I meet Nicola Mesken for a drink in Barcelona’s Café Zurich right at the Plaça de Catalunya. For the last 10 years she is working and living as a freelance photographer in Barcelona.
I know her already for some years and I am very curious to get to know more about her latest project, called PIMPAMs. Those are photographs of Barcelona applied on wood. They are available as keyholders and pictures at the onlineshop Dawanda.
Nicola started that part of her business in 2012, when many of her friends left Barcelona due to the economic crisis. “I was looking for personalized presents, which would always remind my friends of their time in Barcelona. Something that they would look once in a while, bringing back nice memories we shared”, she explains. For every person Nicola took a special picture – their favourite bar, their favourite dish or the park, where they felt in love. Or just their preferred beach full of nice summer memories.
“It was then, that residents of this town would ask me, where to buy those PIMPAMs and whether I had a shop in the city. One year after starting the business, it is now becoming bigger and bigger.” And Nicola is still quite flattered by the reaction of her friends as well as by complete strangers, not only by her idea, but by the photographs she takes and how she looks at Barcelona – the city of her choice.
PIMPAM is named after a Spanish expression. People use it to describe an action like “I fixed this – pimpam pimpam”, which means like “in an instance”, one after the other. “From the first moment I liked this expression, and my idea was that you can hang one picture PIM, and than a second one PAM, and you find your perfect combination of different images PIMPAM. There you go.”
Nicola experimented for quite a while with different woods and several papers to find the perfect combination of materials. She wanted her work to be of very high quality and that it would last – well, forever :-). “And what can I say, I am very happy with the results”, she says.
“It was then, when people did not stop to ask me where to buy the PIMPAMs, that I started to sell them on little markets in Barcelona. A friend then suggested to sell them online which I now do on Dawanda.
Of course, people can still come to Barcelona to buy them directly from Nicola Mesken at her little photo studio. “I am always happy to look at the PIMPAMs together with my clients to find the personal, perfect combination, including some information of what to see and where to go in this town.”
Or, just visit one of the shops listed below, while strolling through Barcelona.
By the way, Nicola as a photographer is specialized in weddings and love story shootings for couples visiting Barcelona. Also she makes great portrait and product photography.