Nicki Black has been a professional artist in the digital, print, and fine art genres for the past 21 years. She is Co-owner and Creative Director for Mindwatering, South Main Studios, and South Main Media, which she founded with her husband, Tripp, in 1996, 2000, and 2014, respectively. Having a client base with some of the largest Fortune 500 companies and brands in the world, Mindwatering's main core of services include software and application development, Lotus Notes & Domino application development/administration/instruction, web design and development, corporate branding, graphic design for digital and print, and secure web/email/application hosting. South Main Studios is a professional, private recording studio focused on cultivating and releasing the sounds of heaven, while also raising up and equipping sound engineers and worshipers who share the same pursuit of converging with what God is doing on the earth for such a time is this. South Main Media was birthed out of Nicki and Tripp's eldest child's call to author and illustrate books and create animation and storyboards targeted toward her young adult generation, drawing them to their identity in Christ. South Main Media's main narrative is to publish and produce books and music that are thought-provoking, truthful, and entertaining, as they pursue to elevate and change the temperature of the culture as an intentional thermostat. Nicki and her husband Tripp are ordained Pastors at New Day the Church at High Point, in Colfax, North Carolina.
As an extension of her music and digital work, Nicki's fine artwork reflects her love of life and the Lord through a variety of media including encaustic, acrylic/mixed, pencil, watercolor, stained glass, and pen and ink. She previously jointly worked out of a local co-op art gallery and coffee house. Currently, unless painting for live worship events, art exhibitions, galleries, or workshops, she now works primarily out of her home art studio. Nicki is currently taking a season off from The Wake Forest Guild of Artists, and Wake Forest ARTS. For six years, she led soaking every week and was the resident in-house artist for worship conferences at The Worship Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Nicki's artwork and music has found an audience across the globe, and both can be found for sale directly through this website, or in person at South Main Studios. (please scroll for the full bio, below)
THE BIG PICTURE:
Nicki Black is a worship scribe, and creative intercession is her canvas. You'll find her sketching the pictures the Lord lays on her heart wherever inspired, or creating quietly under an iridescent cloud of her favorite metallics, wax encaustics, acrylics, or watercolors to worship music in her art studio. She may be ideating a new stained glass project, or following the Holy Spirit's lead in soaking others in worship or painting outside of her studio. Whatever the canvas, Nicki embraces the creative arts as deeply healing and restorative, and one of the most important keys to having a life-changing and life-giving walk with the Lord.
Growing up in a small Midwest town, Nicki could never quite put her finger on why she was always searching for "home". She didn't fit in anywhere or with anyone, and was ridiculed and bullied through most of her youth for beating to her own drum and not following the crowd. Rejecting the world's view of her, she started to write to try to ease the solitude of being the girl always watching from the window. She spent a good deal of her youthful years penning poetry and writing music, which then later grew into exploring more of the arts through singing, piano, flute, piccolo, printmaking, and pen/ink. Despite the different creative outlets, there was a deeper void inside of her where she thought all this should have a greater purpose and application, and she knew it had to be a connection to God. She was brought up with very little exposure to the real unconditional Jesus, but she innately knew someday she'd find Him, and the longing for "home" would make sense.
In her early 20's, Nicki's Dad died after battling three quick and aggressive cancers. Trying to sort out her life, she found herself forging through a dark time, relocating far away from home, moving nine times in the first year. The transitions between difficult and dangerous living situations were walks through one fire after another, and eventually she found herself at the lowest of points, when she only had twenty-three cents to her name while living in her car. She decided to finally cleave from a physically and emotionally abusive relationship on the end of this downward spiral, leaving a job situation just as desperate, having the epiphany that these two chains were the final catalysts in deciding that she no longer could exist being broken and never enough. Nicki then began the journey of surrendering the chains of hopelessness, and finding God's grace and mercy. She discovered she still had faith and hope to believe and call out that all things just had to work together for good. In that defining season she met Jesus. He came when she could hold on no longer on her own, and covered her with a deep sweet sleep - a first in a long while. After waking up, she knew something was different, something had changed. For the first time she gave her whole life - past, present, future - to God, and realized she could be loved for just who she was, right where she was in her life.
Starting in the latter part of the 1990s, Nicki taught mixed media and collage design within the library system. For nearly a decade she painted during worship conferences and other events, in addition to leading soaking worship each week, at The Worship Center in Durham, NC. She continues to instruct interactive prophetic painting workshops at ladies retreats and for youth, in addition to painting and sketching during worship at her church, and for times of 24/7 harp/bowl worship, houses of prayer, outreaches, and other ministries. Nicki feels very much drawn to intercede for the Church and broken behind her keyboard, prophesying over others through the spontaneous new song that the Lord puts in her spirit in that moment. She has a heart particularly for those who have been cast out or passed over when man has seemed to shut the door. She remembers the heartache well, and can testify that HE is good, in all things, even in the refining fire and desert. Twenty years onward, Nicki brings a fiery passion to bring a worshipful and restful word of hope to God's Beloved - all his children - to arise and walk out their destiny in His Kingdom, Nicki simply asks God to use her and she will go as He leads, in His always-perfect timing.
TOGETHER, IN MINISTRY:
Pastors Tripp and Nicki have been partnering together with God since 1996, strategically serving in the worship arts, sound and technology, and missions ministries. They are ordained and licensed under the covering of Apostles Mike and Debbie Sirianni and New Day the Church at High Point, in High Point, North Carolina.
At New Day, Nicki is a member of the worship, prophetic, and intercessor teams. She has a collegiate background in the fine arts and biology, but upon leaving college Nicki's life took her toward pursuing a career in the digital arts instead, with an emphasis on website graphic interface design, branding, and CD and apparel coverart. Professionally, Nicki is Creative Director for Mindwatering and South Main Studios, and South Main Media, which she founded with her husband Tripp in 1996, 2000, and 2014 respectively, and she continues as the lead graphic designer in their companies, as well as, Studio Director, Producer, and voice talent through South Main Studios. Nicki was one of the resident artists at The Artist's Loft, in historic downtown Wake Forest, NC, and she was a member of both the Wake Forest ARTS, and the Wake Forest Guild of Artists for many years.
A fine artist and overall hands-on builder in his spare time, professionally Tripp is a software/web developer and technology consultant, and a well-seasoned sound engineer with over 36 years of experience and expertise in recording and engineering music in both a live and studio setting, as well as expertise in stage and venue lighting, and live event webstreaming. He graduated from the School of Design at NCSU, with a degree in Environmental Design and Architecture, and a minor in Religion.
Through their companies, Nicki and Tripp sow back into the local Body and overseas mission field as conduits in worship arts and technology. In 2001, 2005, 2011, and 2013 Nicki and Tripp went abroad as such conduits. They served for many years as mission board members and mission team leaders, and they have continued to be deeply invested in missions as senders and equipers. Nicki led both the soaking and arts ministry at their prior church, and it was at that time she began to step into a more immersed discovery of The Holy Spirit and the prophetic. Tripp and Nicki were part of the core team at The Worship Center in Durham, NC from 2009-2015; with Tripp the Head of Sound, Media, and Technology, and Nicki serving as one of TWC's soaking leaders and intercessors, as well as TWC's in-house graphic artist, and live event artist. Nicki and Tripp have ministered through prophetic painting, worship, and sound alongside Heidi and Rolland Baker, Randy Clark, Don Potter, James Goll, Jonathan and Melissa Helser, Ray Hughes, Bobby Connor, Jake Hamilton, Abner Suarez, Rick Pino, Matt Gilman, William Matthews, David Dodd, Sean Feucht, Jeff Jansen, Dr. James Maloney, and many others.
They uncompromisingly follow where the Holy Spirit leads worship, with an equal passion for creating, cultivating, and releasing the new sounds and inventions the Lord is calling forth. They are both equally as stirred and purposed about the Tabernacle and place of rest and refuge the Lord has directed them to build adjacent to their studio, to be used for His Kingdom glory. This Tabernacle is near completion, and will a landing and launch place for intercession and worship to the nations. Nicki and Tripp are also working on bringing together other Kingdom songwriters, worshipers, and poets from all generations and backgrounds for a very specific online worship project, which will stream original work to the ends of the earth.
In a word, Nicki and Tripp are passionate about being on the watchman's wall with those who don't want to settle for anything other than being totally real, and surrendered to the Holy Spirit in their praises, talents, and politics. What they seek and teach contain no gimmicks, no flashy stage tech, and no fancy promises of fame or record deals. They just want to share their heart, experience and expertise, in teaching others how to fish and change and influence a culture.
ON A MULTI-FACETED CANVAS:
Musically, Nicki's first 2 worship albums were released in May of 2011. "Take Me Back To The River" was her first full solo soaking album, and "Faith Said Yes" was a free-flow, mostly spontaneous prophetic worship project with the late songwriter and worshiper, Scott DePrefontaine. She is currently back in the studio recording her 3rd album, putting more songs to the scriptures, and to her testimony. Nicki is also working on a compilation of live prophetic soaking recordings from the last several years. She is constantly working on new artwork, and going back to finish up pieces that the Lord has revealed slowly, in His timing. And if you're ever in the NYC area, stop by the Brooklyn Art Library, where you can browse through Desperately Seeking, her sketchbook containing both her artwork and prose.
AS A FAMILY:
Nicki and Tripp are home educators. Their two children are also deeply stirred in the arts and media mountains. They love to travel to historically significant places, as well as, they kind of also think of themselves as being homebodies. They enjoy fixing up their historic home, trying new foods from other cultures, family walks, and being with their treasured friends. Nicki and Tripp are drawn to creative communities, and finding art shows and small town festivals, to see what everyone else is creating musically and artfully. But most of all, Nicki and Tripp deeply desire to share the light of the Lord and see lives transformed through His mericiful grace and love, being open vessels and open hands for God's Kingdom, however He leads.