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Nicolas Polli

Updated: May 29, 2020

Can you please explain your work situation; either work that you’re currently creating, or work that has been affected by COVID-19?

I’m a graphic designer that mainly works with books. Half of my clients decided to postpone the launch of the outcome in 2021 and obviously this is affecting my economic situation and my schedule. I’m also a teacher and I had several workshops that have been cancelled. As an artist, I had different trips, presentations, and exhibitions that are cancelled as well as a residency in china this summer. But that’s life! I believe we have to learn as a freelancer from this and try to create a better base for ourselves.

We, most of the time, live in borderline situations, with no economical stability and no long-term plans. This in my opinion (I speak for myself) has to change.

On the other side, as I said, I tried to redefine several things, producing more for myself. Even if there is a lot of bad points out of this, I still feel positive about the situation.

How would you describe yourself as a creative?

Mh… I’m pretty messy, I get tired immediately of things, but I also get in love pretty easily with new stuff.

That’s why in this period I’m starting a lot of new things. I feel re-born as what is happening is not a problem, but a possibility….

Obviously I take extra care with this statement and I definitely respect the people who are not in the same situation as me and are heavily touched by COVID-19. But having 50 percent of my working activity cancelled, I definitely found new time and energy to put in my creative process and every day something new comes to my mind that I try to visualize before going to bed at night.

How are you currently feeling about the global pause?

Unfortunately, as I said before, really good. I found the time to rest, I was obviously worried and respectful at the beginning, and I did everything I could to change my lifestyle and adapt to the norms we have in Switzerland. Before quarantine, I was doing a project about climate change as it is something that profoundly touches me. Looking at the current situation, I see it as a possibility to learn, not only for me but for most of the occidental population. Do we really need to do everything we were doing before? Do I currently need to travel so much? And mostly, how are the different politicians going to answer to the climate crisis after COVID-19?

This global break gave me hope that something can be done and that we can adapt pretty fast to a new way of living for a better future for our planet… Obviously it will be hard as hell, but it is a reality right now.

What are you doing daily to maintain your focus and energy, to continue to create?

Sport! Nah… unfortunately not :)

I’m trying to understand how can I impact myself and others in this period. With YET magazine, which is a photography magazine I run with other people, we asked several artists to donate an image each, that we are selling in order to donate what we gain from the sell to the World Health Organization. They will use this money for research and urgent needs.

I also created an Instagram page called @homelife_stilllife that invites photographers to create at home. A lot of photographers lost jobs as it is not possible to run around and shoot.

@homelife_stilllife tries to create an archive of this period, showing still-life images from different photographers and at the same time shows the backstages as well.

I believe the backstage part is the best and you can see how an incredible image is actually taken in a super punk and DIY way… and I definitely love this! I believe is a way to keep photographers active, giving them the possibility to explore new things. At the same time, it wants to also become something educative that can help students and young photographers to understand that sometimes it is not always needed to have crazy expensive materials or spaces, but mostly creativity.

At the same time, I try to stay focused on my remaining clients and try to work despite the situation, even if in this period it is not always easy to access everything I need.

I also started to shoot almost every day at home some (started as) random still life that right now looks a lot more as a beginning of an exciting project… we will see :)

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