We had the good fortune of connecting with Trung Kiên Nicolas Messerli and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trung Kiên Nicolas, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Growing up in Vietnam my parents always correlated success with how much money you made or how famous you were. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned that no matter how much you chase those things you’ll never really have enough. You’ll always return to the same spot you once began, constantly wanting the next best something all the while never even getting to appreciate what’s right in front of you. With time, I’ve found that my success lies within myself and my happiness. “Success” is all but an illusion for the people seeking comfort in the unknowing. We all don’t know what we’re doing, we’re all just figuring it out, but at the end of the day, if you’re happy, then you’re successful in my opinion.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The most thing I’m excited about in my art is, I guess the not knowing. The Waking up and getting to create something entirely new. The excitement in all that. The frustration, it’s not easy, and I don’t think it will ever become easy, but I think that’s just the point. Nothing good comes easy. You just try to enjoy the process along the way. The only thing I’ve learned throughout life is that if you’re not enjoying whatever it is you’re doing, then you’re just wasting time. My art is just my message through a medium. It’s never been about the medium. It’s about the message for me. We’re all artists in that sense; some just haven’t found their medium yet

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Cavalli’s pizzeria in Adriatica is honestly the pizza joint in town. If you like classic Neapolitan-style pizza, go there. I’m a bagel guy myself for breakfast in the morning, so I also enjoy this one place called Benny’s bagels. Classic local spot. Anywhere in downtown McKinney, it’s pretty cool. There are some beautiful galleries around there, and for the most part, everyone in there is pretty kind

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my good friend Eric Clausen for not only welcoming me into his home and part of his family but also showing me some contrast in life. How not all art has to be created through pain, and that the art and the artist can both achieve harmony through balance and gratitude, And that it’s also cool to dance again, hahaha

Website: Tknm.co

Instagram: Tk.messerli

Image Credits
Eric Clausen Trevor Parrish

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