Nik "Ink Well" Hotchkiss, is an American multi-media artist. He is known mainly for his work as a musician and audio engineer/producer, but he also has considerable experience as a photographer and video editor. Currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nik has came a long way from his origins in a small iron-ore mining community in northern Minnesota.
Born in 1981 and raised amidst a family of artists, musicians, and gypsies, he moved almost ten times during the first ten years of his life. Living in a handful of towns across the tundra of Minnesota and even randomly spending second grade in Houston, Texas, taught him to be adaptive early on. Regardless of where he lived growing up, there was always one constant; his fascination with creating music.
Before the fourth grade, he had already collected enough musical instruments and gear to furnish his own band.
Fast-forward to the mid 90's, after years of musical experimentation and many instruments later, Nik now began to focus his musical ambitions on DJ’ing. Word grew of his selections and before long his skills were being requested at house parties, high-school dances, weddings, and eventually nightclubs. Barely 18 years old, not even old enough to have a drink, he became the Friday and Saturday night resident DJ at the area’s largest video nightclub. It was here that Nik "Ink Well", began testing his own productions on the club's sound system. This gave him a valuable perspective on the mix process from conception to the final mastered product. He used this unique opportunity to not only spread his music to new fans, but also to perfect his art-form.
At age 21, eager to pursue a larger market, Nik left his hometown and moved 3 hours south to Minneapolis. It was here that he began to flourish as a DJ and shop his "inktrumentals" around to the fiercely competitive Twin Cities hip-hop scene. The more he learned about the music industry the more he realized he didn't know enough.
Alone, in 2004, Nik relocated from Minneapolis to Orlando, Florida to enroll in one of the world's most revered audio engineering programs. He earned a Recording Arts Degree and went on to complete his Master of Entertainment Business Degree from Full Sail University. By this point, Nik’s reputation as a skilled audio engineer and producer led to his demand working with many of central Florida’s most respected urban artists. In Orlando, he worked at Platinum Post, one of the southeast United States largest recording and mixing studios.
Still searching for knowledge, Nik plotted his career’s next step and in early 2006 moved to Nashville, Tennessee. It was there that he focused on learning the administrative side of the music business and began working at Paradiso Sound in their publishing department. He was responsible for registering the label’s extensive song catalogue with various performing rights agencies. While in Nashville he worked alongside other established mix and mastering engineers who taught him valuable new perspectives in the studio. His time in Tennessee was informative but after a year and a half, curiosity brought Nik to Las Vegas to focus on his career.
Nik is an Associate Member of the Audio Engineering Society, an entrepreneur who teaches audio/video production classes for a national college, and works full-time, both in the studio as well as on "The Strip" mixing concerts for some of the largest venues in Las Vegas.