Feature Article

Nikola’s Visions For A Collaborative Niagara

The Niagara regions a hub for tourism – hosting eccentric views of Niagara Falls, the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the downtown attractions of St. Catharines. The region is recognized as an essential vacation hot spot, however, when it comes to entrepreneurship, Niagara seems to fall to the wayside. This could be since a multitude of young graduates and visionaries leave the region for the GTA, to develop their ideas into realities.

Nikola Crnobrnja looks to break that cycle. With a background in History and Film from Brock University, Nikola found inspiration in the design and publishing industry. His creative passions led to an impressive design portfolio, producing tour designs for rap icon ASAP Rocky, photography projects for artist Roy Woods, stage visuals for Toronto native Jazz Cartier, and countless more. “I found myself having to travel. I then asked myself, ‘how I can continue the work, but stay in my city?’, so I started developing my digital work and researching the impact of new media,” said Nikola.

This thought process encouraged Nikola to develop ConceptSelf. ConceptSelf, a digital publisher, hosts designers and creatives from all around the world, creating a community of like-minded individuals. Taking influence from FADER articles and architectural magazines, Nikola fully intends to create ConceptSelf into a comprehensive publisher, releasing annual publications of rich content for creators.

Nikola has taken his experience and creative abilities to develop a Niagara start-up with his childhood –  friends, called MOONBASE. This new project was created with the sole purpose of revitalizing Niagara. Acting as a design and entrepreneurship incubator, MOONBASE, looks to keep the talent within the community and showcase the opportunities in Niagara. Nikola says of the project, “Niagara can become a region that can focus on the development of creative services and digital media.” As the Creative Director for MOONBASE Nikola has developed branding for functions such as; ItsLive night club, SIVIC showcase, RIPE fashion, Queen Street city development, and Springlicious – all local events with the intent of keeping the interests within the community.

Nikola has a long-term vision for both MOONBASE and ConceptSelf as finish products. MOONBASE, with the direction of Nikola and his team of talented creators, will continue to expand the company to host local entrepreneurs, inevitably keeping business and events within the community. As for ConceptSelf, the project is in a transitional phase, moving from solely a digital micro-blog to a physical location -hosting freelancers to create, forecasting its first creator print within the year. Nikola has taken on responsibilities that far exceeds what most graduates face, keeping focused and creative while helping forward a company. “10,000 hours, work on your craft always – don’t rest, make the sacrifices you need to make to be where you need to be.”

With future pursuits and developments in MOONBASE and ConceptSelf Nikola is here to stay, contributing to the community and showing the next wave of creators that opportunities are not far from home.

“The end goal is to progress humanity” – Nikola Crnobrnja