Katrin Sikora is a writer, stylist and editor from Germany who bases herself all over the world. She’s currently Bali.
After graduating from her media studies, she worked as a writer and conceptor in a film production company. Finally, she decided to follow her passion for traveling and got on her path to a digital nomad life. Right now, she’s carrying her office in her backpack whilst working for both German clients and more international projects. She’s a specialist art, fashion & culture. She writes for fashion & culture magazines and blogs as well as developing social media management and communication concepts.
Can you tell us about your time in Portugal?
Five years ago, I visited Portugal for the first time and immediately fell in love with the country. I stayed in a small guesthouse close to the picturesque Carvoeiro, a former fishing village in the Southern Algarve. With a rented car, I started to explore the seaside and had some unforgettable moments driving along the rocky coast: All on my own with the setting sun, seeing nothing for hours except for VW’s popping up every now and then between the cliffs. Who ever manages to visit Vila do Bispo (next to the amazing spot of Sagres — ever heard about?), the traditional restaurant “A Eiro do Mel” is a must go. The Cataplana here stole my heart.
Which bits do you most enjoy about your current jobs?
Mostly, I enjoy the variety of it. Writing and media concepting are so diversified, depending on who you work for, which topics might be involved and what the outcomes should be. Last year, I had this amazing project for the German museum "Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt", that ran an exception on paleoanthropology called“Expanding Worlds”. Our team had less than a month to immerse into the theme and develop a content design.
I did interviews on screen with six of the most popular scientists in this field and we shot with them all across Europe. It was fantastic! Meeting these impressive characters, learning from them, having the chance to see treasures like the skeleton of the first Neanderthal to be found face to face. So different from my fashion jobs and yet so cool to get at least an idea of how it all begun. This is it: You have to challenge yourself and learn new things each and every day. I love that.
What appealed to you about the digital nomad lifestyle?
Independency. And of course the opportunity to work remotely, from places you always wanted to visit. Some people, myself included, just don’t go for the settled lifestyle. I enjoy traveling, staying as long as I like to in one place and then going on, wherever the wind takes me (— how pathetic. It’s probably not the wind, it’s more likely to be a bus without A/C, cracked seats and a packed like sardines in a tin experience free of charge).
At the beginning of my working life, I struggled with this desire. It seemed to be misaligned with the lifestyle my family, colleagues and society stuck to which they expected me to embrace as well. Hearing people say 'this is not possible‘ is always something that bugs me. Fortunately, I met the right people at the right time, such as Nadine from office journey who really supported me. It was at this time I realised: What I feel is not some kind of mental illness, it is a phenomenon that right now engages a whole generation of people who search for a balance of work and life, a job they can identify with, a fulfilling task.
What would you tell People that consider a digital nomad life but still hesitate?
Don’t ask yourself why, ask yourself why not.
What appeals to you about a location to work from?
It’s mostly the people. My job as a writer requires to be interested in humans, cultures and the individual stories people have to tell. While traveling you get the chance to meet a lot of different personalities and pretty much everyone shares this spirit of helpfulness, enthusiasm and freedom. You exchange experiences, learn from each other and share skills.
And good weather, of course. Sunshine is mandatory ;)
Can you tell us a bit about your background in film and editing and how that relates to telling a good story?
During my film and media studies I found out that what appeals to me the most about a movie is a good story. The structure of a plot decides if you get involved in it and start to feel for the characters or just get bored by what’s happening. Like every written piece a film has to be well constructed. The story gets built up turning point after turning point, much like an architect would plan a building.
Thanks to my studies I learned the guidelines of a good story, which I always keep in mind when I write something. This is how creativity works for me: It's a wild mind and a disciplined eye. I enjoy this process of developing a story, watching it unfold itself through my writing. This is why I still do creative writings, thinking up stories. I use it as some kind of therapy to get rid off things that pollute my mind. Once someone told me, that the desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of a human soul. For me this is true.
You also work as a freelance stylist and make up artist. How do these professions fit together?
Must be again my interest in capturing the true essence of people's personalities. Offering a glimpse into the soul of a human being (or of a fictional character) and bringing it to the surface — that’s what I am passionate about, may it be through words or make up/styling. Lately, I did some work in the costume department for several commercials and music clips and I really enjoyed it. It combines both my professions and I would love to deepen that.
What kind of person suits the copywriting lifestyle?
Is there a copywriting kind of lifestyle? I am not sure about that. But for someone who is considering becoming a writer, most important might be starting to trust yourself and lose the fear of being wrong. Every written word is a part of you, you should be fine with reflecting and revealing yourself sometimes. In general, you should be passionate about understanding what people are about: Empathy is very important. Not only to interpret the nature of someone through words but to appropriately communicate with your clients. Especially when you do commissioned work, it’s your job to understand what your client’s vision is and to find the right way to bring it to paper, media or what else there might be.
Get in touch with freelance copywriter Katrin Sikora through her website
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