Painting for a cause

By Ken Williams | Editor

Lani Conklin, the owner of Black Moon Images in North Park, will unveil her newest paintings as part of her fundraiser to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Conklin paints under the name of Lani Nicole.

Lani Nicole (Courtesy of Black Moon Images)

The acrylic on canvas Gold Series called “Starshine” will be a solo art show on view from Aug. 3-30 at Bluefoot Bar & Lounge, located at 3404 30th St. in North Park.

Conklin said she will donate 10 percent of all purchases of her artwork to St. Jude’s, where she has set up a memorial foundation. She also invites people who cannot attend the exhibition to donate to her Black Moon Images gift funds site at

On her fundraising page, Conklin writes:

“Cancer has affected 10 people in my direct blood line from my parents, to my aunts and uncles to my grandparents. … I want to give back. … Your generous donation and loving thoughts are a light of hope to St. Jude children and their families. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Conklin founded Black Moon Images almost 14 years ago. Her company primarily operates as a photography studio, where she shoots a wide variety of subjects such as engagements, weddings, pets, maternity, newborns, nature, boudoir, real estate, models, fitness and vehicles.

Here are five questions with Lani Conklin:

  1. What is the importance of your solo art show at the Bluefoot Bar & Lounge in North Park?

The importance is that I have started a fundraiser with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Too many of my family members have been affected directly by cancer, so I feel like it’s time I do something.

This is my first painting art show in six years. The artwork will be up Aug. 3-30.

Montage of Lani Nicole’s work (Courtesy of Black Moon Images)

  1. What kind of services does your company provide? 

Painting and photography.

  1. What have been your most unusual requests as a professional photographer, and the most challenging? 

The most unusual to me would probably not be to others. I have a friend who does special effects and we love to create insane ideas. The most challenging I’d say is when you have children with parents who constantly nag. Let a kid be a kid so the photos show the true reflection of your child.

A painting by Lani Nicole (Courtesy of the artist)

  1. With the improvements made to camera features on smartphones, everybody has become an amateur photographer. What advice would you give people who shoot photos for a hobby? 

If it’s a hobby, enjoy it. If you want to pursue a career, run with it. Just don’t be in the middle.

  1. What do you like about living and working in North Park?

I live in North Park. I love the sense of community. I love the area and how it’s up and coming — and its neighboring cities like Hillcrest, City Heights, South Park, etc. It’s home.

To visit Black Moon Images online, go to

—Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and can be reached at or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at @KenSanDiego, Instagram at @KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.

Leave a Comment