A chance meeting
It began in 2013 during Slovenia’s famous carnival festivities. Luka was dressed as a giant speed camera, referencing a recent political drama when Nika saw him in the line to a nightclub. She liked that he didn’t take himself too seriously, so they started talking and haven’t stopped since.
Luka is from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, and Nika is from Bled, a small town in the north of the country, home to one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes on the planet.
When they met, Nika was studying fashion and working as a model, and Luka was running his own production company. “So she was in front of the camera, and I was behind the camera,” Luka says.
Today they’re chatting from their van in Portugal, where they’ve spent the last few weeks filming stock footage for Artlist. Remote working, van living, and filmmaking have been their dream ever since they met, and teaming up with Artlist helped them become a reality.
Watch Feelm’s artistic journey in our Artlist creator spotlight documentary, and read on for the full story.
After they met, they soon discovered a shared love for film, composition, and travel, and as their relationship formed, so did their creative partnership.
Their first trip around Europe together was an eye-opening experience. They were great travel companions, and both loved documenting their adventures through film. As they traveled through the Philippines, Bali, Nicaragua, the US, Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, their catalog of footage grew, along with their collection of camera equipment.
An alternative future
Although Nika and Luka loved their busy careers, they soon realized their hearts were elsewhere. So in 2010, they hired a van and traveled around the Balkans, a trip that changed their perspective – not just on how to travel, but how to live.
When they got home, they started making plans to build a life with more flexibility and freedom. “We always had so many joint projects and a wish to travel,” Luka says. “So I left my production company, and we started pursuing our projects.”
The pair had been sharing footage long before they started working with Artlist and even used Artlist’s music library to soundtrack the short films they made. So when they saw Artlist expanding into video, they decided to share some of their work. As filmmakers themselves, they knew exactly what other creatives were looking for. “I used to find it limiting that I could only buy one shot, and if I changed my mind, I had to buy another one,” Luka says. “But with Artlist, you can download an entire sequence and have total freedom to create.”
Feelm and Artlist were a match from the start, and during their first year working together, Feelm shared some of the community’s most downloaded films. When Feelm received their first paycheck from Artlist in 2018, they were pleasantly surprised by the amount. Finally, they were able to pursue their dream. So they bought a van and hit the road.
The perfect shot
It was early 2020, just before COVID hit, when Nika spotted the perfect shot. Luka was working on the bed of their van from his tablet, and the back doors were wide open to reveal a cobalt sea framed by a flamingo-pink sunset.
Nika knew it was the perfect shot, so they quickly set up their equipment and started rolling. It couldn’t have come at a better time — the world was heading into lockdown, and Feelm had captured a moment the world was craving. It’s still one of Artlist’s most downloaded videos.
Artistically speaking, Feelm has a distinct style. They favor clean lines and minimal shots, like an empty stretch of coastline or a meadow on a clear day. They use drones to capture aerial views and are the subjects of their videos. It’s easy to spot Nika diving off a dock in a remote town in Spain or Luka standing beside his bike, surveying the ocean at sunset.
In all their footage, the pair capture a sense of freedom and possibility — a theme that sent their popularity skyrocketing when the world was in lockdown. But they’d still be doing it if it weren’t their day job. “Even if we never had to work another day in our lives, we’d still be surrounded by cameras,” Luka says. “We love to create these perfect compositions.”
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The challenges of van life
Over the years, they’ve turned teamwork into an art form. Nika does the research, location scouting, and mood-boarding, while Luka focuses on the technical side — camera setup, angles, and programming. They direct together to nail the perfect shot of a pink and orange sunset or the symmetry of an azure sea along a silky stretch of beach.
“We have yin and yang personalities, but we fit well together,” says Nika. “Sometimes I lack the motivation to work, and that’s when Nika will come in with many ideas.” “And it works the other way,” Nika interjects. “Whenever I’m low on motivation, he’s full of ideas.”
But van life isn’t all sunsets and coastlines. Most couples spend at least eight hours apart during the working day, but Nika and Luka rarely get space from each other. They say the secret to maintaining a healthy relationship is to stay in constant communication – and know when it’s time to give each additional space.
“When living in such a small space, it’s hard to find peace and be with your thoughts,” says Nika. “If we have a bad day, we go surfing or for a walk and try to communicate to solve problems in advance.”
A typical day sees the pair wake up before dawn to walk their dog, Tobias. Then they’ll have breakfast and map out their day’s work— location scouting, setting up a shoot, or mood-boarding new ideas. They usually take breaks to surf, eat and explore, but they’re traveling to Barcelona next week to spend time with friends, so they’re working non-stop.
“It can be hard to rest and relax when your job is your passion,” says Luka. “Our parents call us workaholics, but we love doing this and are mindful about finding balance.”
And their parents get pretty excited when they spot Feelm’s clips on national television. “Once a Slovenian commercial made a whole advert from our videos,” says Nika. “The shots were of me and Tobias walking down the road in the forest, and my mum called to tell me I’m famous!”
“She was most excited about Tobias,” Luka laughs.
Finding creative freedom
As well as the freedom, flexibility, and spontaneity van life gives them, it allows them to create without limits. “Living in a van is so cool because we always have the gear with us, so we can go with the flow and get inspired,” Luka says. “That’s the main reason we can create such authentic and diverse shots. We just look around, see inspiration, wait for the perfect light, and start rolling.”
They can’t imagine changing their lifestyle any time soon. They’re living the life they always dreamed of, and while they’re in Europe, home is always just a van drive away.
“For us, creative freedom means we follow our hearts and our dreams without constraints,” Luka says. “And working with Artlist has allowed us to truly live on our terms and create the way we want.”