See Thru Nikki digital creator, Nikki Gal, sat down with Pageants & Prosecco to share her story as an “accidentally famous” digital designer.
Nikki creates her unique portraits entirely by hand. Pageant girls like Allie Gonzalez, Hannah McMurphy and Dani Walker have all had their own personal portraits drawn by Nikki. She spoke with US about how she had no idea how big of a business it was going to grown into it.
See Thru Nikki started when a close friend of hers, who participated in pageants, asked Nikki to draw a portrait of her. She said, “it was my first one, so I didn’t think it was my best work.” However, social media thought otherwise. The post quickly went viral! People from all over, including many pageant titleholders, were now asking when they could get their own portraits done, leading her to create her own graphic design business, See Thru Nikki.
The name See Thru Nikki, stems from Nikki’s natural creativity. When Pageants & Prosecco asked about why she chose the name explained, “They’re seeing their vision through my eyes.” Each design takes Gal approximately 40 minutes, and the design is done solely by hand. It is important for her to add a personal touch to her art, “Every digital designer I know uses a stylus, I think drawing by hand is more heartfelt.”
Nikki’s designs are not just used for pageant girl profile pictures, she has designed bumper stickers, business cards, logos, websites, YouTube intro’s, and more. She even designed the cover art for the single, “I Don’t Care,” by Sarah Cleary, and Mariah Belgrod. However, Gal admires her pageant clientele, “Every pageant girl I’ve done business with is so nice and professional. They are also so confident, it’s inspiring to me.”
Nikki’s advice for aspiring digital designers. It’s simple, “trust the creativity process.” She begins early in the morning around 7:30 am beginning with meditation. “I love yoga and meditation; they make your mind clear and get you in that creative mindset.” She also tries to read to help keep her mind focused, so she can before working on her designs.
You can hear our full interview with Nikki Gal on the podcast, Pageants & Prosecco. Now playing on all major podcast platforms.