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Guest Blog: Nikolas Kotsaris

We’re so excited to spotlight senior business major and CCI minor Nikolas Kotsaris on the CCI Collective Blog this week. Nikolas created Merely Existing, which is a digital platform where people can gain valuable insight into the processes and personal philosophies of creative individuals. Check out what he has to say about it below and go take a look at Merely Existing.

Kotsaris created Merely Existing in December 2020.

Hello, my name is Nikolas Kotsaris and I am a senior business major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and I am a CCI minor! I have been involved in CCI classes since the beginning of my Junior year and it has been a fascinating journey. The program has allowed me to examine the industries that I am interested in, and I have gained key insight on the cultural implications of their influence. CCI has allowed me to look at a variety of artistic mediums and creative industries with an inquisitive eye. CCI has helped me gain the confidence to design my website and gain the confidence to make creative content of my own.

Merely Existing was born out of a personal search for meaning in the world. I was having this internal dialogue about meaning, something I like to call an "existential conversation." Out of this conversation I realized that creativity was the consistent factor within life that drove happiness and essentially gave the world its beauty. As a creative individual I love to indulge in all the arts, but I wanted to learn more from people who are experts in their craft, mainly musicians. I have always had a deep appreciation for music, it's almost an addiction at this point, so I figured it would be a great place to start. Interviewing musicians would allow me to learn about the process of how professionals create as well as give me insight into the industry. I decided a website would be interesting to create since I could design its internal aesthetic and write pieces for it. Writing is something I genuinely enjoy doing, so the site is this marriage of all the creative mediums I enjoy. I decided to name it "Merely Existing" because that is how I felt at the time. I felt like a small organism, floating through space on a rock with no real effect on the universe.

I hope people can look at the site and see how talented individuals go through their creative processes and how they operate. In each interview I was able to tell how much each person loves music and their craft, and I want people to see that too. No one is more interesting to talk to than someone who is talking about what they love. I also want to share my experiences as a creative consumer with the personal pieces I post. Mainly, I want people to understand that the creative industries are far larger than just creating art itself. For a long time, it was hard for me to realize that maybe I don't have what it takes to be a musician. Although I love music more than anything, I'm not cut out to be a recording artist or be in the limelight and that is okay. Even if I won't be able to have a concert of my own, I can still enjoy live music from the crowd. I want people to know that even if they aren't a musician, painter, et cetera that there is still room for them in those industries.

If you have any creative projects that you want highlighted on the CCI Collective email them to and we’ll provide more information.

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