Nikos Nikolopoulos is a creative director and educator, the founder of Creative Lighting, and very passionate about light. After an inspiring light tour in Athens this last Christmas Holidays, we sat down and talked about his work, his professional journey, dreams, and goals for the next decade. CREATIVE LIGHTING workshops and online masterclasses teach us how to create inspiring imagery of architecture. If you are based in Athens, London or Berlin, and you are an architect, designer, visualizer, or just a lighting enthusiast, then this workshop is for you. Check it out!!
>How important is traveling the world from your perspective as a creative? I love traveling and exploring the world. I always come back to my studio with different energy and new ideas after a trip. Those ideas are affecting my work. I remember how the beautiful sunsets of Santorini and the color relationships that we get around dusk in nature-inspired my work ”Waiting for Godot.”
>How, where and when did you start Creative Lighting?
I had the opportunity to develop the creative lighting philosophy while I was working at Cityscape Digital in London as CGI Director. I worked closely on that concept with Damian Fennell, the Creative Director of Cityscape, and together, we launched the brand in 2015. We both share the same passion for light, and we wanted to create visuals that are beautiful and exceptional. First, we explored the cinematography world for inspiration, and we spent a year analysing films and the work of Roger Deakins. After a lot of research, mood boards, sketches, and 3D tests, an in-house workshop was born: Creative Lighting vs. Mundane Realism. From there, the philosophy took on a life of its own.
>You have been collaborating with well known architectural studios all over the world, guiding them to expand their visual communication skills, could you share with us some insights from your experience?
We had the opportunity to work with some of the top architects and designers in the world, such as Allies and Morrison, Foster + Partners, Make Architects, Perkins & Will, and Tara Bernerd & Partners. We recently worked with Johnson Pilton Walker in Sydney, and it was a great experience to train the in house visualization team. We talked about communication, the design process, creative innovation, lighting strategies, composition, and color theory. It’s amazing for us to see the results and the images they produce before and after the training. All our clients have great ideas and beautiful design, our vision is to help them to translate those ideas into powerful images and celebrate their design with light.
“Unlocking the creative potential of our staff. It’s like seeing the world from a new perspective. Technical skills can be learned from books, the theory of lighting provides a philosophy of how to convey emotion and feelings. As architects, we often express our design intent through a descriptive journey. Creative Lighting has given us the tools to convey this through imagery.”
— Wayne Dickerson, Principal at Johnson Pilton Walker
> Creative Lighting offers online Masterclasses, webinars, and workshops. On the occasion of the upcoming workshops that will take place in Athens, London and Berlin, can you tell us more about the participants?
We mainly have architects, designers, and visualizers attending our classes, but lately, we also have photographers, lighting designers, even yoga instructors. I will say that our courses developed for creative people with a passion for light, that want to take their knowledge and visual storytelling skills to the next level. The focus of the Masterclass is not only to give you the tools and knowledge to read and understand the importance of lighting, but also the skills and confidence to master your lighting and scene setup in any scenario or software. You will learn how to achieve photorealism and celebrate your design in the simplest ways possible.
> Is it necessary that somebody has knowledge of CGI and 3D visualization programs to participate in the workshops and online Masterclasses?
Our classes are mainly focused on lighting and we strongly believe in the power of the artist. The software is just a tool for us that allows us to create art and tell our stories like a painter has his brushes to paint. We delivered a workshop in Miami, and none of the participants had any 3d knowledge. They all learned great new things and techniques that allow them to see things differently from a new perspective.
>What are the lighting workshop topics?
The focus of this workshop is creativity, lighting, and storytelling, it’s not a technical course, but you will also learn unique workflows to improve your production and many tips to render faster, much faster. We chose 3ds Max and Corona Renderer to demonstrate our methods, and you can apply everything back in any other software you like. Here are the main topics:
1. UNDERSTANDING LIGHT
2. FAST RENDERING
3. NATURAL LIGHT
4. COLOR THEORY
5. IMAGE COMPOSITION
>What is Light for you?
Light is essential for life. As human beings we are addicted to light, we are also addicted to darkness and we need light to survive. Don’t forget that everything that we see is brought to us by light and we have the power to shape spaces, color spaces and change the spaces that we are living. That’s how powerful the light is and for me is everything.
>What advice would you give to a young professional who is starting now his career in the design world?
Take pictures when you’re out. Real-world inspiration is so much better than technical knowledge. Use the camera on your phone to take pictures of everything you see that inspires you. They don’t have to be great photos in the traditional sense. It’s all about capturing moments, ideas, feelings and light.
“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson
>Two Quotes to live by:
-Go big or go bigger !
-You will never start if you don’t start now !
Nikos Nikolopoulos has risen to the top of his industry as both a creative director and educator. His editorials have appeared in numerous blogs and magazines including ArchDaily, Dezeen, 3D World Magazine and dozens more. Nikos has been the main instructor both online and onsite for some of the top architects and designers in the world such as Allies and Morrison, Foster + Partners, Johnson Pilton Walker, Make Architects, Perkins & Will and Tara Bernerd & Partners. His unique cinematic approach to lighting is shared in the CGI community all over the world, delivering workshops and helping artists to take their work a step further. He believes that inspiration can be found everywhere and is particularly passionate about the ethereal nature of the morning light and magic hour. Nikos is always looking at new ways to share his passions and creative knowledge with others. Read more about Creative Lighting seminars and workshops here.
Find more about the interactive workshop that will take place in London on the 7th of March 2020 at the citizenM Tower of London Hotel here! Very few seats left and I really can’t wait for it.
Creative Lighting offers a discount of £ 50 to Archifos readers when using the coupon code: ARCHIFOS50
REGISTER FOR THE UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND MASTERCLASSES HERE> @ https://www.creativelighting.co/