Steven Nicolaides in a graphic designer from the UK with a difference. Steven’s work is reflective of his eco-conscious values and love for animals. We spoke to Steven recently to find out more.
1. What is the best thing about being vegan?
The connection to nature that comes from living a cruelty free life.
2. Do you have a fav. vegan recipe you would like to share with us?
‘Tangy Aduki Beans’ is a nice simple one:
For 2 servings-
Soak about 2 cups of Aduki beans in water overnight.
Drain beans, transfer to saucepan and cover with water. Boil them until very soft.
(I eat half and save the rest for the day after)
Finely chop 1 handful of fresh parsley and 1 handful of fresh Coriander (Cilantro).
Chop some tomato and salad onions or red onions. If you dont want to add onion you can use rocket leaves.
Dress in olive oil and lemon juice. I usually add the juice of half a lemon per serving.
They are great with Pitta bread or raw crackers.
3. You have described yourself as an “eco friendly graphic and web designer”. That sounds cool! Can you tell us a bit about that?
I used to be a full time designer working for a printing company and inevitably jobs like junk food take away menus would come up. I used to wonder if there was not a better job for me with clients who were like minded that I could get excited about. So when I left there in 2008, I created my New Gaia Designs website. Most design agencies and design companies are a bit pretentious and have pages like ‘our beliefs’ where they philosophize about the importance of the design process and how amazing they think they are. So instead I made my website with real philosophy and real amazing stuff on it. I knew some businesses might not want to work with me but I didn’t care because I wanted clients to resonate with New Gaia and want to work with me. That’s the main way New Gaia is eco friendly – because I am an eco friendly person, as the design and printing industries are quite green anyway.
4. Who inspires you?
Everyone and Nobody. I can go from one extreme where I inspire myself to other times when I take inspiration from others. If someone creates something that impresses me I want to do the same but aim to beat it. I take a lot of inspiration from heroes in stories and movies, like Superman, Luke Skywalker etc
5. Is there any particular reason why you chose the plant based diet? Have you found it beneficial for your health? If so, in what ways?
In the late 1990s I was becoming more sensitive to spiritual energies. I read that meat was not a good food as it had a lower vibration and that it wasn’t healthy. I had always hated the idea of eating animal products anyway and it always sickened me, so it wasn’t a big deal for me to give it up. The final straw came when in early 2001 there was a breakout of ‘foot and mouth’ disease in UK cattle. Millions of cows were ‘culled’ to stop the spread of the disease. I saw on the news a mountain of thousands of dead cows being burned – it looked like a vision from hell. As I learned more about the cruelty of factory farming I eventually cut out dairy and eggs too.
The thing which improved my health the most was eating fresh organic produce. They are not available in a supermarket as nothing sold there is truly fresh. Im talking about finding a blackberry bush and picking as many ripe, fresh, organic berries as I want – for free! That food is the best one can eat, for it carries an energy with it beyond the life force of the fruit itself. It has the energy of freedom in it. Its like unplugging from the zombie illusion of the capitalist society and plugging into our true source – our home. You don’t get that feeling pushing a trolly around a shop buying food laced with poison. Also small measures like cooking with filtered water (which I only started recently) helped me be healthier.
6. As a photographer, what are your favourite subjects to shoot? Can you share with us one of your favourite photos?
I like capturing anything that makes me feel something. So usually its something from nature like flowers or animals. The ‘Purple Crocus Flowers’ is a good one because it was taken in a patch of grass beside a busy road. Crocus flowers remind me of myself and other eco warriors because Crocus are the first flowers to emerge, signalling the start of spring. The things I am into like veganism, raw food, alternative healing and even the eco friendly lifestyle can still seem very new and definitely lonely. Sometimes when I go to an event or try a product which is brand new I feel excited at the prospects of a glorious spring and summer coming soon. But a summer like no other, a summer that never ends.
For more information about Steven and his design work, see the following sites: