Ollie Walker; a South African video journalist and surfer living in Sri Lanka.

Kick off your interview by saying hello to The Sense Network!

Hey! I’m Ollie and here’s a Korean webtoon of myself discovering Gim for the first time.

I was previously living in Seoul teaching, playing music and shooting videos. I set up a subculture webzine (Aweh.tv) and a Music Collective (looseunion.com) whilst I was out there, however I’m currently based in Sri Lanka working as a freelance video journalist.

We want to know what you’re up to in the real world.

I was super pumped to be a part of Highsnobiety’s first documentary about counterfeit fashion trends in Seoul. It was bizarre visiting all these “legit” department stores full of knockoff pieces whilst Seoul Fashion Week was in full swing across the road.

Otherwise I have found an interest in doing impressionistic documentary work after completing the piece below. This film has allowed me to enter into the NGO sector working with clients such as the H&M Foundation, Care International and The Gates Foundation. The works been really fun and rewarding allowing me to travel a little more in this region.

Give us a peek into your favourite working spot/environment.

This is a sore point at the moment… I am currently without my own office space and it has really been affecting my productivity, equipment, sanity etc… but I do spend most of my time working down at Verse Collective’s co-working space nowadays.

Verse Collective’s coworking space (credit: Ollie Walker)

New research suggests that ‘active procrastination’ fosters creativity – purposely delaying work on a project to give yourself unscheduled time to let ideas incubate. Where and when do you have your best ideas and most creative moments?

My best ideas seem to come to me when I am travelling or moving. There is something about moving from one place to the next, with a lack of distractions, that inspires me and breeds a lot of creativity in me. In transit or surfing, skating… even just walking.

I also enjoy casually bouncing ideas off friends; hypothetically talking about different projects, ideas and scenarios. It’s fun to imagine how a hipster little barber shop would do in a Sri Lankan village or whether poki bowls is a better idea than bunny chows.

Tell us about someone who helped you get you where you are today or someone who inspires you and why?

So many people that it’s hard to answer this. But I do have a few friends in the photography and video world that have consistently inspired and taught me a lot. A special shout out to Chris da Canha, Adriaan Louw, Ryan Janssensand Carl David Jones.

Where are you based at the moment? Tell us about the area you live and why you chose this place?

I’m based on Hiriketiya Beach, Sri Lanka. I was travelling through and an old friend I used to skateboard and play in punk shows with was living out here building a brand and hotel. After meeting the small crew of expats trying to build their dreams out here in the bay, I decided stay. I chose Hiri because its a stunning place to live with a fun left hand point break to surf. Aside from that satisfaction, my friends out here are so inspiring and all share the same vision of developing a creative community and culture out here. Setting up shop here comes with its ups and downs but it’s an exciting place to be living.

Hiriketiya Beach, Sri Lanka (credit: Ollie Walker)

Can you tell us what you love about it the most?

The entire island of Sri Lanka is amazingly beautiful, diverse and rich in so many ways but there is one thing that is for sure, not one beach can be compared to Hiriketiya.

How does your area inspire your work?

Hiriketiya is a beautiful place, that’s pretty chill with some inspiring individuals. I probably love it most for that. And being able to get in the water everyday helps me be really productive. There is a lot that inspires me out here, but I find there is tons more inspiration in Hong Kong, Seoul etc.

Hiriketiya Beach, Sri Lanka (credit: Ollie Walker)

And lastly, a Quick Fire….

// Do you have a side hustle/project that you’re passionate about and that is not written above? If so what is it?
Setting up a guesthouse and pop up kitchen. Considering calling it ‘The Social’. Praying it’s done by December 2018!

Ollie’s Guesthouse

// Do you have any advice for someone working in the same sector / interest as you hoping to make it?
Still feel too young and dumb to advise anyone. I’ll happily take on some advice though.

// A must read?
The Alchemist. It’s easy and uplifting read

// A must listen?
Podcast: S-Town
Album: Parquet Courts Wide Awake!

// Your favourite newsletter(s)?
The Monocle Minute
Monster Children

You can follow Ollie’s adventures below:


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