Joey Phoenix of Creative Salem sat down with Joey Nictora of Retonica for cocktails and a short interview.

CS: What is Retonica?

JN: Retonica is an event lighting company. We do lighting for weddings and concerts and masquerade balls and installations and you name it. If it it needs color changing, blinky lights, we take care of it.

CS: How long has [Retonica] been in business?

JN: In its current iteration for two years. I started doing architectural installations and big projects and got really bored, so I made the decision to start doing more creative events two years ago.

CS: What were you doing previously which led you to doing this as a bigger production?

JN: I was doing permanent projects, taking on one or two at a time, and the thing about permanent architectural projects is that they take forever to plan, they take forever to execute, there’s so many regulations, and money always runs out before it’s finished. I wanted to do something with lights that would be a quick hit, that we could just set up really fast and would be awesome and we could take it down right away before anyone had time to complain. [he laughs].

CS: What’s the one thing about Retonica that most people don’t know?

JN: I think that most people understand the amount of lights that we have and how easy it is for us to bring in lights to a space. Because you have DJ’s that have like 12-24 uplights that come in these giant cases and it takes forever to set them up and you have to plug them in. The lights that we have are the size of a couple of post-its and we can bring a hundred and have them set up in less than half an hour, and we can do all the same things that a theatrical production can do. I think that’s what people don’t necessarily know, because you can’t tell that from a picture. How many pictures of magenta wedding photos do you see?

CS: What kind of event haven’t you done yet, but would really like to do?

JN: I think I’ve done just about everything, but I think it would be fun to do a high end fashion show. I’ve done fashion shows, and I love doing charity projects, I love sponsoring any event that I can – but to do a big designer show where the light is so focused but you have liberty to do whatever you want on the backdrop. I like the juxtaposition of that because you have some highly technical stuff and also some highly artistic stuff that you have to do.

My absolute favorite thing to do is concerts, I love doing concerts. I work with the Venus Mars Project a lot, and those are the happiest moments of my life.

CS: What do you love about being in Salem and working in Salem.

JN: I went to school in Salem, I’m a Salem State grad and undergrad. I love how dynamic the city is. I love how much it’s changed. I love how much it’s still constantly changing and reinventing itself and every corner you turn there’s a new restaurant that’s opened up or some new Satanic temple or something. It’s this endless ‘You never know what’s going to happen next,’ and that’s one of the things I love about it.

CS: What does creativity mean to you?

JN: Creativity is the freedom to express that which is structured in a completely unstructured way, and have it look structured.

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