Nik Paustovskiy

Moscow, Russia

Nik Paustovskiy is a photographer based in Moscow, Russia.

He first showed his interest in photography in 2009, exploring mostly fashion, portrait and documentary photography.

Nik is a self-taught photographer. He has lived throughout Asia in places such as Japan, Bangladesh & Nepal.

The travel, culture and experiences it bought along with it is what has influenced Nik Paustovskiy both as a person and a photographer.

A Russian mentality intertwined with the Asian cultures he has lived within characterises and captures his vision as an artist.

Where are you from, where are you based now? Can you tell us a little about both?

I was born in Moscow, I lived there until 1999 which is when I then moved to Asia. I am based in Moscow right now, back to my roots. I love and hate Moscow at the same time. When I’m not here for a long period of time I really miss it. But when I’m here for too long I become depressive and angry. I think thats because I’m used to travelling and moving  around a lot due to my parents job back in 90s. 

Can you tell us about the other places you have lived and worked in, what sticks out about them and why did you chose to live in them?

My biggest inspiration is Tokyo but at the time I was originally there, it wasn’t my choice back then. I had to move there with my parents because my dad got a job there. Well, I think Japanese culture is what sticks out. Thats like a different world with a culture unlike any other I’ve experienced. I immediately fell in love with it! 

Favourite city to shoot in?

Definitely Paris. 

How do you decide on a subject matter for documentary photography?

I choose the topic that bothers me the most in a certain period of time. For example, Russian winter always gives me dark thoughts. 

What drew you to fashion photography?

Juergen Teller. When I saw his raw and grainy film portraits of Mariacarla Boscono, naked Vivienne Westwood and his other stuff like ‘go-sees’ . I fell in love with 90s, 00s fashion. People like Teller, Mark Borthwick, Sean Ellis and many others from those decades inspire me a lot!  

Whats the industry like in Russia for the type of work you want to produce?

Im my opinion theres an absence of industry in general. Thats why a lot of photographers struggle to make money out of photography and the work they do, they then finally move  onto something else. 

Tell us a little about 64mag;

Well, its just a hobby. I post there stuff I find interesting. Sometimes iIpublish paid promos there. But in the future I’m planning to expand. I don’t want to talk about it too much because in Russia we have this belief that if you tell someone something about your upcoming ideas and work that hasn’t been achieved yet, you might fail in it in the future. 

If there was a place or subject you would love to do a project on and where/what would it be?

I want to shoot the people of Siberia and their tough lives out there. Its not that easy just to live in Russia, but Siberia is for real man. Maybe I will travel there next winter… In general I want to shoot more documentary projects about my country because theres so much going on right now. 

If not photography what do you see yourself doing?

I’d love to work with wood. Im also interested in furniture design. 

What can we expect from you in 2022?

Don’t expect anything then you won’t be disappointed. Life’s too unpredictable.  

Where can we find you online?

At my Instagram page @merde