What inspired you to become the artist that you are today?
The endless amounts of beauty in our world inspires me daily. The first time I realized what a camera was, I knew I had to have one. A lady used to walk around my neighborhood pool with an old Polaroid. She would snap photos of all of the children, and sometimes, myself. I remember watching the photo print out immediately and I could see myself the way she did. I still can imagine the day I saw her prancing around the pool, each image she took gave her a bigger smile. I think about her almost every time I use my Polaroid. My biggest inspirations date back to the early 1950s. Irving Penn is a big inspiration for myself. I love his corner series. If you see my work, you’ll see that I use corners a lot to capture portraits. Irving always said that your personality has no where else to go once you’re in between two walls. And I guess that’s why I love it so much, I get to capture individual personalities. Other than Irving, I draw most of my inspiration from past works.
What interests you most about the art that you create? Why do you do it? What’s the goal?
I know I selected the photography option when asked what type of art I create, but I not only take pictures, I also model. I don’t consider myself to fall under one specific “type”. I try to dabble in everything. Art, alone, interests me. The different genres within each subgroup. I love that you can literally create the most beautiful pieces of art from the simplest items or surroundings. What interests me about art as a whole, is that it is never ending and there are always more possibilities to come.
How many hours weekly do you spend perfecting, practicing, or thinking about your art?
So, unfortunately I have three jobs. I work about 60 hours a week, but anytime I have free outside of my jobs I am spending it creating. Two of my jobs, I am nannying for families, so sometimes I am able to create with the kids I take care of. They love my cameras, and they always challenge me to look at the world with a fresh eye. I am thinking about art every second I am breathing though. Everything I see is art. Art is in me.
What has been your biggest struggle in your journey to becoming an artist?
My biggest struggle has had to be the way I was raised, where I come from and having very little support financially or emotionally. I definitely didn’t realize how poor I was until I moved to Raleigh. I think my parents did an amazing job teaching my siblings and I to be happy no matter the circumstances. We were taught not to judge and just to have a good time. But, I was never granted the same opportunities as my friends. I also dealt with many, many traumatic experiences at a very young age. I was introduced to Xanax and I let the small town I was in define me. I paved my own way out and I’ve basically provided for myself since I was 17. I think leaving a small town at such a young age, I was lost and trying to become the person everyone wanted me to be. It took me a long time to finally accept that there’s nothing more that I want to do than create. A big struggle for me was realizing that you don’t need anyone’s support besides your own. Once I began to invest in myself, I started to see the greatest amount of growth.
Where do you see yourself, as an artist, in 5 (or 10) years?
Oh I couldn’t say for sure. I know wherever I am, I’ll be happy. I see myself in a better place, surrounded by art and better people than myself. I see growth.
Do you have a day-job or are you working on something other than your art?
Yep. 3 jobs :b
Name one artist in your field that you really look up to, or one artist whose work you look forward to.
Vivian Maier—RIP. I’ve yet to see her work in person.
Name one of your favorite artists that you have worked with or would like to work with in the future.
I would love to work with Cole Sprouse!
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Tell us about the featured art you chose to share with us.
The images I am sharing with you are the outcome of my first ever shoot in a studio. I’ve modeled in a studio but I’ve never been the one taking the photos. I used my Mamiya C 220, and it was only my third time ever using this camera that day. I am very proud of these photos because I think I have a very solid foundation and my work shall only get better.
Model: Makayla (@silkentint)
List your top 5 favorite tools (or gear, software) that you use to create with.
I only shoot film—so I barely edit. If I do, I use Lightroom. I have an Epson V 550 to scan my images!
List your top 5 favorite songs right now.
Angel by Shaggy
Cater to You by Destiny’s Child
Let Me Love You by Mario
Where is the Love by The Black Eyed Peas
Dive by Ed Sheeran
What book would you choose to bring with you if you were stranded on an island?
I would bring one of my photo albums (that counts as a book, right?)