My main goal and aspiration has always been to create. It sounds simple, but I think creation in the artistic sense is a really complex concept. You’re essentially taking an imaginary place or image in your mind, and translating it for others to see. There’s almost a sense of magic to it. Photography works best for me, since I tend to move on rather quickly, and fashion has always had an allure that draws me in. So naturally, when the two come together, my ideas flow very well. As for the viewer’s interpretation, I like to let the image speak for itself. We all see things differently.
Are these all photos? Some seem alien. Unnatural. Why do you go for this effect? How do you go about creating these (without giving away your secrets)?
Yes, they are all photos. I take a lot of inspiration from different types of imagery, from photography and paintings, to movies and video games. I don’t often seek reality, I lean more on the opposite side. I love the idea of a surreal, almost extraterrestrial sort of world. I guess I’ve tried to convey that quite a few times, and many factors, such as light, setting, model, makeup, clothing, and etc. play an important role. The range of color also enhances an atmosphere.
What art and artists inspire you most in this world? What about the art gets you inspired and excited to create?
There are too many to name. Photography-wise Paolo Roversi has always been my favorite, along with Tim Walker, and of course Steven Meisel. I really love painters from the early Renaissance to the Romanticism era; David and Caravaggio are incredible. I’m really into the colorful periods of modern art. I have a Kirchner painting as my desktop right now. Swiss modernist typography is awesome, that whole period of advertising is something I’d love to draw cues from in the future. Music is also a great tool for inspiration, I find myself trying to find music that evokes the theme during our shoots.
Are you trying to make a living with your art? Is it working for you? What are your business goals and dreams?
Definitely. It’s my life goal, nothing drives me more than the opportunity to create. I graduated High School this year, and not long after, six of my pieces were featured in a Houston art gallery. It helped me make contacts, so things are slowly coming together. I’ve taken a gap year, and plan to attend an art institute in New York. It’s really the place to be for the industry I want to work in. In the long term, I’d say my goal is to leave some sort of impact as an artist in the fashion business; many photographers, from Avedon and Penn, to Meisel and Nick Knight, have really become icons for their contributions. They are very influential in what they do, and if I ever had the chance to leave that sort of footprint, I wouldn’t think of letting it go to waste.
What do you wish you had known when you started that you know now?
I’d probably say the amount of predetermination it takes to plan a successful shoot. There are minds needed to form a collective, and the time given is crucial.
Is there anything you wish people knew about you? Most artists live to express themselves. What are you expressing? Do you think it comes across?
My work is more of a world to me, my own idealized vision; I can’t say whether it’s moreso one of utopia or dystopia. But just as a director of a movie or a developer of a video game is building a place and image for others to roam, I believe fashion photography follows that same mold. It’s really an escape for me, but not so much an extension of who I am as a human being.