Destinationbetween with Tristan Fopma
Join us on Destinationbetween, our interview series where we delve into the stories of various creatives, from athletes and agency founders to tattoo artists, and many more, as they share their unique journeys and insights on living a nomadic lifestyle. This week, we feature Tristan Fopma, a Dutch photographer and creative director who has made a mark by seamlessly blending digital and analog art. Discover his story and how he has navigated his creative journey while always on the move.

First off, what do you do?
Actually I’m still not sure yet, haha. I have always done what I think I should do and will continue to do so. I’m a visual person, so I guess I’ve naturally progressed into photography, even though I have always felt I’m more than just a photographer. At the moment I like experimenting with creative direction, directing and branding.

You live a life pretty much always moving. What does home mean for you?
I love encountering new places and meeting new people, but coming home always feels great to me. It’s where I can secure my personal space, get back to a more structured way of living and move away from the vibrant and chaotic life that is very typical of the creative field. I can be a bit of a hermit sometimes, so home is an important place for me.
When you’re on the road there’s always so many temptations. Do you have any tips on how to focus when you need to get the boring stuff done?
I love a good coffee place paired with noise-cancelling headphones. A handwritten to-do list paired with a playlist of my favourite tracks always works.

What do you always bring on your travels?
That would be my Moleskine journal, size XL with the little dots. It’s easy to rely on your mobile devices for almost anything these days, and besides their benefits, I like intentionally doing some things without using any devices. Journaling is one of them.

What would you tell yourself as a teenager?
I think I would have told myself to care less about what others think of me (I still have to do that).

What is your favourite destination?
Nazaré’s big waves in Portugal were mesmerizing. It was crazy to really experience the raw power of the ocean, it made me feel very little. Morocco was an amazing experience too, the light just hits differently there. I really want to go back and practice surfing there.
What would you tell people who would like to follow your path?
That would be something I am still working on myself: “Every human heartbeat is a universe of possibilities.” This might be my all time favourite quote and it’s from a novel called Shantaram, a fantastic book written by Gregory David Roberts.

Have you studied?
I have. I have a bachelor in Communications and Multimedia Design, but never studied photography. My photography journey has basically been one big self-study, allowing me to stay true to myself and learning along the way. I do owe a lot to the school and the teachers as they gave me the space to incorporate photography into my projects, so I could combine developing my photography, even freelancing, with studying.

What was your first job?
I was working in a traditional pottery and tile factory, hand cutting small tiles together with one of my best buddies. I know, it sounds super random, but it was a fun experience. We made very little money which we always spent on skateboard stuff. Later we even worked our summer holidays cleaning toilets on a campsite. Even that was good fun, driving around the camping grounds in golf carts.
Which stuff brings creativity to you?
Definitely physical activity, football, cycling, skipping rope. And music. Life. People.

Do you have any packing tricks that you use while always on the move?
Not really a trick, more like a quirk. I love organising stuff and making sure everything has its own place. Some think it’s a little problematic, but hey, I never lose anything.

Read more Destinationbetween articles here.