nicolay

As soon as I was strong enough, around age 5, I began rearranging whatever furniture I could move to satisfy what would become a lifelong obsession with optimal circulation. By that time I had already been designing Lego homes with seating arrangements and focal points for several years. The ah-ha moments of learning to draw a <3 and a gull on the horizon (they're related, see?) are still vivid, fond memories. My first photos, taken at six, were of the beautiful South African wilderness and the wild storybook creatures who roamed it.
I am perpetually preoccupied with following my curiosity through literature, formal studies, writing and travel. My design and artwork, particularly Ruff and Al Fresco*, are informed by this process.
Inspite of this, I only came to understand that art and design were viable career options after a failed attempt at a degree in Economics and Philosophy, from which I ran screaming. Academia and the pursuit of institutional membership was clearly the wrong direction for me.  It took years of living independently, fueling and engaging my natural creative process, to arrive at that conclusion.
Based on the colour of my skin, I was granted a blissful childhood in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, while my fellow citizens were segregated, marginalized, and many tortured and killed by secret sects of the South African police during the apartheid regime.
In 1995 I immigrated to Vancouver. The stark contrast of life in North America and on the African continent is with me always. Having never been barred from the accoutrements of society is a privilege of which I am always aware, pushing me to improve the situation of those who didn’t get the free ride I did. My work as the Creative Director of Caleb's Hope was a rich experience that fed my hunger for meaningful work. I am always open to collaborating on worthy causes.


* Al fresco is a respectful nod towards the work of Diego Rivera, but also a backlash against the term “mural“ which is invocative of the milk-toast abominations that happened to your elementary school cafeteria walls.

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