Art & Music Intertwining! My Collaboration with Anuhea

I'm so excited to share with you the details of my recent collaboration with a talented contemporary singer/songwriter from Hawaii, Anuhea. This summer Anuhea commissioned me to create an original piece of artwork for the cover of her newest live album, "Butterflies." Although there was a tight deadline to meet, I jumped at the chance...not only because I love her music, but because this was an opportunity that also had some personal meaning for me...

Anuhea's Album "Butterflies" with Cover Art by Colleen Wilcox
About 5 years ago when I was waitressing in Waikiki, Anuhea would come to Tiki's where I worked to play her guitar and sing for the crowd. At this time in my life I was still in the middle of figuring out what to do for my career. Amidst my indecision, I remembered feeling very inspired by watching a girl close to my age getting out there and pursuing her creative dreams. I think I sent her an email or a message on MySpace to which she responded graciously. At the time I had been consciously searching for real life examples of people gaining success in their artistic careers. Seeing Anuhea perform was another example that made me say, "Hey! Maybe I can hack it at being an artist too!"

Colleen with Anuhea after a show at Turtle Bay

So the years passed and I soon quit waitressing and threw myself into painting- practicing, experimenting, developing my style, and getting my artwork out there locally and online. All the while I watched Anuhea's career start booming. I listened to her songs on the radio and downloaded a bunch of tracks from iTunes. I even remember saying to myself and a few others, "Wouldn't it be cool if I could paint a CD cover for her someday?!"

Then this spring it just so happened that Anuhea saw a painting of mine in a local magazine and began following my artwork on Instagram (with no conscious awareness of the whole Tiki's connection I might add). I saw this as the perfect opportunity to connect with her and give her one of my custom trucker hats and thank her for being one of my inspirations for my artistic career. I met her after her show at Turtle Bay and we mentioned the idea of doing a collaboration sometime. It turned out that sometime came way sooner than expected when she emailed me a few weeks later to see if I could create a new piece for her upcoming live album!

Sketch for Anuhea's Album Cover by Colleen Wilcox

Even though I had a lot of projects/events going on, OF COURSE I took the opportunity. There was a tight deadline but I did my best to create something that fit her vision of one of my 'swirly-haired girls' looking out into a crowd, holding a guitar in a nighttime scene. I added fluttering butterflies to reinforce the album title, and tropical flowers to represent a Hawaii vibe. I wanted the scene to be kind of magical and dreamy, so I painted a starry sky and made the lights of the "crowd" to appear like sparkles or even fireflies. It was my goal with this painting to not only represent my own artistic style, but to create a visual representation of Anuhea's musical style and vibe. I even listened to her hit "Forever Summer" (that was playing all summer on the radio) while painting to get into the groove!

Progress of the Painting for Anuhea by Colleen Wilcox
I painted the original in acrylic on a 24"x30" canvas and entitled it "Na Pulelehua" which means "butterflies" in Hawaiian. Once the painting was complete, I crossed my fingers for Anuhea's approval, and had it scanned to produce a digital image. This image would be used for not only for the physical and digital album cover but on tons of cool products like posters, prints, tshirts, hats and more! I am really happy with how it came out and stoked for all the products we have been designing with the image!

"Na Pulelehua" Original Artwork by Colleen Wilcox

Anuhea and Colleen Wilcox Collaboration Products

Aluminum Prints of "Na Pulelehua"

Colleen and Anuhea Signing Posters for "Butterflies"

Anuhea's album is available in stores now!

So the moral of the story is....always follow your dreams! So cliché I know, but it's true that following your inclinations and inspirations can lead you to exciting opportunities and rendezvous that will surprise and delight you with all the best that life has to offer!

If you would like to own one of the limited number of fine art reproductions of the "Na Pulelehua" original, or any other products from the collaboration with Anuhea click HERE and feel free to email with any questions. Thanks for stopping by!

With Aloha,



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  • Robert Sheff on

    I recently saw some beautiful artwork on the end of Magnum P.I., Season 2, Episode 19, “May the Best One Win,” but I couldn’t find the credits. Was this art by Colleen Wilcox? If so, is there a website to purchase art?
    Thank you!

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