Melisa and Danny are a couple you like to hang out with. A couple that is fun, relaxed, likeable – and super focused.They are not your regular couple but a real power force when it comes to their own creative businesses. Yes, plural. They’ve met during their studies, moved to Berlin, and founded the Turkish-German magazine ‘Renk’ as well as their visual agency ‘Buero Farbe’. Now another long-term project is coming up: they expect a new, tiny team mate…
Before the Christmas trouble has hit hard they enjoyed the calm with a nice dinner – take a look inside their cozy flat and find out how working with a partner can function.
To get to know you better: When and how did the two of you meet?
D: We first met at university, more than five years ago by now. There were a few smaller encounters, but, roughly clustered, did Melisa know about me that I was working as an undergraduate assistant analyzing and archiving books, and I knew about Melisa that she – as a tutor – liked bossing around poor freshmen with a megaphone. Eventually I saw her rolling a cigarette outside, at this point I already noticed her, so I threw my ruler and book into the corner to keep company with her. I think I complimented her then glaring red hair, super creative…
What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?
M: In 2011/2012 we had a photography course together and everybody was supposed to bring photos they liked and explain why. Danny brought a bunch of aesthetic black and white photographs that definitely got my attention.
D: The loud voice and her cheeky nature.
What is his or her most outstanding feature to you today?
M: As we work together it’s important to differentiate between our business and our private life. In our job Danny’s best feature is that he’s incredibly good in doing phone calls. It might sound completely irrelevant but it’s not at all, especially because I’m super bad at it! Each and every time I’m surprised by how likeable he sounds on the phone. Plus: he’s a really good designer. As soon as he got a plan he’s able to visualize amazing things in the shortest amount of time. In private I’d say he’s a true afficionado. If I can’t stop working he would provide an all round carefree package to sound the bell for the end of the working day: Netflix, delicious food, taking a bath, or something completely else!
D: I’m a character that eventually tends to spin in circles, especially with my own thoughts. In these situations Melisa is like a stick in the spokes – with her I keep the overview.
How do you find a balance between work and relationship?
M: I’d say I’m good in separating work and relationship strictly. I never take things personal instead I’m just happy to be working with him. It’s an incredible feeling to reach work goals not only with a business partner but with your partner in life. It’s kind of like a double rush of happiness.
D: Many friends ask us this questions. And it’s true, sometimes it’s tempting to reflect a call with a client or to hold a board meeting in bed, in the middle of the night, before falling asleep. However, going to the grocery store, cooking, playing backgammon, and travelling are good opportunities to switch your thoughts to something completely different.
What came first: The personal connection or the connection on a creative level?
M: Definitely the personal – and it took and still takes a lot of work and effort to adapt to the other’s professional and creative level. Sometimes it works great, but there are some days when it just doesn’t work at all.
How much is the other person part of your own work and creativity?
M: Let’s keep it the other way around. At the moment I wouldn’t know what or who isn’t part of it.
What is one place especially integral to your relationship? Why does it hold so much meaning?
D: I honestly had to reflect this question for quite a long time, but finally came to the decision that it’s not places playing an integral role in our relationship – instead of ‘where’ it’s more about ‘with you’. We’re one of those couples that faces questioning looks when people hear how much time we spend together, whether at work or in private.
Which place makes you feel the most inspired?
M: Sometimes it’s the Fernsehturm. Back in the days I used to find it fascinating, it’s huge and a symbol for Berlin. Today, when I find the time to view it, then it always reminds me of my then fascination and excitement, of a time when I had no plan of what to do in life or in the city. Now, five years later, I can say I really arrived, we get many jobs, and we’re expecting a baby. Sometimes I see the Fernsehturm and think about the achievements we made on our path and I’m happy that that television tower just became a part of our everyday life.
You’re about to become parents – how do you expect your life, your work, your relationship to evolve?
M: We’re really looking forward and are super excited. We placidly take the things as they come. I doubt that it’s possible to have the perfect master plan with a baby. I’m sure it all turns out very differently – with or without a master plan prepared.
D: We plan to approach it just like we handle all our other projects: good preparation is necessary, but the actual making is more important than overthinking everything.
With the colder season approaching, what would your perfect winter day as a couple look like?
D: The perfect winter day definitely starts with sleeping in. A long walk with fresh snow is necessary as well. Enjoying the cold winter air, catching some rays of sunshine, the grinding noise of the snow under your shoes – beautiful. On a perfect winter day we’d also proudly own a fireplace. While stretching our feet towards the fire we would watch ‘Groundhog Day’ on TV and sip a small gin & tonic with lavender.