culture & arts, local, perth

Like It Local: ninamarlena


The cranium. One wouldn’t normally consider such an object artistically desirable (unless you were a neurosurgeon), but for some beautiful reason the skull has become oh so vogue, and Perth can thank Nina Oswald aka ninamarlena for contributing to the movement. The Perth artist and skull crafter is in high demand.
Her online store is constantly sold out and she has a loyal bunch of skull obsessed followers she continues to feed. And I can see why because Nina’s quirky craft is damn beautiful.


I took five minutes with the skull lady herself to find out what makes Nina ninamarlena, and what she’s currently so busy with.

Describe ninamarlena in five words?
Colourful thought-provoking awe-inspiring visual deliciousness!

What do you do?
I create highly textured, vibrantly patterned and brightly coloured skull related artwork for the interior environment. Beginning as a hobby, “ninamarlena” evolved through my education in interior architecture and love of art, into a full time business. It is a creative outlet of emotional responses and new ideas. It is also a platform for learning as I discover more about myself and particular art techniques.

Why do you it?
Mostly because I feel compelled to create and I also need to pay rent!

What inspires you?
I find inspiration browsing through art and design blogs and creative instagram feeds. If I am inspired by an image, even in a distantly related field, I enjoy trying to apply an element of the aesthetic or concept to my own work. Often working on one project will lead to other ideas for further exploration. Working with other passionate creative people on projects is also incredibly inspiring and rewarding; gaining an insight into how others work and merging ideas.

What should we be looking out for in the near future?
I am busy collaborating with a bunch of other creatives in photography, projection art and illustration. The projects will give birth to a range of very limited, incredibly unique skull collections. Each collaboration is so different from the next and is pushing the skull project further than I had ever imagined. Also, without giving too much away, there will be some non-skull stuff emerging later this year!

Who is your favourite artist?
At the moment I am in love with the abstract photographic images of merged substances by Jack Hardwicke and Cliff Briggie. I have a huge interest in set design and some of my favourite scenic environments are captured in the work of one of my all time favourites London photographer, Tim Walker.

For more skull goodness and to shop ninamarlena head over to her online store.

E x


  1. twenty says

    She says there will be some non skull stuff emerging soon so it’d be interesting to see what she has in mind .( I like the skulls covered by world maps.)

    • Exactly. Will be very interesting to see what else she can do! And she’s a very talented lady, so I’m keen to see what she has in store! E x

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