Nickolai Walko was born in Perm, Russia in 1991. He was adopted from a Siberian orphanage two years later by an American couple and moved to the United States. He received his BFA in sculpture from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. Nickolai started to use masking tape, not for its original intentions to mask off certain areas for paint to cover, but more to produce high-contrast, intricate, and stylized works of art. He was introduced to the medium in high school and it "stuck" with him through college, although his major was sculpture (in which he produced street sign body armor and other metal sculptures). Nickolai has always retained a passion for sculpture and exploration of mediums. The Renaissance and Pop Art movements have served as core inspirations, as well as the medical field. He desires to capture the human form as well as animalistic forms through this nontraditional medium. In a way, the tape acts as a skin and the X-Acto© knife acts as a scalpel. Producing these works, he feels like a surgeon and removing the skin (tape) provides access for the public to view the anatomy beneath in stylized diagrams or scenes. Through much exploration and research, the work is always evolving.