I was asked to answer the ten questions below by the Angelica Gallery in Phoenix. I thought I’d post it here too because these are the common questions artists often have difficulties articulating. I don’t think my blog is read by very many, but I hope this is helpful, especially for young artists.
In an effort to have each of our artists connect with their audience we have designed 10 questions for each artist to complete if they wish. This will help our efforts to encourage more artistic creation in all its unique forms while also encouraging more people to connect with art in general. People need to feel connected to something to feel inspired to get involved in it and especially spend their money on it so this is another avenue we can make each artist more relatable to the public. Thank you in advance for answering these questions in your own unique way.
1. What would you say was the first thing or moment that got you inspired to start creating?
Very young. As a kid my parents enrolled me in a lot of after-school art classes. I wasn’t a very good painter or too good at drawing but I did learn all the fundamentals. In the 7th grade I was introduced to photography and discovered that photography was the medium for me. Photography is a blend of both art and science and I took to it. I enjoyed both the creative time behind the camera and the scientific aspect of the darkroom. I didn’t choose art, art chose me.
2. What inspires and motivates you now?
Curiosity. I’m interested in things I have not seen before so I’m motivated to push the limits of photography and digital art. I’m also motivated by the classical surrealists and have closely studied the works and writings of Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and others. Today, as a result of the ‘digital revolution’ of photography I find more inspiration from the history of painting than photography. Technology allows me to use photography in ways that go far beyond the traditional photograph. The ‘photograph’ is no longer my final destination creatively.
3. What do you feel or experience when you are creating?
Joy, discovery and a lot of hard work.
4. Are there certain things or people that influence your creative flow or process?
Photographic influences are Pete Turner, Mitchell Funk, Jerry Uelsmann, Man Ray and the classic American Western photographers, f-64 group, etc. From painting, influences are Dali, Magritte, Jacek Yerka, and Picasso. Science-fiction literature is also an influence including authors such as Frank Herbert, Robert Charles Wilson and Robert J. Sawyer. I like surrealist writers like Jeff Noon. Another influence is progressive rock music. This is the music that’s not heard much on the radio. Just as I seek novelty and innovation visually, I appreciate musicians that continually push boundaries to create something truly new; musicians and bands such as Steve Hackett, 1970’s Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes, The Watch, Pendragon, Jadis, The Tangent, Marillion, Marc Dwane, Erik Wollo, Cairo, The Flower Kings, etc. Freud and Jung are influential. Those who don’t follow formula are my primary influences. As diverse as this list is, all of it somehow gets into my brain, is processed, and comes out in my work.
5. What is your favorite atmosphere or environment in which you like to create?
When photographing I prefer to work alone, both in the studio and on-location. Also when working at the computer in my studio I prefer to be left alone, frequently for hours or days, and I require time for quiet contemplation. I work out many concepts during that time between fading wakefulness and sleep.
6. What would you say would be the one thing you would like someone to take with them when viewing your work, if anything?
The joy of discovery and the impetus to THINK.
7. What other professions, interests, or hobbies do you have?
I ride motorcycles which brings me great joy and freedom. Motorcycling exercises different parts of my brain, is physically demanding and serves to ‘reset’ my creative thinking. I play classical guitar, not very well, but I work at it specifically because it’s HARD to do. I’m also tangentially involved in paranormal research including UFology, Cryptozoology, ghost-hunting, psychic-functioning and remote-viewing. Quantum physics interests me a lot.
8. Give an example of a difficulty you have had to overcome.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully as a more recognized and collected artist and not living under a bridge!
10. What advice would you give someone just wanting to start out with their art career?
Success is the result of not quitting.