It’s been an honor to work with as many talented folks as I have. I feel truly grateful to be a part of the art, even without accolades but when someone does decide to put together a book or place their work in a galley show, that’s awesome too. I love seeing printed versions, it somehow makes the work more real by being in a tangible form. Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Frank Ockenfels, an artist I deeply respect, and am honored to be included in his latest book. You can see one of our images at 0:35
The #collabproject has brought together both folks I have worked with and some that I have not, from all over the globe. This project has reminded me of why I pursue art in the first place, collaboration. In my experience this means, each person brings something to the table and uses it as a starting point to build from. Many times the materials are the same or at the least very similar, but each session has produced different results. All the collaborators were provided with the same series of 25 images and each created something uniquely different.
During one of my rabbit hole sessions with the internet I came across this video. In less than 10 minutes it highlights one of my favorite things about art (and when I think about it, it also applies to life), that we all see things differently. One might call this perspective and we each have our own, based off experiences, feelings, the way we were raised, what communities we grew up in, and what media we chose to consume. This video inspired me to start a challenge of my own.
I shot a series of self portraits against a white wall to serve as a blank canvas for creativity and invited artists of all levels to collaborate by editing the images. Faced with the difficulty of social distancing and the inability to collaborate in person, this challenge seemed like the perfect way to explore different perspectives and not feel creatively helpless.
The response from artists who have wanted to participate has been overwhelming and I’m grateful. This is a difficult time filled with uncertianty but one thing I know for sure, when you ask you get that much closer to having your needs met. Some artists have turned in images already and they are all so drastically different from each other, I couldn’t be any more pleased. Join me on my facebook or Instagram where updates on this project will be posted.
Matthew Dols from @thewisefoolpod reached out to me about my career as a freelance model. Being a photographer, he had come across my work and was interested in my perspective from the other side of the lens. Our discussion covered a lot of topics, what do you think I may have left out? What would you add?
The difference between the traditional role of models vs today
The need to build a community
Adversity creates growth
Communication is key
TFP – trade for print
Patreon, onlyfans replacing Tumblr
Cultural differences in attitudes toward and appreciation of art
The sexualization and exploitation of the female form
Creating a book project
Models as creative equals
Self doubt and the fear of failure
How photographers can better collaborate with models
If you rely on things you know how to do, you only go places you have already been
Body language and expressiveness
How to choose the best model for your project
Androgyny and gender roles
Respecting the personal space of models
Film by Ben Rains
Found this really beautiful sentiment about the creative process and wanted to share. It’s something I needed to hear, so in case anyone else needs to hear it too.
“So here’s my advice: Whatever you choose to do, do it without concern for how it compares or will be received by the unseen masses. You know deep inside what is Quality for you. You know if something is any good or works. You have your own standards. And if the work isn’t up to your standards, don’t fret. Just keep going. Do another painting, another chapter, another song. No one has to read your first draft but you.
Think and plan. But then true learning comes from the doing. The messy process of lurching towards truth.” -John Couch