Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Local Designer Works with Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is due to play at the Q on Thursday with Lil Wayne, but she is already carrying a piece of Cleveland with her. That would be her signature microphone, which was designed by Lyndhurst native Katie Marks.

Marks, a 29-year-old Ohio State graduate, inlayed Swarovski crystals into the mic after a local sound company received a request from Minaj. Marks, who is also known as The Dazzler for designing crystal-covered Razor cell phones for Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in 2005, produced the glittering gizmo within 20 hours.

CM: What was the inspiration behind the microphone?

KM: Everything I do is perfection. Everything is in a perfect line that allows me to interlock the stones. I do grids… [and] very intricate patterns with the crystals.

CM: Who’s your favorite musical artist?

KM: Well, right now Nicki Minaj is my favorite hip-hop artist, but it’s kind of obvious why.

CM: What’s your favorite Nicki Minaj song?

KM: “Your Love.” I’m a total softy. There’s always a layer of love behind all of my art.

CM: If you could make any piece for any person, what would it be, and who would it be for?

KM: I would love to do wall art for Natalie Portman. I don’t know Natalie Portman, but I look at celebrities like her. She’s like that girl next door that you just want to be friends with. I’d want to have a commissioned piece, like a 4-by-5-foot piece on her wall. I can relate to a person like Natalie Portman. She’s like one of these down-to-earth people who made it, and that’s what I want to be.

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