Artist Nick Kuchar fell in love with Hawaii after falling in love and marrying his wife. Originally from Florida, Kuchar grew up surfing and just being outside, so embracing the Hawaii lifestyle was easy. Both he and his wife are designers, as you can see when you visit their home.
“We love collecting old stuff,” said Kuchar. “We have a collection of vintage surf boards and just different things around the house that give it a fun character. One of our side projects we like to do is make furniture. The kitchen table we made out of surfboard resin and pigment and there’s a coffee table in the living room that we built out of reclaimed wood from a Pearl Harbor hanger in the 1930′s.”
Kuchar does not have far to go to get his creative juices flowing. “Most of my art is inspired by outdoor activities, surfing and hiking,” adding, the colors he chooses are “muted and tonal. It’s just a nice palette for home decor. There is so much inspiration everywhere you go. You can get lost in the mountains or go out for a surf and all-of-a-sudden you are filled with all of these creative ideas. But it can be more difficult because of our cost of living and just being an entrepreneur in Hawaii has its own challenges.”
In his studio, Kuchar walked Talk Story host Mckenna Maduli through his creative process. “Most of my work is digitally illustrated. It starts with a digital sketch or an onsite sketch usually transition that to a computer. I also incorporate some acrylic washes that I’ll paint that I’ll either scan in or photograph and that gives it that texture and nostalgic feel that you see a lot of my travel prints have.”
Although much of his work centers around digital illustrations, it’s not his only art medium. “That’s not to say I don’t hand-sketch on sketch pads too. Sometimes that’s easier. It’s kind of just when inspiration strikes. Whatever you have around you. Sometimes a cocktail napkin does the job too.”
About Nick Kuchar: O’ahu-based artist Nick Kuchar (Nick Kuchar Art & Design Co.) creates vintage-inspired surf and travel art featuring Hawaii’s favorite locations. 13-years ago he and his wife fell in love with Hawaii on their honeymoon, turning it into a permanent residence. They found a vibrant community and an island ohana to call home. An avid surfer from his days growing up in Florida to now paddling out with his twin toddlers at surf breaks around O’ahu, Nick’s creative process takes him throughout the islands where he finds inspiration in the ocean and hiking. He takes onsite sketches and photographs into his studio where he uses a mix of acrylic washes and digital illustration to bring his vision of these locales to life.
Kuchar is inspired by the early days of surfing and beach culture, including the vintage color palette, typography, and nostalgia that goes with it. he has been blessed to have collaborated with Patagonia, Hawaiian Airlines, and Jamba Juice, among others. Most recently, he was the official artist for the 2018 Moloka’i to O’ahu Paddleboard Race and also created a large wall illustration for the lobby of the newly remodeled Queen Kapi’olani Hotel.
For more information: nickkuchar.com Insta:/ Twitter: @nickkuchar