"It's been a whirlwind of a week," says Nicole Nikolich, the Philly street artist who crocheted three installations of Taylor Swift lyrics around Philadelphia in attempt to meet the artist at her Philadelphia stop on her Reputation tour.
And, at Saturday's concert, Nikolich's wish came true.
She and friends were invited to meet Swift before her Saturday show, a dream in the making since their high school years — and long before Nikolich, 26, crochet her first piece of "Operation Meet Taylor Swift."
Decked out in matching T-shirts with the word "REP" — short for Reputation — crocheted over top in pink lettering, the group arrived at the venue around 1 p.m. — with the other "crazy die-hard fans," says Nikolich.
On top of her own shirt, Nikolich wore a makeshift necklace of the first article she was featured in on Philly.com, the Inquirer and Daily News.
"It was funny because almost every single person we talked to had heard about this, read the article, or seen one of the yarn bombs somehow. It was shared a lot," says Nikolich.
From there, they spent some time tailgating, singing karaoke (Taylor Swift karaoke, of course) and scoping out the most likely areas where reps from "Taylor Nation" — the group which gives out the free passes to meet Taylor — might be. Nikolich and her friends were some of the lucky few who got the storied orange that would allow them to meet Swift in the flesh.
The group talked with Swift about the excitement of being in the news, how Swift's music allows them to continue to connect after high school, and about their strange and silly tradition of bringing a cardboard cutout of Taylor Swift's Mom's head to every concert. (At least, Taylor thought it was funny.)
Swift's mom seemed to be a fan of Nikolich, as well. Although Nikolich did not meet Taylor's mom in person, Swift told Nikolich that her mom had texted pictures of Nikolich's third installation — the lyrics "Don't blame, love made me crazy," and accompanied by crocheted red hearts and baby blue eyes that was placed at Lincoln Financial Field — noting that she loved the "ones with the eyeballs."
"I want everyone to meet her," says Nikolich, "she's so nice!"
With Swift, and with the Philadelphia community, Nikolich says, "I've gotten such a positive response. The [installation] that's gotten the most response — I'm tagged in every couple hours — is the one on Kelly Drive. I want to do more inspirational quotes throughout the city and ones that are interactive."
As of Saturday morning, Nikolich says the Kelly Drive installation is the only one of the three still fully intact. The installation by the art museum has been taken down and that the one by Lincoln Financial has lost both an eyeball and "love," literally.
Her next stop in the art world? Nicholas says she has plans to collaborate with @inphltrate, another street artist who focuses primarily on sketch-work.