Aloha, Meet Artist Nicole Namdar

Tell us about yourself 

I am born and raised in Southern California, but ever since I was a child had dreamed of living in Hawaii. Because my amazing dad is so hard-working, we never had any family trips growing up. But I was determined to get to Hawaii. When I was in high-school, unbeknownst to my parents, and I bought a ticket right before the summer break. Assuming my parents would see the transaction and ground me for life, I didn't have my hopes up, but I was determined. The night before came around, and I remember walking into my parent's room and seeing nothing but smiles. I told them I was going to stay with my friends for a week, packed my bags, and begged my older sister to take me to LAX. That trip changed my life. Once I returned, I made it my mission to transfer to Hawaii for school and make my way over. Not only did that happen, but I also met my now amazing fiance on Lanikai Beach, the very first beach I went to upon arrival. And now live forever with the Aloha Spirit in my heart. 

Her Waves Interview Nicole Namdar

What inspires the art that you create?

My art is inspired by the moments, memories, and dreams that are dearest to my heart. Although I did not grow up on Oahu, living there has forever impacted my life in such a beautiful way. Unfortunately, I had to leave unexpectedly due to a family emergency, but I knew I'd always keep my love for Aloha in my heart. And that until I was able to move back, I would honor and love my days spent not only in beautiful Hawaii but also with the beautiful PEOPLE of Hawaii.

Her Waves Interview artist Nicole Namdar

surf artist Nicole Namdar

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist/entrepreneur?

One of the biggest challenges I've faced would have to be something that I feel goes unnoticed, but it is an important aspect to acknowledge. From the very beginning, I've encountered a fair share of bullying by another artist. Belittling my work and spreading false information to my clients. Thankfully most have all stuck by my side and showed empathy for my position. I choose to ignore and keep striving on, but I have to tell you, at some points, it was hard. I can admit it had spent many nights of tears, defeated and ready to close my shop. For me, it was one of the worst feelings to put my heart, sweat, and literal tears into a piece only to have it broken down and belittled. As I grew, another artist who had begun doing similar work had reached out and expressed that they also felt the same pain and wanted to reach out to me and apologize, believing that I was not okay with her creating island-inspired illustrations. I reassured her that I would be nothing but supportive and that I had the same battle when I first started. I told her not to give up, and as long as she kept doing what she loved, I would always be there to support her. Now she is flourishing and a beautiful artist inside and out. 

surf art by Nicole Namdar

What advice do you have for other artists looking 

I think it very IMPORTANT for us entrepreneurs and WOMEN to stand strong and stand together. To put our fears and insecurities aside and instead rise together and support each other. At the end of the day, our work speaks for us, and I firmly believe nothing else should but that. 

Her Waves surf artist Nicole Namdar

When did you start surfing?

On and off since high-school, but I got into the groove during my college years in Hawaii! 

Her Waves Interview Nicole Namdar

Longboard or shortboard? 

I'm a longboard lover for days! 

surf art Nicole Namdar

Dawn patrol or sunset surf?

Ahhhhh nothing beats rushing sunset with friends! 

surf art by Nicole Namdar

Where is your favorite surf break?

Hands down Nā Mokulua wrap around on Oahu! Nothing feels more graceful than literally catching a wave and wrapping one of the most beautiful islands I've ever seen. 

surf art Her Waves Nicole Namdar

Your favorite quote to live by?

It's a quote of my own, but I believe it's a beautiful message and one I live by daily:

"I want to live in a world where kindness isn't a weakness, Where universal unity is humanity's purpose. Where every religion, race, and culture is respected. I want to live in a world where we live for each other and not ourselves." -Nicole Namdar

Her Waves Interview Nicole Namdar

Hidden talent?

Photographic memory which often freaks my friends out when I say something thing like, "Remember that day in 8th grade in Mrs. Thompson's PE Class when we had to run the mile, and we went behind the wall of gum, and you got that bright pink "Bubblicious" gun stuck in your hair"? 

Current obsession?

ANIMALS, ANIMALS, ANIMALS! Any time I have an opportunity to interact with ANY animal my month is literally made! One of my top life goals (I have a lot LOL)  is to have an animal farm, IT WILL HAPPEN!

Her Waves surf art Nicole Namdar

Follow Nicole

Visit her website:

Her Waves Interview Nicole Namdar

I’m inspired by the water, the sun, the moon, and the stars. My countless wipeouts, my dreams of noseriding, and the feeling I get when sliding across the face of a wave.

Meg Jacovino