Bringing scenery and people to life through photography is a real art and those with the passion and skill are few and far between. Nikola Kostic is one of those that have the skill and ability to bring to the world, insights through the lense that capture what life is all about in his photos.
A former singer and jeweller, a series of life changing events helped him to find his way behind the camera and to Bali where his passion for photography and art really took off. Now, a travelling nomad he scours the world for unique perspectives on life that translate into beautiful pieces that you can purchase on his website Artful Fusion www.artfulfusion.com.au
Nikola’s work has appeared numerous times in National Geographic, Conde Naste Traveller, Elle Decor and many more publications. We caught up with him to talk about his passion for art and the inspirations behind some of his beautiful images.
It’s so great to see your artwork available here in Australia. What makes a great subject to photograph?
Thank you. It took a long time to realize that variety of possibilities is what attracts me the most to photography. I was equally passionate about taking pictures of Buddhist monks, unreal temples of Bagan, dolphins gliding on the surface of the ocean or for example working with some of the best chefs, collaborating with designers, architects, etc. If I would have to sum it all up I love people. Photographing people or working on project with people who are passionate about what they do. Full responsibility and commitment to the subject is the ultimate goal and it seems to be an endless search.
You’ve shot some amazing scenes and people. What have been some of your favourite pieces?
Thank you very much, it’s very nice to hear that. The importance of an image is connected to a leap of realization, a leap in understanding or feeling.
ANGEL 2 / KIDS for example was the disarming little girl who found me. I was taking pictures of Balinese ceremony and she followed me everywhere I went, it was almost as she was photographing me. I can’t really put into words the shift that happened on that day but because of her I am a better photographer. Everywhere I go now I have a manifestation of the same soul in some little kid I photograph.
BEAUTY/ ABOUT PEOPLE image of a homeless person in Paris. Absolute triumph of existence. No matter what are the conditions there is always dignity, humanity and beauty as a possibility in everyone’s life. I notice in my travels that less people have the more they are willing to share.
What’s the best thing about travelling around the world like a nomad?
Intensity, forgiveness, understanding, confusion, peace, passion, depression, compassion…joy. There is no one thing, it is a mix of emotions that stream through my body. It is in a way being reborn, seeing things for the first time, experiencing, discovering and letting go. All of us wish to feel something but most of us fall into a trap of holding on to a certain feeling. My search is about fully experiencing whatever presents itself to me and letting it propel me to a new level of existence but then letting it go. Life is in the now and all I did in the past is just a good bar story but I feel responsible to myself to keep going.
You have travelled to many places to date. Are there any places you haven’t been that you’d like to visit?
Yes I was lucky to have seen some of the most amazing places but I feel this is just the beggining. There are many places I want to experience.
Ladakh, India is on the list and it is going to happen in April this year. Vast spaces, people, frozen lakes…freedom ahead.
Omo Valley, Ethiopia has been a dream for a long time and I might realize it in July this year. Images of tribal life in Africa are engraved in my mind for years, experiencing this part of the world would be a dream come true.
Alaska ultimate wilderness calls to me and I hope I’ll be able to answer that call in near future.
There are many more but these hold a special place in my heart.
You have had such an interesting life story with highs and lows. What is your attitude towards life and how do you think that influences the photos you take?
Life is really a fortunate break, even thou at times it’s really hard to see it that way. Life is about challenging fears we all collect on the way, life is about taking full responsibility for our place in life. Life is also about forgiveness, mostly toward yourself. But it is ultimately about love and sharing life’s journey. Photography is the medium through which I am able to explore and express my love and share my observations. It is all connected in a click of a shutter.
In addition to your photography, you’re also publishing books!
Yes, my wife and I have started Publishing house DEFINE FINE and it has been the biggest adventure of my life. We have been on the road for the past year and a half and have no intention to stop.
What are you currently working on and when will they be published?
We have 2 different series of books that will be published this year.
First series is DEFINE FINE City guides, very personal guides without 1000 options. Every book consists of privately owned business and they are approved by us. Places are not paying to be in the book and that gives us the freedom of choice. So far we have Rome, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Next in line are Ho chi minh, Honk Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Barcelona and Tokyo.
Second series of books is lifestyle travel book. So far we have books on Komodo National Park on Alexa Private Cruises and a book on Sicily. Next in line is book on Ladakh, India.
Also I am working on my exhibition in Moscow that will be held from 29. August – 11. September 2016 in The Lumiere brothers Center for Photography. Title of the exhibition is The Worlds and it will combine travel photographs from around the world. Also this is the moment when Define Fine is going to be launched to the world, so exciting times ahead.
To see more of Nikola’s work and to purchase visit www.artfulfusion.com.au
There are over 100+ images for purchase in various sizes, makes and colours. Prices vary from $500 – $1,000 pending size and make.