What’s your “pre-creativity” ritual? What gets you in your creative groove?
I’m a big fan of incorporating a litany of seemingly unconnected mediums in order to spark creativity. It could be listening to music, taking a quiet walk, watching an inspiring film, having a drink or a healthy meal, exercising. I think all of that gets blood and creative juices flowing and thats when I create my best work. I feel like when I’m creating my best work my heart is pounding and head is bobbing to a beat, I know what I’m doing is on the right track and the elements are about to line up to create something unique and exciting.
In one word, how do people close to you (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) describe you?
I imagine most would comment on me being quiet, but one time a colleague referred to me as “observant” and I think that is much more fitting. Sure, when working, thinking, or just being present I can revert to being quiet, but its not for the sake of just being quiet but more so as a photographer attempting to document what I’m seeing as true to reality as possible, I often prefer to let scenes play out without interjecting myself. When I have something to say, or feel a moment to impart my thinking I’m very happy to speak my mind and never fear doing so, but I always have prided myself on not missing a second of what is going on around me, being as aware and present as possible, and never speaking just to hear myself talk.
What role does the artist have in society?
An artist’s role is to provoke thought amongst viewers. The artist can chose how much to drive that thought process through the art they are creating – they can merely present the opportunity for thought, or they can guide the viewer through a process of thinking with an end goal. Inherently the artist can not fully remove his own perspective or voice from his art work, but the best artists are not obvious with their perspective. By witnessing an artist’s work, the viewer is welcoming the opportunity for throughout provocation, and it’s the artists role to hold up his end of the bargain and produce something to elicit critical thinking.
Describe your perfect cocktail.
Personally, I am a fan of the bold. A perfect cocktail starts with its vessel – I prefer a glass that has some character and weight to it; one that feels sturdy like if it falls to the floor it would bounce not break. A glass that invites to to examine its intricacies, and the color and presentation of what’s inside as you sip its contents. My perfect cocktail makes its presence felt immediately upon the first sip, or even before as it hits the nose before it hits the lips. A sharp flavor followed by a smooth and lasting more subtle flavor, then finishes with another kick as it passes through the palate. I love a mix of seemingly unassociated ingredients that allow for a quick little adventure with every sip. The kind where you tell the people with you that they need to try this cocktail.
What impact/impression do you hope your work makes on people/the world? What do you want people/society to “take away” from your art?
Mainly, I want my art to remind people that there’s more to the world than just what they are familiar with. We so easily get caught in ruts without knowing that we are failing to look beyond our own experiences. It’s easy to take only what you see and make judgements about people, the world, the collective experience. However my goal is that people can take something from my art to remind them that there are far flung lands that beg to be discovered, that there are people with completely different life experiences from the viewer but the viewers actions and choices can still have an effect on the people in the image frame. I want to create an opportunity for people to dream, to escape, to wonder and to make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others.