Hummingbird Beats: Niky Roehreke

Communication is key. Niky Roehreke likes hands and the film Lost In Translation.  She’s likes how globally understood hands are when it comes to getting the point across.  Her daily routine includes drawing, doodling, painting, cutting out pieces of paper and uploading one image per day onto her website, Hands. She is a German/Japanese illustrator from Tokyo who is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.  Niky’s animation has also just won the 1st Prize ‘Best of Show 2011′ at the ‘Digital Graffiti’ film festival.  She loves traveling with her mom (‘mum’) and hotel breakfast buffets. Our kinda gal.

What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?

In my bag: one German book that I end up never reading , a magazine, my Macbook pro, external hard-drive, granola bar, sketchbook, notebook, mini color felt tips,  lipbalm and red lipstick. In my jeans-pocket: a Post-It with things I should definitely get done on that day

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?

A denim shirt, a white shirt, a flower-print shirt, 2 pair of jeans, one tailored jacket, leather jacket, boots, oxford, heels, Lost in Translation DVD, sketchbooks, pens, paint, portable scanner…okay, this was actually if I had 50 minutes to pack.

What is your most essential article of clothing?

Denim shirt.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

Coldcave – ‘The Trees Grew Emotional and Died’, SBTRKT – ‘Never Never’, any Patti Smith song, Kevin Shields – ‘City Girl’ and Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D Major’.

What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?

Brooklyn, Tokyo and Paris. Brooklyn is where I currently live and have my studio, so it’s the place I need to come back to. Paris: the more I go, the more I like it, and now I’ve come so far that I want to live there for a while in the near future.  Tokyo is where I was born so going back is always very special, its the place where my most favorite people, food and culture is.

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)

I love this question… I wish I can say something great but the only crazy thing I can think of is that a while ago, I had to create a hand-drawn animation within 1 month. Every day I woke up at 8, worked until midnight, slept and did the whole thing all over again for the whole month. I didn’t do much apart from drawing and by the time I was done, I lost 11 pounds and didn’t know who I was anymore. The next time I’m making an animation I need an assistant and a cook.

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

When I travel, one of the most important things is…food! I always ask local people I meet where they eat or if they recommend a place and its a small adventure to just go.

What makes you a good house guest?

There will be enough booze for everyone else because I get really drunk with 2 glasses of wine.

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?

My most recent trip was my trip to Munich, Berlin, London and Paris in January.  In Munich, I always love my grandma’s breakfast with the best German bread. But then after eating too much bread for a while, I liked the Pho in Berlin, especially in a Vietnamese restaurant called Onkel Ho, in London the new Austrian coffeehouse ‘Kipferl’ was great.  In Paris, I like eating galette for lunch at the ‘Breizh Cafe’…but in general I love breakfast buffets in hotels when I travel.

Where have you had your best night’s sleep?

Wherever it is very silent!  Until last month, I was living very close to the highway and I got used to the constant car sounds in the background. I recently moved to a new place which faces a backyard and realized that it actually makes such a big difference when I sleep.

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?

– My mum, because every time we travel together something so funny happens that I have to laugh everytime I look back.

– Erika, my best friend who I once travelled with to a beautiful island called ‘Yoronjima’ in Japan and that was one of my best trips of my life and I hope I can go there with her again.

– My boyfriend Arashi; we’ve been to so many places by now and it is always inspirational and special. He always somehow manages to be friends with people we meet and since I’m quite shy I always enjoy that, too.

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