Viking Diaries: Karl Shakur

Creed Viking bottles boundless exploration for the modern man. In celebration of this new scent, we hear from another Creed connoisseur who exemplifies what Viking represents. Read on to take in the latest in our Viking Diaries series.

Karl Shakur is an adventure enthusiast, photographer and architect in training. On his Instagram and Tumblr accounts, he documents and shares photos from his journeys where he can be seen scaling canyons, standing on the edge of glaciers and underneath waterfalls. His posts often feature his tagline ‘Stay adventurous dear friends!’ because as he explained to The House of Creed, “There’s just too much to see on this planet in one lifetime.” Karl’s thirst for adventure personifies all that Viking stands for. Read on to learn more about his work and inspirations.

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Tell us about how you got started with photography. How do you balance being in school with photographing the world?
I’ve always been artistically inclined; throughout high school, I was glued to my pencil and sketchbook. Doodling in class to pass the time. Photography just became another way I could express myself. I used it as an escape from the stress and rigorousness of studying architecture.

In order to stay balanced and on top of all my obligations, I keep a slightly obsessive journal and calendar. It helps me get things done. I’ve been very fortunate to have professors and instructors that are very supportive of my passions so everything always seems to fall into place.

Your work as a photographer has taken you to so many amazing places around the world. Do you have a favorite destination? Is there anywhere on your bucket list you still want to shoot?
My favorite country has to be New Zealand (second to Iceland, of course). It’s got such a gnarly landscape and such fantastic features all so close to each other. I’m already planning my return trip. I’m really curious to explore more parts of Europe. Right after I graduate college, I want to rent a van and visit as many European countries as I can.

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You often post “Stay Adventurous” on your Instagram feed. What motivates you to “stay adventurous”? What inspires you most about your journeys?
There’s just too much to see on this planet in one lifetime. As a child I was very restless and jumpy. I used to love exploring the swamps around my neighborhood. I think this restlessness translated into my adventurousness as an adult. I plan to have visited every country by the time I’m 35 not because I want to be able to say I’ve done that, but because I’m genuinely curious as to how each country feels. For me, the most inspiring thing about travel (especially in this digital age) is meeting new people. Thanks to Instagram, I have friends all over the world to explore new countries with. It’s always so refreshing to turn those Internet friends into adventure buddies.

What is your favorite scent memory?
I grew up under the watchful eye of my grandparents. My grandma was a piano teacher and school instructor and my grandpa was an architect. They put their workspaces right next to each other. I can picture the scent of the piano keys along with the scent of the worksheets and stacks of papers in their office. It’s a smell that means home to me.

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What does “Viking” mean to you?
When I hear the word Viking, I think of adventures on the high seas, I think of a man without restrictions, someone willing to do what needs to be done regardless of how difficult it is. I think of sacrifice and glory. To me, the word Viking means rugged charisma and adventure.

What impressed you the most about Iceland?
The ever-changing landscape. Iceland has such a diverse and dramatic landscape. One minute, you’re driving across a dramatic and barren volcanic terrain, the next you’re cruising along the lushest green pastures. So many diversely beautiful places packed tightly into such a small island

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What’s next for you? Any fun projects in the works?
I’m focused on finishing my first degree in university in Kansas. Now that summer is officially over, I’m fully buckled in. Come May, I’ll be on another adventure I’m sure. I just haven’t gotten around to planning it yet.

(All photos by Karl Shakur)

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