#WFH Diaries: Kim-Leigh Pontin of Nexus Studios

As lockdowns linger around the world, Muse chats with creative folks to see how they're faring. Here, we catch up with Kim-Leigh Pontin, creative director at Nexus Studios.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Creative director, XR + interactive narrative. Artist, musician, mother. London via Australia + NZ.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Kensal Rise (N.W. London). With my daughter and husband.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Oscillating between mad busy + stoppy-starty.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I've started doing nerdy online D&D boardgames for the first time ever. We should be nerd friends, haha. We've also been doing socially distant neighborly non-get-togethers, where we raise one of the panels in our dividing fences, and project a film onto a sheet on our washing line. Super fun.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

Roblox.

What are you reading?

Twilight Zone scripts.

What are you watching?

A lot of family films. A new nightly tradition! Also, The Great British Sewing Bee.

What are you listening to?

6 Music.

How are you staying fit?

I'm going for a run at an obscenely early hour, sometimes 5:15, so that I'm out alone. I got a bit stressed out by all the people online saying how much they hate runners. But if I don't get some exercise I get really sad! (Caveat: a 5:15 run means I have a nap after lunch.) Otherwise, a bike ride around Regent's Park, boglaps around the centre circle are surreal—I like having to make way for flying ducks!

Have you taken up a hobby?

Drawing strange sets of things. At the moment I'm drawing "connectors" (making use of the ridiculous number of obsolete cables we have accumulated). I'm playing a bit of piano. And I've restrung my guitar and put my valve amp back together, LOOK OUT! My bassist and I are back in touch. So, you never know. Lockdown album!

Any tips for getting necessities?

Go online crazy early. Trade with neighbors! One of ours makes her own marshmallows, and I make flatbread. A barter made in heaven!

An awkward moment since all this started.

My daughter singing "Dance Monkey" from start to finish at the top of her lungs with her socially distant friend, while I was on a client call! They thought she was cute, though.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Not emails, but there's good banter to be had on the Slack channels!

An aha! moment since all this started.

If you change your Zoom background to have an image of you, it's far less stressful than being constantly filmed! But I was worried people would think I was being fake, so I put some obviously fake versions of me in the background just to be clear.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

We'll all need to wear face coverings when we go out, to protect each other, not just ourselves. If everyone does it, the risk reduces substantially. I don't think we'll ever go back to "normal." I hope we treat animals better, to stop this from happening again. I'm glad we are learning how to make do with less.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and founding editor of Muse by Clio. Prior to joining Clio in 2018, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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