This is Nikola Dimovski. He's an artist from Macedonia. Every summer you can find him along the promenades of Malta selling his beautiful hand-made jewelry, and the rest of the year, you're likely to find him doing the same on the streets of his own native city, Skopje.
Nikola started making jewelry as a child, but when he went to learn a profession, he entered the field of carpentry. He loved working with wood, but, finding it hard to make a living with a mother, brother and sister to support, he decided to hand in his notice and go into business selling his own work.
"It's hard," he comments, "but I love my work."
Indeed, you can see that love as he describes his pieces and their inspirations, his hands moving deftly with pliers or bare fingers to fashion them, and in the pieces themselves: elegant twists of wire that enclose bright splashes of colored stone, glass, or shell in hundreds of designs and variations.
"It's difficult to say which is my favorite--they are like my children," he laughs.
In spite of the skills required to reach such a caliber of finesse, Nikola finds, as many artists do, that those buying from street venders are unwilling to pay more than a few euros. It's ironic, because when purchasing in a store, people are often willing to hand over three times as much, though the work may be mass produced in a factory.
Nevertheless, he finds pride and joy in being able to support himself and his family through his art.
"I need to make something that sells, that people like, and that doesn't take a long time to make."
He follows the fashions to see what is popular, but still doesn't produce anything he doesn't like. Someday, when he's retired, he'd like to work with wood again, and try filigree and chain mail and other arts that take more time.
In the meanwhile, he'll continue scattering bright bits of beauty across the globe, carried by the travelers whose eyes they catch as they pass by.
You can buy Nikola's work on The Mermaid Island, or you can order custom pieces by contacting his Facebook page, Versailles Royalty. Select pieces are also available at House of Ethical and on The Mermaid Island's Etsy extension.
The Mermaid Island