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Creative Corner with Nicole Hartley

October 2021

Nicole Hartley works as a creative commissioner at Blackstar Agency, a music marketing and digital agency. She also works alongside this as a screenwriter. 

Our recent chat with Nicole discusses her favourite campaigns and talks about the overlaps between visual creativity and music.


Creatively at the moment, I’m loving Stephen Morrison, a young contemporary artist working in US has just launched his solo show at the aInvisible Dog gallery in Brooklyn that features an installation of a canine dinner party. Using plaster and clay, he creates these elegant and extravagant scenes which say so much about the human condition. 


My all-time favourite music video is Hiro Murai’s video for FKA Twigs. Everything she does is gold and this collaboration is incredible. It’s total profane genius that captures the heartbreak of longing for the return of a lover.



I’ve always loved the album art for FKA Twigs LP1 by Jesse Kanda.

It demands your attention. It's a hybrid of sculpture, illustration and photograph. The effect is disarming and intriguing and so fitting for the music of LP1.


I get the opportunity to work with so many amazing artists, but I’m loving working with Norwegian rising artist Red Moon.

She’s just released her sophomore EP Phase 2:22 which is stunning.

“Peppered with queer liberation and freedom, the project is a cinematic and blissful escape” - Flaunt Magazine 


For me the most creative and original music video is Joe Wilson's visual for Bicep’s Glue floors me every time.

An hommage to the golden era of the UK rave scene, it’s simple concept executed beautifully. 


I wish I’d designed the artist logo for Nick Gazin’s Run The Jewels logo.

It’s sort of menacing but also cartoon-like and captures the shape shifting, unpredictable genius of RTJ. 


The most iconic music photograph is Terry O’Neill’s shot of Elton John at the Dodger Stadium concert.

It’s a celebration of the exuberance and religiosity of a live show that can’t be equaled.