Entries in Nick Koch (1)

Saturday
Jan212017

q&a with graphic designer and musician Nick Koch

 

What a joy to welcome the incredibly talented and creative Mr Nick Koch to the Salt and Sparkle Q&A!  I've had the pleasure of knowing Nick and his family for a number of years.  He sings with a mystical rich voice that evokes memory and hope.  Nick is a guy who walks joy and hope into a room.  He's fun, full of mischief and has a huge and very exciting future a head of him.  You can connect with Nick on Insta or Facebook, or hire him to do some work for you by shooting him an email.

Who are you, what’s it like being you …

That’s a big question. Where to start? Well… my name is Nick Koch. I am a creative designer currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I currently work for a local design agency called Mammoth as a Digital Designer. Before that I spent 4 years at Flint Studios, whom I joined as a graduate.

I primarily work in UX/UI design for websites and digital products, however, I have a love for anything digital, & non-digital. Basically I just love being creative. From App design and Film, to branding,print, music and the occasional bit of woodwork if it’s a collaboration of beauty and function I’m into it.

Outside of my day job I am usually looking for a new challenge, a new adventure or satisfying my wanderlust. 

In the past couple of years I have run my first marathon, done my first solo skydive, walked the Camino de Santiago, hiked the Rockie Mountains in Colorado and nearly broken my pelvis skiing (it’s a long story, let’s just say the ego can be a cruel master at times).

That’s a little bit about who I am, what’s it like…well at the minute it’s pretty awesome but the adventure is only getting started.


 Where are you from, where are you based …

I was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have spent nearly all my life in this small part of the apart from a brief spell in Scotland. 

During the week you’ll find me in the Mammoth Digital Department. At the weekend…who knows

 Talk about your work ...

So, I am a creative designer primarily working in the digital sector. My daily work is usually User experience design(UX), User Interface design (UI) and website design however I also work in video and animation. Website design is great because the industry is so young it feels like it is changing and progressing every day. The web was only invented in 1994, that’s only 22 years ago! It is in it’s infancy and it’ super exciting to see where it will go in the next 5-10 years.

 What are your future plans ... 

Hopefully to keep progressing in what digital technology and design has to offer. I wouldn’t want to limit myself to one particular area as there is so much to discovered. However, Augmented Reality is something that I am finding increasingly fascinating at the moment. The recent Pokemon Go trend that exploded this year has shown that the general public are willing to adopt the technology. It may have been a very crude adaptation of it but it showed that there is a market for it. I think that it will be really exciting to see what developments there are in the next 5-10 years and I would love to be at the coalface of that.

One of my main goals is to expand my horizons beyond Belfast. As great a city as it is and it has really progressed in the past 10-15 years I think a person needs to immerse themselves in different cultures in order to grow as a person and learn more about the people and the world around them.

I would love to return to Colorado and live and work in that culture. It has a thriving creative and tech community and has one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Seriously, if you haven’t been I highly recommend it.

However, I am willing to go wherever the wind may take me and opportunity arises.


 How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

I take inspiration from everything, mostly through the people around me. I love working with other people and collaborating. I love coming up with an idea and discussing it with someone, getting their view of it and creating something even better together.  

Describe your space ... 

A calculated mess. Covered in sitemaps, website questionnaires, at least 3 cups/glasses at a time (1 for coffee, 1 for tea, 1 for water). I have always been suspicious of someone who has a perfectly tidy desk. I currently work on a 27” 2011 iMac during the day and a macbook pro at weekends, evenings or when inspiration strikes.  I recently moved back to a laptop as I felt I needed to get out of the office more and this let me do that. I think this is really important. I don’t think 9-5 at a desk is conducive to being creative.

 How are you feeling today ... 

Pretty good. Enjoying answering these questions! Need to go for a run though.

A non-negotiable in your life is …

Be true to your self.

I have learnt a lot about following my instincts in the past couple of years.  There will always be people who will tell you not to do something and we tend to listen to them as it’s a safe option. I don’t know if this is a nonnegotiable or something I’m trying to learn, but, I want to try experience as much in life as possible and do what feels right for me. 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

I think I find actions more encouraging than words. The most encouraged I ever felt was when i was offered my first design job. When you are a student you are full of self doubt about your skill. To have someone to say they were willing to pay me for my skills was massively encouraging. 


Your work life philosophy is ...

I never want to hear the words, “That will do…” In everything I do it needs to be with intent, purpose and to the best of my ability. I’m trying to learn to improve everyday.

What is your favourite smell ...

hmmm, good question, Christmas day is a hard smell to beat.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

I love music! all kinds. I know that sounds like a cliche but i’ll listen to anything if I am in the write mood. My go to artists tend to be more folk/singer songwriters. I was raised on Paul Simon. On a side note, Graceland is the greatest album ever created and I’ll hear no-one say otherwise. 

I am currently obsessed with the soundtrack to the musical Hamilton, much to the bemusement and frustration of my housemates and friends. I find American history fascinating and the melodies and lyrics that Lin Manuel Miranda created are incredible. He changed the game. 

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Hmmm tough question. The first one that comes to mind would have to be eating Buffalo steak in Zimbabwe overlooking a waterhole with countless elephant, zebra, and giraffe.

Ingredients…easy.

Water, Hops & Barley…& yeast… that’s four…

eh… beer, beer is the best ingredient.

Three things or products that have changed your life...

My first iMac. I borrowed it for 6 months from a design company I was doing a design internship at. It gave me the opportunity to explore design and set me on my way to pursuing design as a career. 

My iPhone. not much to explain. This device has changed everyone’s life.
My Passport.

 

How do you relax ... 

I feel most relaxed when I am outdoors. There are few better feelings than being on top of a mountain. I wish I got the time to do it more.
But i love music, playing guitar, singing, movies and drinking beer and whiskey with my friends.


What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Being creative with other people makes me really happy! I love collaboration!

Playing with my niece and nephew.

In a local bar having great conversation.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...

My favourite travel journey was walking the Camino de Santiago. It is a wonderful journey in learning about yourself and people.

There are so many places i want to visit but my top 3 are 1. Machu Pichu, Peru   2. Cuba (Before it gets commercialised)  3. Petra, Jordan

What do you most value in your friends ...

Trust & Dependability  

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

Oooo… there are so many great quotes. Two of my favourites are from my favourite book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

The first is “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

The second I have tattooed on my arm, “Timshel”, which means Free Will in Hebrew. I won’t try to explain it as it’s so much better coming from Steinbeck, but people should look out for this passage.

I am currently reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and the 3rd book from Neale Donald Walsh’s trilogy “Conversations with God” 

Share some words of wisdom ...

Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Get out there and experience as much as possible.

And, it’s good to fail.

 

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Thank you for joining us Nick.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable