delivered fresh from Baguio (which is more or less an hour away).

Brace yourselves for some food porn.

image

TRY: the After-Surf Burger (w/ some salad and fries on the side) — P190

If you feel it’s a bit pricey, TRUST ME: you will be getting every bang for your buck!

Ever had  a meal at an expensive restaurant, then felt bad about it because they skimped on the serving, or the seasoning? NOT THIS ONE. The fare is reasonably priced because FlotJet won’t cheat you when it comes to serving the good stuff—generously. Its flavorsome dishes top the bar on my tummy scale! NOMNOMNOM.

image

This sinfully rich dish of Carbonara (P220) was the ultimate pasta-dream. When it comes to my foodstuff, I love all things white and creamy. :) 

image

It’s a different story come dusk. Poison rules the scene when this quaint café transforms into a seaside watering hole. With its creatively concocted catalog of the hard stuff, FlotJet will make you appreciate home brew like a fine art.

image

Try a refreshing sangria to cool you off on our tropic nights.

image

My friend, Lougee Basabas enjoying her drink while relishing her alcohol-ed sesh with the tapster.

Meet Kuya Glenn: resident mixologist and FlotJet spin artist. He loves to mix it up a little: try alcohol with an inspired twist.

Taste his artisan mixture, the Spicy Nikki—a combination of Gin, lychee, homemade rose petal syrup, lots of ice, and a dash of Siling Labuyo.

Yes, you heard me right! Adding a spicy kick ‘sili-style' translates to Pinoy fusion at its finest. Have a drink or two so you can truly soak up the IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES mood.

image

I’m a little hung over, but I’ll drag myself out of bed to wake up to this! It’s a shame how people get up past 9 am on beach trips. I love the morning sun (and surf)!

image

Come breakfast, the atmosphere shifts back to its sprightly disposition. With FlotJet’s morning spread set in such a Pinterest-worthy manner, you won’t regret having cut your shuteye short.

Go beyond the kitchen area: drop in on the FlotJet life to see why love is in the island details.



Sit Pretty at the Flotsam and Jetsam Art Hostel

It’s that perfect mix of beatnik—made of artfully blended ingredients that bring you close to your dream hut by the sea.

Try sitting pretty at the Flotsam and Jetsam Art Hostel, and you’ll understand why island love is in the details.

image

The scene is as picturesque as a tumblr post: imagine a group of friendlies jamming to some Beatles tunes; it’s a barely-there acoustic sesh with nothing but good vibes and poison shots to bank on. Add the element of ocean, and you’ve died and gone to beach-trip heaven.

imageimage

image

Who knew that a term originally meant to describe ship wreckage and cargo debris found floating on ocean waters could bring definition to the hostel’s design aesthetic.

I’m sorry to disappoint, but it was never about the popular two-some of evil eels out to get the Little Mermaid.

FlotJet is stationed on San Juan, La Union: the 5th longest coastline on the planet; with an eclectic aura brought about by the hostel’s mingled curio and cosmopolitan approach, FlotJet is the perfect haven for surf culture and glamping combined.

image

image

image

image

It’s for the rough-it-up backpacker who appreciates good taste..

image

image

image

image

image

…and a refreshing color palette.

image

Bring along  a relaxing read, some good vibes, and your laid-back attitude..

image

..because it’s all rustic and close-to-ocean from here on ‘til the beach break. :)

We sure would love some after-surf eats and treats; grab a bite at the Flotsam and Jetsam Café, and see why this quaint hangout tops the bar on my tummy scale.



The Manila Sundance Bazaar 2014

The thing I love about bazaars: affordable yet stylish pieces.

…and what tops the average thrift shop experience?—one that combines everything else that I love in terms of fashion!

The Manila Sundance Bazaar was one of those few reasons to get me up and about on a lazy Saturday morning. If you fancy all things boho-chic and seaside pretty, then this sunny mix of apparel will certainly appeal to you too!

Surfing the shopping arena was easy breezy, as I stopped to check out trends that might give us all a (fashionable) reason to hit the beach. ;)

image

Although there’s that extra s (grammar police!), this beach party postcard was too pastel perfect to ignore.

image

image

Although I think flower crowns are pretty, I believe they’ve been a tad bit overworked this season, don’t you think? I love them on photo-shoots and special al fresco occasions—not so much in music festivals, where you’ve got a thousand other girls wearing ‘em. 

image

A pair of shades from Les Moda might be a fresher alternative when it comes to flaunting blooming beauties.

image

They say love is in the (fringe) detail.

image

…so it is in short stories made to be told by the seashore—thanks to Vanilla Breeze

image

Cool off with a little ombré juice; it never gets old on a scorching hot summer.

image

Don’t forget to shield your peepers, and look extra cool while you’re at it with these shiny golden pieces from Wear Vintage PH.

image

Make sure to get the full glow-by-glow by donning ultra fluorescent numbers!

image

These neon bikinis are total eye-catchers; get them at Bermuda before they disappear!

image

Brave enough to don print-on-print-on-print? I triple dare the tropic queens of boho. Get your cheeky fix from Southshore Beach Shop.

Want to know what I scored for the summer? Peek into my shopping bag! ;)



My Summer Stash

The Manila Sundance Bazaar 2014 was ultimately a shopping delight! Although almost everything belonged in my closet, my wallet urged me to control myself (*because a couple of music festivals are coming to town!); so I did my best by narrowing down my shopping list to a few of my favorite (summer) things!

I can now go to work in shorts and sandals—post teacher-job. Gone are the days when I’d have to borrow clothes from mom to fit the stuffy dress-code that high school teachers are apparently required to embrace. My closet is ready to sit back, relax, and greet the world ALOHA. :)

image

Print on print on pineapple print! Nabbed these tank tops for P150 each! Who could tell? What a sweet deal!

image

A pair of original Rip Curl board shorts for P450 bucks? Why not coconut?! — pun intended. 

image

Every girl needs some ombré in her closet. It’s now a summer staple! (P250)

image

You can never be too pattern-friendly! I have this penchant for intricate prints. They’re perfect on maxi dress silhouettes too; got this Navajo-inspired piece from Southshore Beach Shop. (P550)

image

Lacey pieces make for perfect bikini cover-ups at the beach! (P350)

image

image

Cocktail party by the sea? Golden hues are sunset-palette pretty—and so are the sandals I scored for just P650! Try these on when you feel like up-styling your laid-back surf-and-wear ensemble.

I love my summer stash! What do you think? ;) What inspires your closet during the hottest season of the year?



Hello Summer!

image

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer season than to shop for my stash of sunshiney supplies! Tomorrow’s going to be a one-stop-shop for all things island life. CAN’T WAIT. ;)



Prom Pretty

My Beauty-Shoot Collaboration with shesaidshesaidph is up!

From golden hues to hot-pink pops of color: nail our prom-princess-perfect makeup looks without breaking the bank!

Our paintspiration:

source: http://www.style.com

Enjoy—because we sure did love our makeup party! :)



The Sparkliest Time of the Year

Prom season has been so in-my-face this year.

I’ve been totally clueless about the seriousness (and LAVISH outpouring) of prom-posals these days—not since I time-machined myself back to my high school to join the backstage crew (as a teacher). IT’S NOW A PRETTY BIG DEAL; THIS + the fact that boys dibs on their dates (in writing)! Talk about chickening out due to a teensy bit of competition—which brings me to wonder whether this generation’s set of young men will grow up to be real men and grow some. Yes, the times are truly changing. 

But some things definitely remain the same…

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And, no I’m not talking about the hideous 80’s fashion!!! *Just the fact that girls will always make sure they’re dressed to kill—and they don’t forget the war paint. ;)

image

Sometimes, the best part about going to parties is getting ready for them! Fact of life: girls love to get all dolled up—whether it takes an hour or a couple, the results speak wonders.

image

Consider your glam squad (makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion guru) a bunch of magicians who aim to make every girl’s wish come true! 

image

image

Now you’re #winning. 

image

I feel this whole fuzzy fairy godmother thing inside of me every time I transform a Plain Jane into a princess; and I’ve sent a couple of ‘em off to prom this year! #MakeupArtistFulfilled

image

Gorgeous or what?

image

image

I’ve been so into sparkle season, that I even worked on a collaborative Prom Beauty shoot with my newest blogger gal pals: mother & daughter tandem Cynthia and Bianca from SheSaid shesaid PH!

Outtakes from our photo shoot session last weekend!

image

ME, striking a pose with with our lovely model, Thea. Can you believe it: she’s wearing my senior year prom dress! Talk about throwback. ;)

image

Fresh as a teen-beauty daisy.

image

Oh and the best part about working with Cynthia and Bianca of SheSaid she said PH? All things quaint and girly! Homemade pizzas for lunch—simple stuff that makes for a perfect day.

image

Ended the day as happy girls! Didn’t even feel like work to me!

Stay tuned for the actual post this coming weekend!

Love, 

Nikki Ocean

Interested to see some more of my makeup work? Check out how I’ve painted other faces in the past. :)



This TYPE of Homework SPELLS Fun

Here’s to taking art TOO seriously: the best creative project to set my mood as I end my teaching adventure to embark on newer ones. 

As I once said: I always try to make teaching fun for me and my students, because fun creates a happy teacher, and a happy teacher can’t help but spread good vibes in the classroom! :)

I love music festivals + My students do too —> POOF goes that generation gap! Goodbye to phony teaching moments; it’s almost too close for comfort for all of us in the Art Room. 

image

They may not have chosen to take up Art in school, but I might as well force them to do something they love! This TYPE of Homework SPELLS Fun.

image

If you’re not my student, you can skip the “boring” stuff (aka instructions)!

To my students:

Design a music festival kit. Make sure you keep these specified creative factors in mind: creative typography, theme design, and innovation

The Music Festival Kit requires the following:

  1. Printed Poster (A4 size)
  2. Printed Event Profile (A4 size)
  3. Printed Marketing Strategy Proposal (A4 size)
  4. Flash Drive or CD with 10 sample songs

A4 Dimensions: 8.267 x 11.692 inches

Feel free to add stickers, ticket designs, or whatever else will make your project more innovative. These are not requirements but will merit your group bonus points for creativity!

Make sure to submit your project packaged in a way that’s in line with your creative theme. For references, click on this link

For a clearer idea of what the project should be patterned after, refer to the following illustrations:

»>Keep in mind that I’m not requiring you to copy my layout to the dot. I’m allowing you some creative freedom to play with ideas to come up with an arrangement which suits your concept best.

1) POSTER

image

TIP: Try to come up with a list of font options before deciding on the best ones!

image

2) EVENT PROFILE

image

The Event Profile should include the following elements: the title logo, text describing the main attractions of the festival, visual pegs, and color swatches.

2a. ABOUT THE EVENT

image

Notice how I’ve included the main attractions of the event in the profile? Tell me more about the activities or features by describing each one in 1-2  sentences.

2b. VISUAL PEGS

image

Label each visual peg with its corresponding event feature or activity.

2c. COLOR SWATCHES

image

3) MARKETING STRATEGY—with the element of creative typography.

image

Left: Illustrations or Pegs of the intended marketing strategy

Right: A short description of the main marketing strategy; you may choose to add more to the text, or include other ideas for your marketing plan as well.

image

Pegs / Illustrations—close up

image

image

Description—close up

That’s it for now! Good luck, and have fun with your design project! ;)



Teenage Fashion Dream

YOTO (You Only Teach Once) Bucket List 

#5: Do a fashion show.

image

Palm trees. Ocean breeze. Let’s go cruising, you and me. Salty air. Sunkissed hair. Endless Summer, take me there.

High school never tasted like college cool: our cruise inspired fashion show not only featured the hottest bring-summer-back fashion, but turned the gym into one party on a makeshift cruiser to get the students all stirred up for prom—which is more or less ships ahoy in concept, except a night under the stars.

…and what’s seaside sailing without the chillest music to keep the restless youth floating on good vibes as we closed a not-so-typical school day?

image

Trina’s raspy vocals were seductively cool for something as blue as our Summertime Sadness

image

We rewound to our best seaside moments as we swooned to this twosome’s smooth blend of vocals—satisfying like a soothing summer shake.

image

..and a little indie rock here and there to get us excited for the upcoming music festivals to crash the Philippine shores this coming summer. :)

image

Who could resist the hot summer beats that awakened the crowd mid-show, as performed by our feisty dance crew?

Who says teachers can’t rock a little poi? Teacher Lea flaunts her not-so-hidden talent! Students seemed a bit confused when they couldn’t recognize her as a teacher. :))

image

From Hallway to Runway: I wonder if my students enjoyed their supermodel experience; it’s not everyday that they get to strut their stuff without the much coveted hall pass. 

I guess they get a passing grade…on the catwalk. :)

—Spot appearances from teachers too!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Vela Ropa would like to thank the following participating brands for lending us their sunny-side-up fashion pieces:



Hello Sunshine: The Brighter Side of My Classroom

Transitioning from artist to high school teacher has been a roller-coaster ride. Never did I peg myself to be dressed in black slacks and a gray blouse for my everyday go-to fashion (a stark contrast when pit against my usual denim shorts, tank top, and flip flops look)…

image

..but what the heck: that’s apparently teacher fashion for you folks.

BUT who says you can’t bring in the sunshine???

I’ve always tried to make teaching fun for the students (AND FOR ME), so here goes taking Fashion Fridays to the next level.

Side Note: FASHION FRIDAYS—Yes, we teachers are so lucky to have been granted the special privilege to wear what we want once a week—granted our #ootd’s aren’t above the knee or too cool for high school.

You can take the above the knee out of me, but you can’t take the ART out of maARTe. ;)

So enough of the intro, and more of everything I love: FASHION + THE OCEAN. I present you Vela Ropa: The Sunset Sessions—a collaborative project between me and the students!

This is the way the mermaids do it—when they happen to be stuck on land.

image

You can’t own the runways without a complete model makeover. 

image

Beauty Peg: Golden Beach Beauty (We love Miranda Kerr’s easy breezy beach-babe cool!)

image

Color Palette: All things warm and sunny. :)

image

Sun-kissed skin looks flawless on perfectly contoured cheekbones.

image

D.I.Y. makeup stations weren’t a factor. The girls did their best to look seaside gorgeous. Feeling Tyra-Banks proud?!

image

image

image

image

We love the way our hairstylists (slash students) did the carefree island-girl look: braids, beach waves, and messy buns! They were amazing.

image

Backstage prep over and out…

time to rule the runway in 3, 2, 1…

»>TO BE CONTINUED.



#2013TaughtMe

We may be starting a new year altogether, but it’s best to dig deep into 2013’s files of wisdom to ensure that 2014 runs like a well-oiled machine—thanks to last year’s crash course!

image

It wasn’t all rainbows and daisies. It was one big laboratory experiment, and I felt like a mad scientist dealing with all kinds of unforeseen explosions—just a bit of the fireworks to make life a little bit more exciting.

In no particular order, here’s what #2013TaughtMe:

1) Choose your battles.

You have limited time and energy in this life, so play your cards right by choosing the high road. Resist picking fights with people who don’t exactly matter to you, or your career. So she gave you the bitch stare?  I’m bored, let’s move on to #2. 

2) You can’t please everyone. 

Trust me, no one wants to be friends with the trying-hard doormat (and this goes both ways). Tell them to take it or leave it. At the end of the day, there’s no apologizing for being yourself! Acquaintances are abundant but friends are rare, so SorryImNotSorry for choosing to put on my headphones instead of immersing myself in small talk I’d rather not be bothered with. #PersonalSpace

3) You win some, you lose some. 

"You could actually work super hard and give everything you had, and lose. It was the best message for me. 

Sometimes you lose, and you’re never too good to lose. Never too big, never too smart. It happens, and it happens when it needs to happen.” - Beyoncé

While this painting of mine was reserved, another buyer was in line to get it if in case the first one cancelled. At the end of the day, both art patrons had cancelled. The painting remains situated in the gallery store-room. 

Then one day, I get a random text requesting that I do a couple of large-scale painting commissions. 

THAT’S LIFE. Plant your feet close to the ground and enjoy some humble pie to avoid encounters with the rude awakening. There’s always someone better, and more talented than you. You’re never indispensable, so keep that thought close to your heart to keep growing.

4) A NO simply means NEXT.

The solution is to keep on moving ‘til you find your YES.

With love, 


5) Live a little: ASK YOURSELF. 

You’re in your twenties; you’re a fully-functioning adult: it’s time to quit having others approve of your life decisions (most especially mum and dad). When push comes to shove, your fate is in YOUR hands, not theirs. 

6) There’s no one to blame but yourself.

Referencing #5: there’s no use crying home to mum and dad once your life is in shambles. If you know you want something, GO GET IT. It’s time you figured out how the heck you want to live your life. Happiness is just around your accountability, not theirs, your boss, or the government’s. Unless you’ve been deprived of your basic needs and a good education, I’m sorry but you have no right to complain. MAKE IT WORK.

7) Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; so if you can help it, LEAVE and do something that truly makes you happy!

—and so I realized! #DesignStudio 

8) Reputation is everything. 

9) Slow and steady wins the race.

Sometimes we’re in a rush to get there, viciously pitted against each other in this race to success; yet somehow I’ve managed to stop and smell the daisies. 

Make time for the people that spell happiness for you. 

10) #LessonOfTheYear: Hold on when you get love, and let go when you give it.  - Stars

Better to have loved unconditionally, then to have held compassion back. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE.

-Mother Teresa



I had the most unexpected gift this Christmas: a flurry of freelance projects to keep me VERY BUSY during my Christmas vacation! Exactly. What vacation? 
Although I can’t complain, I did picture life just a little bit different on the holidays: Christmas shopping, hot chocolate + movie marathons, bed weather oversleeping, cozy reading, Christmas cooking, holiday blog-posting, and all things jolly holly. I was wishing for a laid-back Christmas to absorb all the fuzziness and enjoy all the merry-making activities. 
I’M BLESSED TO BE BUSY. I’M BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO EARN FROM WHAT I LOVE.
Balancing life as a high school art teacher with my freelance-artist stint ain’t always a breeze. Since I know I’ll be leaving my day job soon, I’m trying to take on as much when it comes to the creative projects that are offered. The year 2013 has been one huge learning platform for me, and I just can’t wait for the adventures that await me this coming 2014, knowing I’ll be pursuing everything I love and do best. I definitely have MUCH BETTER plans for this blog, and I will push for where it can take us to.
From my studio to yours: happy holidays! It may be a tad bit too late, but you know what, Christmas in the Philippines lasts ‘til February. :)
Love,
Nikki Ocean View high resolution

I had the most unexpected gift this Christmas: a flurry of freelance projects to keep me VERY BUSY during my Christmas vacation! Exactly. What vacation?

Although I can’t complain, I did picture life just a little bit different on the holidays: Christmas shopping, hot chocolate + movie marathons, bed weather oversleeping, cozy reading, Christmas cooking, holiday blog-posting, and all things jolly holly. I was wishing for a laid-back Christmas to absorb all the fuzziness and enjoy all the merry-making activities.

I’M BLESSED TO BE BUSY. I’M BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO EARN FROM WHAT I LOVE.

Balancing life as a high school art teacher with my freelance-artist stint ain’t always a breeze. Since I know I’ll be leaving my day job soon, I’m trying to take on as much when it comes to the creative projects that are offered. The year 2013 has been one huge learning platform for me, and I just can’t wait for the adventures that await me this coming 2014, knowing I’ll be pursuing everything I love and do best. I definitely have MUCH BETTER plans for this blog, and I will push for where it can take us to.

From my studio to yours: happy holidays! It may be a tad bit too late, but you know what, Christmas in the Philippines lasts ‘til February. :)

Love,

Nikki Ocean