Graphic designer, jewelry shop owner and blogger Corina Nika on creativity, blogging and living the good life on the Greek island of Kefalonia.
How and when did you start freelancing and blogging?
Freelancing and blogging, came to me almost at the same time. It was about 4 years ago, when i had just quit my day job being a host in a restaurant, was completely disappointed by my studies in architectural design, and I was stuck in the house after a surgery. That’s when i decided to take matters in my own hands, and chase what would make me happy. After a few months, i had taken some illustrator and InDesign classes and started a blog to help me connect with people and inspire me to create my style.
Where do you take inspiration for your blog posts?
Seriously, everywhere. I’ve been asked that question numerous of times, and there is no specific place I run to. Normally i could be walking with my dog, or showering, and ideas just hit me out of nowhere. It could be when i relax being outside in the nature, or I could get the most brilliant idea on the busiest day, working between project. As I always say, inspiration is everywhere, there is no limit to it.
Where do you find the inspiration for your graphic design work?
My inspiration comes mostly along the way. I start sketching and brainstorming according to what the client wants, and shapes or simple thoughts transform into beautiful shapes and layouts. From then and on, it’s a simple process that takes its own way. Most of the times, I feel like don’t do anything, it comes naturally.
Who do you see as an innovator in this field/ industry and why?
So many people really! How could you choose just one, when there are so many that have been innovators in the blogger and design world generally? I am going to mention Bri Emery, Kelli Murray and Joanna Waterfall though, only because those 3 ladies were the ones that inspired me, and really made realise that my heart was in the graphic design, blogger world and design overall.
Tell us about your design process:
It all starts with a questionnaire I provide my clients, to get an insight on who they are, what’s they’re brand and really get to know them. After having a clear idea, I get to design a moodboard, including colors, aesthetics, fonts that I feel represent them the best. This part involves a lot of discussions, back and forth going to finalize and get notes and highlights. Once everything is in my hands, I start sketching and sketching, putting all my ideas in paper. Once I feel that I got the overall ideas out of my brain, I move into illustrator, and design everything from scratch. There has been no time that I just stick that what I originally came up with. There are always shapes and layouts changing, and evolving along the way.
Three people you follow regularly on Instagram:
Three apps you could not live without:
IFTTT – seriously that’s the future of apps!
Headspace – just discovered and already can’t live without it.
Pocket – feels so good to have everything I want to save neatly organized in one place.
Three of your favorite fonts:
Brandon Grotesque, Baskerville, AG – Goudies
Favorite online classes/resources to learn graphic design:
To be honest, I’ve never taken any graphic design classes. But I would recommend to anyone Lynda.com if they’re trying to learn graphic design programs.
Favorite online classes/resources to learn about blogging:
No classes I know, but Alt Summit is definitely the place to be when it comes to blogging!
Who would be a dream collaborator and why?
Do even need to say it? Of course it would be Bri Emery from Design love fest. She’s seriously in a different state of mind, and working with her would seriously inspire me so much.
Three of your favorite bloggers and what you like about them:
Latrina McNeil of Of Trees and Hues. A great place to see some amazing photography, get some tips about how to properly use your camera, and meet definitely one of the best and sincere people I know. Jessica of Coco and Mingo. Beautiful calligraphy, fresh photography and delicious cocktail recipes. Again a beautiful person inside out. Victoria of Oh So Pretty. Brilliant minimalist, extraordinary sense of style, inspiring photography, and easy beautiful DIYs. One of the most creative people i know.
Three websites you visit daily:
The best business advice you ever had:
“Be yourself and the rest will come” something I’ll never ever forget. It’s so easy to loose yourself with so many creatives out there. It makes you wanna try everything, and master everything. But at the end of the day, never lose yourself and remember to stay true to your brand – you.
Five fun facts about you:
- I’m obsessed with hand creams. It creeps me out even thinking of having my hands dehydrated.
- I sing instead of talking to my dog and cat
- After 4 years from the surgery, I have just started laying on my belly. And I’m loving it.
- I always finding a way to embarrass myself since I love being goofy – yes in public as well.
- I speak Russian, Greek and English and had started in the past learning Hawaiian. Hopefully I’ll scratch that off my list one day as well.
What advice would you give an aspiring blogger?
Don’t be afraid of failing, always challenge yourself and try new things. Be persistent and consistent.
What’s a daily life of a freelance graphic designer in the island of Kefalonia?
Morning routine : waking up at 7am, tidying the house, walking the dog and start working at 8am.
Favorite breakfast : the brownies I bake and hot coffee or juice
Work schedule : from 8am till 1:30pm and from 2pm till 5pm – only 5 min breaks every hour.
Favorite Lunch : Greek Salad, with lots of feta and a souvlaki.
Favorite workout : Yoga and loving this session particularly.
Evening routine before going to bed : dinner at 8pm and watching a movie, or having a walk at the square.
What you like doing when you are not in front of your computer: Walking and exploring. Give me that and you make me happy.
Can you tell us some great places to eat, drink, have fun and what to see in Kefalonia?
Eat at Palia Plaka – a great spot to try Greek homemade dishes.
Drink at Draught – they got all kinds of beers you can imagine.
Definitely visit, St. Thomas beach, Myrtos, Antisamos beach, Melissani Lake, Fiskardo and hike mountain Ainos.