After enough years creating images for clients, Nicole returned to her original path and personal work.

Nicole received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and her Master of Arts in Ceramics from San Francisco State University.

Since 2004, Nicole has exhibited her work. Los Angeles, Nashville, Scottsdale/Phoenix, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Sonoma, Healdsburg, San Diego and Atlanta so far. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art featured Nicole and her husband, Marc Katano, in a joint exhibition entitled, Akin: the Art of Nicole and Marc Katano.