Nic Nichols

He’s the main man behind one of the Coast’s best known design agencies, 40/40 Creative, and now, self-proclaimed ‘disruptor’ Nic Nichols is taking his talent to the streets.

The Gold Coast local recently launched Golden Walls, a sub-brand created to meet a growing demand for art-based passion projects including (everyone’s favourites) public murals.

We had a chat with Nic about his own passion for public art and why pushing the boundaries is his favourite thing to do.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
27 years.

What do you most love about living here?
The work / lifestyle balance we have, the growing culture of restaurants and bars and just the pace of society we have. There’s just the right amount of crazy around here.

How did your business 40/40 come about?
It was essentially born out of my interest in marketing and also being a graphic designer. In 2011, I left my full-time design job to start an online advertising business and the local business owners that I was selling advertising to would always compliment and enquire about the branding I created. I started being asked to work on their businesses and consult more and more and it became a more obvious and enjoyable career choice.

Tell us about the work you do…
Our work varies from graphic design, creative direction, advertising, photography and film. So we essentially consider ourselves specialist in business branding and identity.

Is there a particular project that stands out as a favourite?
There has been some fun advertising campaigns recently for Platypus Sneakers where we have had the pleasure of creating some fun shoots and illustration based work. Not to mention the sweet perks of complimentary sneakers every now and then. Our favourite projects will always be our own though as we have the freedom of dictating all the output ourselves, a good example of our most recent being Golden Walls.

You’ve just launched Golden Walls, what’s that all about?
It’s been a long time coming to be honest. Since starting out, we’ve always worked in the art making and curation space here on the Gold Coast and stayed connected by trying to push the boundaries on public art.

These types of projects started to organically tie into our services within the agency but it never had our 100% full attention due to growing our primary services. The concept for Golden Walls changed a few times, originally I pitched it as a campaign to G-Link as a moving outdoor art gallery along it’s rail line, then an outdoor mural festival and also a public art space on Surfers Paradise beach (still all great ideas btw).

Having the time now to work on it now, it’s completely deserving of its own identity as a business due to the reception we have received on some of our more recent public art and place-making projects. We decided that it would become the new arm of 40/40 Creative as an extended brand to cater for these projects soley. We have a Phase 2 of the Golden Walls project, which will be a digital application; we’re hoping this will be launched later in the year.

What are your thoughts on the Coast’s art and culture scene?
I think that we are starting to become recognised as a world-class destination and so a lot of effort is going into listening to ideas, which are finally starting to revolve around arts and culture. In short, I feel it’s underdeveloped but moving in a strong direction.

How does your work contribute to that?
I see a lot of content floating around social media with locals and tourists posting photos in front of murals and artworks that we have created. I feel that creates a sense of experience and culture for the community and visitors alike.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2018?
Do good work, find a new design studio and keep it fun.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
“Watch what you sign and who you dance with”, “Be disruptive – in the best way” and
“In the end, it’s only the good food and memories”

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Beach: Hyatt Pool
Restaurant: Kiyomi
How does your weekend usually look: Either blurry or really boring