Meet the Artist
Nic of ‘Alakuma Art
About the Artist
Aloha! ‘O wau 'o Nicolas Kale Los Baños. Nic will be  just fine, though. I was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii and was into drawing from a very young age. In the early years, most of my artwork consisted of fish, birds, and other animals - especially cobra-versus-mongoose scenes from my favorite book, Rikki Tikki Tavi. In middle school, I fell in love with the flowing artistry of the scrollwork engraved on Hawaiian bracelets. I would often borrow bracelets from my friends and my mom and try to replicate the designs on them. 

I took my artwork from paper + pencil to digital media when I landed a student worker position in the Graphic Services Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where I learned Photoshop, Illustrator, and Pagemaker (pre-Adobe InDesign!). Although I love the feel of graphite scratching textured sketchbook paper, I've recently come to love digital drawing and painting on the iPad. 

Although art is a big part of my life and my identity, it is not my "day job." I have worked in the public health and human services field since 2009 and am currently completing a doctorate degree in education.

Scribbles, Foil, and Gold
Regarding the Hawaiian jewelry... I went beyond copying scrollwork off of Hawaiian bracelets. In middle school I began making bracelets out of folded paper and eventually figured out how to fashion them using aluminum foil. No metal to solder, just staples. No glass enamel to melt, just permanent markers. At one point in high school, I even had a friend take on the role of classroom bracelet sales rep and had me draw out various scroll designs on a paper - which served as a catalog - and took orders from our classmates!

Fast forward over 20 years and I've connected with the wonderful folks over at Hawaii's Heritage Jewelers on Maui. We have finally launched our first collaboration, the Lehua Collection, which combines my affinity for creating Hawaiian heirloom style scrolls with the 45+ years of experience doing Hawaiian heirloom jewelry the traditional way using hand-pushed engraving techniques. I'm super excited to be upgraded from paper and foil to sterling silver and 14 karat gold!

 Check out the links below to learn more about 'Alakuma Art, current projects, and collaborations.

Copyright 'Alakuma, LLC 
DISCLAIMERS: All artwork posted belong to Alakuma, LLC and its partners, unless otherwise noted. These images and videos may not be downloaded, copied, linked to, or edited in any manner or form for use on any website, image gallery, clipart collection, printed product, or other derivative uses without express written permission from the artist(s). There are affiliate links in my bio, comments, and posts, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may be compensated if you click through and take action on these links.