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Nicole Carrino of Underground Florals

Born into a family of artists I have been encouraged to create since before I could walk. I am disciplined in multiple areas of visual arts. Growing up in the Philadelphia public school system I attended the elementary school for the creative and performing arts, encouraging me to create everyday.


Throughout my formative training I accessed Saturday classes at the major art schools of Philadelphia, Moore College of Art, University of the Arts and Fleisher Art Memorial. At Saturday classes I would develop my life drawing skills, take courses in industrial design, graphic design and photography. City funded after school art programs held at Starr Gardens were also extremely influential in my development. I have always been surrounded by and creating art. 


At six years old I learned to silk screen through Prints in Progress, where I later returned and taught the process at the age of thirteen. I worked in ceramics weekly from first through eighth grade. As a young artist I won multiple awards in citywide competitions. At six years old I designed the cover of a Fidelity Bank brochure. My work was featured in an Art Therapy publication on children's drawings. At thirteen years of age I began my floral design career. At sixteen I attended RISD for their six week fashion design program.


Flowers are one of my primary mediums. My early start in this field has given me extensive knowledge of the names and care of each flower. As a floral artist I create dressing room flowers for celebrities and musicians when they are are touring through Philadelphia and surrounding cities. My floral business, Underground Florals, evolved from word of mouth and I enjoy watching it continue to develop with each new design. 


I have been involved in many exciting projects including participating in the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2013, 2014 & 2015, working with some of the worlds top designers. The exhibits I collaborated on won awards for Excellence in Elegance, Bronze and Gold titles. I freelance for large event decorators and I enjoy painting and sculpting with flowers on a grand scale. My sculptural background gives me a structural advantage when working large. Creating fleeting designs from organic material is very different from the lasting constitution of my mosaics.  


I am a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where I focused on painting and strengthened my structural and rendering techniques. It was during my time at PAFA that I developed my mosaic process and a body of work that I continue to work on. 


Through my event design experiences and participation in the Philadelphia Flower Show I noticed a need for display cake sculptures. I was inspired to begin Let Them Eat Fakes, offering affordable rental wedding cake sculptures to couples and a line of cake props and accessories. My cakes have been commissioned for exhibition in England's Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Garden Show and have been purchased by a palace in Saudi Arabia.


Each artistic discipline informs the next. When I am working with flowers I am painting and sculpting with them. If I am applying oil paint to a surface I am sculpting and arranging the paint. They are all one. I do not refer to myself as just a painter, sculptor, floral designer.. I find these labels to be limiting. I am an artist.


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