How long have you been an artist?
That’s a tough question! When do people start being creative?
Tell us about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am currently preparing for more experimentation with 4×5 film photography. I really want to get pictures of star trails in various locations. These will be especially beautiful through the 4×5 camera due to the incredible detail that can be produced with large format film. These will probably end up being multiple-hour exposures, so I probably won’t be able to do more than one exposure per night. Finding the right exposure and development for this kind of photography could be tricky, and might take a few weeks or months of trials.
I am also starting to loosely put together a portrait project that compares my body with my parents’ bodies. Once again, the detail present in 4×5 film makes this medium especially conducive to this comparison; I think it might involve projections. (Also, neither of my parents know about my plans to photograph them yet, so there’s that variable also.)
Lastly, I plan to do a lot of formal architecture photography, just to maximize my abilities with the lens/film plane manipulations that the 4×5 camera offers. I hope to combine these formal studies with a few other examples of architectural features that I think exemplify the concept of “infinite spaces.”
The black and white 4×5 photography in Figuratively Speaking is part of an initial architectural study combined with a desire to become acquainted with the particulars of night-time photography.
The other body of work in Figuratively Speaking was the focus of my BFA show in April 2012. These photographs involve a rapid flash fired 10 or more times in a completely dark room. Over the course of two (sometimes more) seconds, various positions of motion of the performance group Institute of Jugglology were captured. These photographs allow viewers to see a set of movements over a large chunk of time, much like the way that jugglers think and plan their patterns.
Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I am kind of a packrat. I have only recently figured out how to organize all of the tools and materials that supplement my art-making, but that aren’t necessarily related to any of my camera equipment. I made it a priority to set up my drafting table when I moved last month. My space needs to be surprisingly clear of clutter before I can sit down and work.
My creative process is still developing, I think, and hopefully it will continue developing for a long time. That’s kind of the hard part about being an artist, I think – narrowing down how you think about how you work. Maybe that’s just babbling, but it’s also something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Figuring out ways to keep working as an artist after I graduate has also been on my mind.
What are your artistic goals?
As cheesy as it may sound, I just want to capture space and time in a meaningful way.
Also, I need to go about acquiring a 4×5 camera to use after I am done with my BFA in December. This needs to become a key pursuit of mine.
And maybe this is too mundane, but my website has needed an overhaul for about a year and a half.
How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall?
Reading! The library is great. Sleeping is also key.
What are your inspirations?
I really like science! The natural world (and how we interact with it) is full of inspiration. My science/math background definitely influences some of the ways that I think about what I am capturing over time through the lens.
One of my favorite past photo projects involved photographing the various ways that nature was reclaiming man-made objects and materials. This project will probably continue for a few years, because my friends and I like to explore abandoned houses in southeast Iowa. It’s fun to drive aimlessly around hunting for them.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
One of the people who influenced me most was a TA who made me gather visual reference material. As simple as the concept of visual references may be, the organizational methods I learned were invaluable.
Also, staying connected to a community of artists is important, I have heard from a few sources. It’s always good to be around people who are also making it a priority in their lives to be creative, even when faced by other life distractions.
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