Finding beauty on lockdown in Berlin.

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Introducing NIKCreative Director (a pretty massive gig) of one of my favourite online magazines, IGNANT - a magazine that features the finest in art, design, photography, travel and architecture. 
Originally from Stuttgart but now living in Berlin, NIK and I met on a job in Greece last summer. ​NIK is a creative powerhouse. In his signature all-black get-up, NIK was a gentle and kind addition to our trip. When asked for the words he lives by, NIK says "Evolve or die". He goes on to explain, "a bit reductive and certainly a bit hard, but it definitely encapsulates the type of drive I strive for in my creative work and my overall evolution as a creative and artist". And I admire this a lot. It is an honour to feature NIK's thoughts here. Enjoy.

Name: NIK

 

Star Sign: Capricorn

 

Hometown: I was born in the south of Germany in a city called Stuttgart.

 

Where do you live now? Right now I’m living in Berlin, Germany. 

 

How long have you been in Berlin, and what took you there? I’ve been living here now for 4,5 years. I initially moved here for a job as a photographer at the streetwear magazine Highsnobiety, which is headquartered in Berlin. 

 

Describe yourself in 3 words or less… Creative, curious, open-minded.

 

Describe Berlin in 3 words or less… Chill, progressive, dirty. 

 

How long have you been isolating for now? It feels like I’ve been isolating for years now, but I think it must’ve been like 8-9 weeks by now. 

 

Who are you isolating with? I'm isolating with my partner and our dog, so I can’t complain - I’m in really good company.

 

Tell us about your living arrangements...

We live in a big, open, loft-style apartment, with a lot of sunlight in the afternoons. So even though we can’t go out so much, I’m still able to enjoy the sun and nice weather in our apartment. 

 

What is the vibe like in Berlin at the moment? Usually Berlin transforms into a completely different city within the first days of spring. People are out and spending their time in bars and parks. This year however has been really different, with people holding back on a lot of these social activities that are usually so common for Berlin. 

 

What does your new kind of daily routine look like? I’m trying to stick to my usual routine in the morning, which starts with me getting up at 7:30 AM and doing a 10-minute meditation to start my day. After that I’m reading the news and catching up on important emails. Around 8:30 I brew a cup of coffee (pourover!), followed by a quick 20-30-minute yoga session afterwards. Then I get ready in the bathroom and try to start my day around 10 AM. So in general, my routine has not really changed, besides the fact that instead of commuting to work, I just walk to my desk. In general, I try to stick to my routine as much as possible to maintain some kind of normalcy.

 

Do you have any daily rituals? I would say my daily rituals are me making coffee in the morning and reading a book before going to bed.

Are you finding more creative inspiration in this time? Not so much, to be honest. Normally I get a lot of inspiration from exploring new places, which is a little bit hard right now. So I can’t wait to start traveling again.

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What other creative outlets do you turn to? I’ve been getting into 3D rendering as one of my creative outlets. Sometimes I also paint when I’m in the mood. 

 

What is on your stereo? During the day when I'm working, I’m listening to binaural beats, which really help me to focus and get stuff done. At night, I love to listen to jazz. Recently I've been listening to a lot of Japanese jazz.

 

Are they any books / podcasts you are loving at the moment? Right now, I’m reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A truly amazing and mesmerizing book to read.

What other creative outlets do you turn to? I’ve been getting into 3D rendering as one of my creative outlets. Sometimes I also paint when I’m in the mood. 

 

What is on your stereo? During the day when I'm working, I’m listening to binaural beats, which really help me to focus and get stuff done. At night, I love to listen to jazz. Recently I've been listening to a lot of Japanese jazz.

 

Are they any books / podcasts you are loving at the moment? Right now, I’m reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A truly amazing and mesmerizing book to read.

And any other local Berlin creatives who are inspiring you right now? I love following what ACTE are up to. Their minimalistic and yet brutal design approach really inspires me. 

 

How are you staying in touch with your mates and loved ones? I mostly stay in contact with everyone via WhatsApp and some FaceTime calls from time to time. Every one or two weeks, my group of friends also gets together for a Zoom call on a weeknight. 

What are you doing for exercise? My exercise regime consists of a quick daily yoga session and 2-3 HIIT sessions a week to keep me active. 

 

Have you developed any vices in lockdown? I’ve honestly been watching way too many stupid and useless youtube videos, but that’s really about it. 

 

When this blooming virus goes away, where will you be travelling to next? I'm hoping to be able to travel to Seoul, South Korea, which we had originally planned to do later this year. 

 

Are you a window or aisle seat kinda guy? For short flights, I love to sit by the aisle to get out of the plane quickly. For long-haul flights, I love sitting at the window and enjoying the view, which to me is quite a meditative experience every time. 

 

What 3 things are always in your suitcase? Black Hoodie, Eyemask, and my laptop.

 

What are your 3 favourite hotels in the world? Amangiri, Utah, USA; The Audo, Copenhagen, Denmark; Setouchi Aonagi, Matsuyama, Japan.

Words you live by…

“Evolve or die” - a bit reductive and certainly a bit harsh, but it definitely encapsulates the type of drive I strive for in my creative work and my overall evolution as a creative and artist.

 

And lastly, who are you most looking forward to hugging when all of this is over?!! My mom! I haven't seen her in months.

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