My main goal for this blog is to share the things that I love. When I discover an artist or a company that has awesome products or branding I immediately think to write up a post about it. Recently I've been feeling like that's not enough. When I create, whether it be with a camera or on the computer, I am constantly aware of my surroundings; what's inspiring me to take a shot, or the atmosphere that I'm working in. With every artist that I come across, I'm always curious to see how they work, how they create, and I've decided what better way to do that than to just ask them.
Here the creators get to talk. We get to see their hearts and minds alongside their creations.
I wanted to start off this series with my dear friend Loren. She is a photographer and artist and she currently lives in Austin, Texas. Her spirit is incredible and her work is deeply inspiring. I've bragged about her before on my blog, but now everyone can really see why it is I think she's so amazing.
What made you want to become a photographer?
It's always been really difficult for me to articulate that feeling, in fact I consider it to be quite impossible to say (something I've struggled with for years, I need to hone my skills for writing!), but in a sense, there wasn't ever anything that made me want to become a photographer. It felt to me that I wasn't becoming something as much as I was uncovering an important truth in my life, I was drawn to photography, not to being a photographer. Nan Goldin, one of my most significant inspirations, doesn't even consider herself one. Although I do describe myself in that way, I understand where she's coming from in eschewing the title. Being a photographer was never something that I set out to do, I simply fell into the realization that this is what I love and this is the best way for me to express to others what it is I care about. And that's consistently what I aim to do, to show the world what matters to me in hopes of finding a connection to another person.
What inspires your work/do you have any outside influences?
My work is motivated by my love. When I love something, I cannot help but want to hold onto it, and photography seems to be the most natural method of doing so for me. So because of this, I focus a lot on my boyfriend, Austin, because he is the person I love most. So I guess he's my greatest inspiration. But I often find myself inspired quite easily, especially when I'm outside. And most everyone in my life influences me, as well as the education I've gotten and the way in which I grew up. I'm currently creating my thesis for graduation next December, and so I'm receiving a lot of influence from my peers and professor.
What's your favorite atmosphere to create/work in?
For almost a year, up until very recently actually, I was creating work that dealt with the direct relationship between two people who are together and the space that they inhabit. Therefore, I was making a lot of photographs inside our small apartment. It wasn't particularly inspiring, as we can't really afford the kind of place I really want to live (think a farm in the Italian countryside next to a clear spring) but that was kind of the point, the effect that a space can have on a relationship, I mean. However, I feel most creative in nature, and often feel like photos taken inside have more of a sense of being confined, with the exception of beds- I love the bed as a subject or environment for photographs.
Favorite restaurant/coffee shop in your current city?
I've actually become more of a cook than I ever imagined myself becoming, and I love it! If I do go out for food or drinks, it's usually to a restaurant that serves food that I can't make on my own. Austin and I most often opt for Indian food, somewhere like The Clay Pit, or another branch of Eastern cuisine. Austin (the city in which I live, not my boyfriend) is wonderful for homemade food trailer eating, and so we'll sometimes go eat at a place like that. But I can't encourage everyone enough to try making all of their own meals! Branch out and make sure you do your research- America's tendency for productivity has somewhat demolished even the most basic parts of cooking (did you know you have to pre-soak any and all grains, beans, and nuts/seeds you eat? Often for at least 12 hours prior to cooking.) but I really have loved learning about traditional preparation and cooking methods, and eating closer to the Earth has given my mind and body an entirely new and satisfying relationship with food. I spend a LOT of my time cooking and preparing, but I'm happy to do it! It's really beneficial for us to know the ins and outs of what we put into (and even onto) our bodies, and to be connected not only to our bodies but to the Earth that nourishes them.
(I completely agree with Loren on this. Knowledge is so important when it comes to what you put in and on your body, and it's been so easy to take on this lifestyle (even as a college student, money wise). I'll be doing a post shortly about some health food blogs that I love.)
What's your dream city/settling place?
In my mind, I imagine myself living in the countryside somewhere outside of America, although I don't quite know where that might be. I hope to have a simple home, surrounded by gardens, animals, children, and (if I could have anything I wanted) a crisp, clean body of water that the rest of the world had yet to discover. I hope to one day be, for the most part, self-sufficient and away from greater society. I have always felt that my upbringing in a wealthy, superficial, "bubble" town has hindered me irreparably as an artist- I was never all that encouraged towards individuality of spirit and creativity in my education- but I also try to embrace my life unconditionally and use my upbringing to inform my work. I wouldn't raise my kids where I was raised, but perhaps that's a direct response, and I shouldn't dimiss that.
What are your dreams for your art?
My dreams for my photography are simple. I am really quite against the idea of turning it into a career, or something I "do". If it were entirely up to me, I'd be creating my own work on my own time and yet still be able to allow it to support me. However, I think that photography is, realistically, going to be something I do as often as I can while also supporting myself and building my life. I've sometimes considered having a "day job" of sorts as an elementary art school teacher while creating my own work on the side- I find children and their art extremely inspiring, so it seems like this kind of job would not feel like it was out of line with my values, and I also love the idea of teaching. I simply want to continue, in whatever manner my world allows me, creating work and making photographs. I will say that I've, in the past few months, become very enamored with sculpture and fiber arts. I feel like I am coming to a point in my work where I begin moving past the 2D, although I still incorporate photography.