At Home With Sam & Nikk: How We’re Staying Creative
Sam Danan and Nikkolos Mohammed in her home studio.
What happens when one of your good friends, who shares the same creative passions, turns into something more? And, in the middle of a quarantine, how do you guys stay creative and connected together? I had the honor to interview one of my favorite creative couples, Sam Danan and Nikkolos Mohammed, on how they were able to turn a good friendship into a working/romantic relationship all in one. Sam, a content manager/graphic designer/founder of SMBDY2ME and overall creative in many facets, has welcomed this time to reconnect and find different ways to push her skills to create something more meaningful during this time. And in the midst of this pandemic, her counterpart, Nikkolos, co-founder of DREAMHAUS and a visual fine artist, has utilized this time to do the same and work together to build their relationship in a professional and personal space. So, how do they do it? Keep reading to find out what their secret is and how they’ve been able to stay creative together.
How did you two meet AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER?
We met at Otis College of Art & Design. I was working as a Lab Technician and Sam was beginning her first semester in the Graduate Graphic Design program. We have been friends for 7 years, and have been dating for 3 years.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT ONE ANOTHER?
My favorite thing is her ability to adapt in social circumstances and making everyone feel considered.
My favorite thing about Nikk is that his ideas are always bigger than himself. It’s inspiring to constantly be around someone who’s manifesting thoughts that eventually become reality in order to be shared and contributed to the world.
Favorite quarantine activity together:
Having dinner in front of the T.V. I know it sounds simple but pre-quarantine, our schedules didn’t allow for us to consistently have full-on meals and binge-watch everything. It’s nice to end the evening together like this and then brainstorm on ideas for potential projects.
When people get into relationships, they never think about how they could work together other than in the relationship, so I need to know — How did the idea originate where the two of you would be working together on projects?
What is one thing you learned about each other that you normally wouldn’t have learned if you didn’t work on these projects together?
How do you separate work from home? Essentially, how do you make sure to dedicate time not related to working together?
Name your favorite cheerleader moment/thing your significant other does/has done for you.
Sam helped me with my first solo show during the early stages of us dating. She helped me organize and assist with things that I never even thought of. I have never experienced any level of care like that up to that point.
Nikk helped me with my personal project, SMBDY2ME. From listening to me just talk about it, to hand printing the materials, to encouraging me when I've been doubtful — it's been my favorite moment thus far. This experience is reflective of how he cheers me on everyday, and everyday I feel very lucky.
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE ONE ANOTHER?
I try to motivate Sam with encouragement on her personal endeavors. By nature, she is amazing in developing someone else’s projects as a designer, or collaborate with me. She puts a lot of her solo projects on the back burner, so I try to encourage that as much as possible.
The best ways I can support and motivate Nikk are two things: to listen and to encourage. I think these two things make room for me wanting to learn more, which allows Nikk to share more.
What is one mantra that has helped each of you while working together?
With that being said, there’s always some conflict. What's your best tip for resolving it when working together vs. in a relationship?
Sam Danan and Nikkolos Mohammed taking a walk around the neighborhood.