Surrealist-Digital Cool Girl Artist: Nicco Babs Interview

Surrealist-Digital Cool Girl Artist: Nicco Babs Interview

Nicole Babaknia is a young digital media artist that uses pop culture, music, every day items in an ironic and fresh visual display. Her surrealist pieces are collages that blur lines between reality and fantasy. Pop over in a virtual tour in Nicole’s world as she gives us insight on two pieces, "Bedroom Lost in Space” and “Mr. Pianopus."


Before we jump into these two awesome pieces, tell me first a little bit about yourself.


I’m Nicole Babaknia and my project Nicco Babs Art started 9 months back while living in Los Angeles. I moved from Baltimore back to so-Cal for grad school, and soon grew more and more interested in emerging digital art. My collages comment on pop culture, my personal experiences and imaginations.


 I can tell from your artwork that you seem to draw from a lot of different inspirations, could speak about that?


Yes, I l grew up in Southern California and now I live in Los Angeles where I produce most my work. I find traveling and discovering interesting places inspiring as well as music.  I attended Johns Hopkins University and studied Political Science. Now, I am currently finishing up my final semester at USC where I study Digital Media. I am fascinated with the idea of creating things and my studio of Digital Media as led me into this passion of digital art. I have many other inspirations outside of the art world. 


How would you describe your digital art?


 I call my art Surreal Pop Art. The juxtaposition and arrangement of elements reflect on diversity in the rawest form. I am a huge fan of artists like Jenn Stark, Andy Warhol, Eugenia Lolli Salvador Dali, and more.


"My collages are like bright bursts of serendipity".


 Nicole’s  artwork touches on different themes and topics. At first glance you see her use of everyday objects and topics such as celebrities, animals, music, pop culture and nature.

Sunshine RiRi

Sunshine RiRi


 “I select elements with themes I see around everyday, and think of ways to make these themes pop out and look pretty.”

Ncole will then specifically look and select elements that resonate with the art direction that she has laid out in her head. Which then she transforms different objects, people, and places to make up colorful surreal visual narratives. As we see here in her two pieces “Bedroom Lost in Space” and “Mr Pianopus.”

   "Bedroom Lost in Space” Digital Surreal Collage Art, (2016)

 "Bedroom Lost in Space” Digital Surreal Collage Art, (2016)

Audrey Hepburn is the main figure at the center of the picture plane. She rests seated on the ground, which is curiously made much bigger than the interior she is seated inside. Her larger than life world is juxtaposed to the other world or outer space that is found outside her window. The galactic world is enriched with deep violets and purple tones that give a strong contrast to the light and bright interior. The game in the foreground entitled “Lost in Space” is ironically placed as a child is seen to playing with a game. Babaknia describes the narrative of the picture to be filled with “lots of curiosity in this one. (It) Symbolizes evolutionary change and future promises while hinting back at vintage and playful aesthetics.” 

 “Mr. Pianopus" Digital Surreal Collage Art (2016)

 “Mr. Pianopus" Digital Surreal Collage Art (2016)

The brightly colored visual scene is anchored by a white large grand piano in the center of the picture. An octopus is seemingly growing out of the sea and piano draping alongside and down into the water. Babankia describes her inspiration as, “I saw a piano with long, pink flowers that kind of looked like vines falling from the center opening. I said to myself ‘that looks like an octopus’ and needed to recreate it.” A large mysterious hand comes out of the ocean towards the keys while other vintage swimmers surround the background of the picture. Ironically the swimmer on the back left side is swimming towards the Millennia’s favorite floatie, a pink donut with a bite mark out of the side. Babankia uses her flair of ironic placement as the humans take on characteristics of a sea life animal, while the octopus is almost like a human piano player being accompanied by the melodies of the ocean. The idea of man versus nature is seen in flip of rolls between the two. Babankia remarks that she like to, “play around a bit with fun props, textures, and colors!” and the her purpose is to “make you feel good.” 


 Her art process she explains is free flowing, fun and cool-all obvious traits to be found in her art as well.


Nicole explains, “I sometimes get into this groove where I free-play and do random stuff with Photoshop tools. Blend colors and form hypnotizes me in the best way possible. That’s when I realize something exciting is in the making. I’m working on some awesome collaborations and am excited to share upcoming projects.”

Look out for numbered original giclee prints of "Bedroom Lost in Space”.  Nicco Babs has an up and coming collaboration with Paper and Fabric where this piece will be exhibited and sold through the website! You can also find more art from each of the six art collections on, Instagram: @paperandfabric


Six Art Collections on Website: (Link to each collection on site)

"Color to My Ears"

"Technically Nature"

"Stem Femme"

"Bright Haze"

"Shape Up"

"Aerial Pin"