My name is Brett Spencer, I am a local photographer from Huntington Beach, CA. I was born and raised in Niles, Ohio for the first 20 years of my life. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, I moved here to HB to get my education. I currently attend Southern California Institute of Technology in Anaheim, CA where I am studying to receive my bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. Life is kinda just getting started for me.
Why and how do you utilize the materials you incorporate into your artwork?
Most of my photos usually have Ruby’s on the pier in the background, which is no longer here unfortunately. Being from Ohio, I had never seen anything like it before, or the ocean for that matter. When I first moved here in October 2019, I signed up for the Surf City Marathon so it would get me more familiar with the area in hopes of meeting more like minded individuals while being down there training. I quickly became obsessed with the beauty of the sunsets while running and staring at Rubys along the bike path. I always knew I was getting closer to being done and it was a beacon of relief for me. I had never taken photos of it, so when the race was over with, I bought a camera and learned every way possible to show people how beautiful it looked to me.
What’s your “pre-creativity” ritual? What gets you in your creative groove?
Park my car in the beach parking lot North Side, watch the waves for 10 minutes while sitting on top of my car through the sunroof playing Tame Impala. I do it 3 times a day and it never gets old.
What makes you feel connected to Surf City Still Works/HB/SoCal?
I had bought some of the seltzers from the Surf City Market on main street because of the name and design on the can. I thought it was so cool considering I was still fairly new to the community here. Eventually I started to hashtag my photos with their name on instagram, thinking really nothing of it, and one day someone from SCSW reached out to me about some of my photos. It was the first time anyone ever showed me any appreciation for my work. They have shown me unconditional support ever since, and I just want to say THANK YOU!
What role does the artist have in society?
To me, the role an artist has in society is to create, uplift, and provide a welcoming perspective for people to see things differently. We all see things much different from one another, but we also gravitate towards one another and build communities off of basic likes and interests. Perspective gives you an idea of how the artist sees his or her surroundings. There’s always so much happening around you at all times and so many distractions, that it’s easy to miss the finer details when you’re not directly looking for them. It’s a nonverbal way of showing your own personal freedom of expression. Society sees what the artists want them to see, which also allows the viewer to be a little more open minded which can build a better understanding of the environment that surrounds them.