"Creating content has been natural to me for a long time" - @mressentialist
Alexander Atkins (@mressentialist), creates images that are easy, refined and always influenced by the charms of the cities he travels to.
How and why did you get into content creation?
I started my blog in New Zealand in 2012 and back then it was more about creating collages to post. I would force myself to post once a day to my blog, which was pretty crazy considering I had no followers back then. When I moved to the States I started to slow the cadence down and worked to post something once a week and then focus on building my social platforms. I’ve always been busy creating, whether it be performance or art - so I guess creating content has been natural to me for a long time. I shy away from the word “content” - it’s such an Instagram term. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and going places, so social media seems to compliment my lifestyle.
Where do you find your inspiration?
New York. It sounds cliché but ever since I can remember, growing up (in Europe, New Zealand and Asia) I’ve consistently wanted to live in New York. I actually moved to the City without ever having visited. It has taken a while to grow on me but New York always served as a source of inspiration, in terms of its architecture, the people, and the energy - there’s nowhere else like it.
How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
I post a lot things, but also like to clean up my feed. Throughout the years I’ve experimented with a lot of different vibes before I settled on what I’ve been doing most recently.
What is the best kept secret in New York?
I love going to the top of a beautiful apartment building, seeing a view and enjoying the charm of the city from above. I also love a good New York deli. Sometimes people can’t understand that a deli is the perfect go-to, especially for lunch.
Any tips and tricks you'd like to share with other creators?
I think the best thing that people told me was to show myself. For the first couple of years, I didn’t really allow any of my personality to come through. I never really showed my face, and if I did, I was always wearing sunglasses or a hat. About a year ago I started to show more of myself and my personality - especially through stories. It more than doubled my following.
What camera and editing software do you use?
I use an iPhone X. I don’t shoot on camera unless someone else is shooting. For editing, I like to use Photoshop because it takes you to that unique space where you can isolate areas and have a lot of control.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
People always say it’s minimal but it’s definitely not. I like to keep things easy, uncomplicated and always refined. The places I’ve lived have definitely influenced that.
Tell us something no one knows about you.
I’m half Kiwi, half Dutch.
What's been your favourite piece of work to date?
I recently went to Paris with my boyfriend. We stayed at the Plaza Athenee and had an iconic breakfast on the balcony with the Eiffel tower in the background. That moment was pretty special.
The best thing about being a creator?
The different opportunities you’re exposed to and the different people you come into contact with.
Favourite people to follow on Instagram?
@gvsgvs - I’ve been following him since 2012 and he takes the best videos. I never get bored of watching his content.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
You should’ve started five years ago.
What word sums up your job title?
Social Media Specialist.