Interview: Cassandra Niki

Her photos will make you interested with your emotions as well as vibrantly portray the beauty of every unique instant she chooses to seize. She was a talented young artist. She wrote the book, she took a few pictures, she has a talent that is not unexpected. Elle est adorable! Cassandra Nikki

Tell to us about Cassandra Niki. Did you have any nicknames?
Proud Indonesian slash sort-of-American. Writer, photographer, music enthusiast, crazy cat lady. My nickname in Indonesia as most have known was 'casseybunn'. After 7 years publishing work under that name, I finally let it go and starting using my real name. While 'casseybunn' is still very Google-able, I prefer my real name; it's more mature and professional, y'know?

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but never technically spent enough time there. I spent about almost my entire childhood in Wellington, New Zealand; I was practically a kiwi. Then I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia since my preteens until I was 21. I grew up traveling, one the awesome things I'll never stop being grateful for.

"I can't go out without taking pictures or imagining an idea to take pictures of."

What is photography for you? Is photography your hobby or do you earn your living using your talent and camera?
To be honest, the more I do it, it feels more like a reflex. Like, I can't go out without taking pictures or imagining an idea to take pictures of. For now, most of my photography projects are for school or personal documentation. I still have people buying my prints from time to time, but it doesn't necessarily pay for my living costs.

Have you got the most fave themes for shoot?
I've been very much into illustrative portraiture lately. And documentary.

Do you like photography in the wild? Do you have any photographic themes that have not been achieved? And where was your favorite place for shoot?
I'm not a huge landscape photography fan. Although, I love being in the wild in general. I've done some work for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, which obviously required a lot of landscape and wildlife photographs. That was one of the most rewarding and emotional projects I've done so far.

As far as themes that I would love to explore, definitely documentary and perspective journalism. I'm currently in school to study and trying to achieve these themes.

My favorite location to shoot so far is Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. The landscape is so picturesque, taking photographs there is effortless. But nowadays, anywhere at all could become a great spot to shoot. I'm not too crazy picky about locations, the context is more important.



You also write books. Can you tell me how you can write a book?
Every writer has their own methods I guess. Myself, it takes a quiet surrounding, away from my comfort zone, deadlines and cigarettes, lots of them. I wrote my first novel during my travels in Bali and Central Java. Of course there's the obvious that comes after that; getting a publisher and other what-nots. That my dear, requires a set of balls, patience and a little bit of luck. Here's a tip: Start sharing stuff online first. Gather an audience. Cause a demand. Then next, publishing a book is all there is to do.

Which artists have influenced you?
Annie Leibovitz, Garry Winogrand, Sally Mann, Steve McCurry, Ralph Gibson, Ryan McGinley.

Could you see yourself doing anything else?
If I had another chance to go back in time and work on a different skill, I would love to become a musician! But honestly, now, I really can't see myself doing anything other than what I'm doing today. I love what I do, although, it would great to be a more successful version of myself.

Tell us about something that made you laugh recently!

As we know, you have been to San Francisco. Tell us your impressions. Do you like California?
I'm currently living in San Francisco, California. I absolutely love it here. It's a big city, but it's not overwhelming. Everyone is laid-back, the atmosphere is unhurried and easygoing. The weather is quite bipolar, but I enjoy the surprises most of the time. There's always something interesting going on and there are always interesting people to meet. I haven't traveled around most parts of California yet (just mostly around the Bay area) but it certainly feels like home already, I might stay for a little longer.

How do you spend your free time and where do I find you on a saturday night?
I sleep on my days off. I know, I'm a boring person, hahaha. I'm very busy most of the time, balancing work and school and trying to have a social life. So any time I get a chance to just sleep, that's what I do.
If I'm not working, I'll probably be drunk on a Saturday night. Find me at a dive bar, at a concert having my third beer, or maybe at the movies smuggling whiskey. Either way, I'm definitely drunk. Or, again, sleeping at home.

What does a typical workday for you look like?
Since I have two jobs, I have two different scenarios.
(1) When I'm writing, the scene is me in front of my computer on my dining table, most likely after midnight, with an ashtray filled with cigarette butts nearby and Sigur Rós as the soundtrack. I'll be typing, for hours, until the sun rises.

(2) I also work a retail job to make ends meet. On a typical workday as a sales associate at Banana Republic in Downtown San Francisco, you'll see me helping a customer pick out a suit or handling the cash registers. Mostly just keeping the store going and selling on a regular 8-hour shift.

What do you do when nobody's watching?
I lip-sync to my favorite songs, naked. And sometimes, I eat unhealthy and gross frozen food products while watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Hashtag no shame.

So what do you think about The Kardhasians?
The Kardashians: love and hate. I cringe and scoff most of the time while watching them, but I can't help to know more. They're so addictive!

The ice cream flavour you like is?
Ben & Jerry's Greek Blueberry Frozen Yogurt is probably my all time favorite. But the good-old vanilla or chocolate ice cream would also do.

Thankyou, Cass!

1 comment:

आप कुछ बाहर थूक चाहिए कृपया.


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