Weddings have always been more about the woman than the man in a classic setting; the groom does what the bride wants. The best men follow what the wedding organizer tells them to do. The father of the bride pays for the wedding and is forever hushed afterwards… We are here to introduce a man, who will most likely be more involved in your wedding then you will be: the Creative Designer of BC Atelier.
Tell us a little bit about your background; who is Nick Spanswick? What is he doing all the way in Istanbul?
I’m originally from London, where, after a number of different jobs, I found myself working in the PR sector. I hated my job, but I was seemingly quite good at it as I kept getting promoted – I realised that if I stayed in that sector, I would end up spending the rest of my life doing a job I didn’t enjoy. So at the age of 27, I decided to take the plunge, quit my job and move to Istanbul for a new direction and a new life as a teacher… It was here during my four years teaching English at Hisar Schools that I met Candan Kıramer, who, having seen my work on various school plays and productions offered me a job working in the events industry alongside her and her business partner Bettina Hakko.
Its hard to put you in a box as a wedding designer, an illustrator, an artist, or any capability of yours. How do you get your inspirations that feed all of these different sides of you? What inspires you to create?
Anything and everything. I’m always reading – history, culture, design, art – and I go through deep passions for things that I want to reflect in the designs I create. I have a very broad interest in a range of different subjects so I am always finding new inspirations for my projects – for example my newest wedding decor design is influenced equally by the movie Vatel and Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park With George… On another note, it helps if I like the client; my work is always so much better if I feel some sort of connection with the person or couple that I am designing for…
Would you consider being multi-talented more difficult or easy in terms of coming up with inventive ideas?
It’s a hard question as I don’t really know otherwise – I’ve always found art and design comes easily to me. However, sometimes I have so many ideas that I almost get a creative block so for this reason it can nice to be a part of a team that helps me focus and channel my ideas in the right direction.
How would you define the moment when a couple of lines combined together become a design?
Well I’m not sure about a couple of lines, but as my friends all know, I always know when I’ve hit upon a great idea as I get goose-pimples…!
Foreigners tend to like different parts of the city compared to the locals. What are some of your favorite spots to visit?
I love the crowds and the craziness of Eminönü or strolling through the back streets around Çukurcuma. You are far more likely to find me in some nostalgic little side-street in Beyoğlu than shopping in Nişantaşı or Bağdat Caddesi…
Do you have to isolate yourself to do your work?
I don’t mind people being around me while I work (as long as they aren’t watching over my shoulder!) but alone or otherwise, I always work better with music playing: anything from Bjork to Sufjan Stevens to Handel’s Coronation anthems.
What are you having the most fun with right now?
I’m working on a design for a wedding at the moment and it’s a really fun challenge because they want a ‘fairy-tale’ theme, but at the same time they don’t want the event to be childish. I’m excited to see how the project will pan out…
Istanbul might not be considered as the city of dreams or opportunities… How is it that you found your passion in this city?
Well perhaps it’s fairer to say that the city found that passion in me… After I’d been teaching here for four years, I decided I wanted to leave Istanbul, but each time people asked me what I was going to do when I got home, I told them I had no idea, but that things would work out… I guess somehow I had a sense that something was going to happen to me here to keep me here longer – and that was when I got offered this job!
As a child, I certainly never dreamed that I would one day be working as a wedding and event designer – especially not in Istanbul… But now I can’t really imagine myself doing anything else!
As a foreigner, what are some of the things that are hard to grasp about Turkish traditions?
I’m not sure they are hard to grasp, but I’m still bemused by the huge focus that Turks place on family; the openness with which people discuss their personal health issues; the way people tell you when you have put on weight, plus the way that people seem so much less cynical about things than we are back home in London…
A busy year ahead, with lots of exciting big projects in St Moritz, Bodrum, London and here in Istanbul. Exciting!