HOW HAS YOUR ART PRACTICE CHANGED OVER TIME?
I was mainly shooting with my Contax medium-format film camera for awhile which was beautiful and so fun to work with. I was hesitant to jump to digital for a long time because the prints had that very digital look in the early days. But when I started seeing how the quality was improving and that print sizes were increasing due to increasing resolution, I finally made the transition to fully digital. That was about 4 years ago. It made a huge change in my practice. First, I was able to save a lot more time, as working with film is very time and labor intensive not to mention expensive... developing, printing in the darkroom, scanning, removing dust digitally from the negatives, etc. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, going digital allowed me to learn and improve more technically because you could take essentially an infinite amount of photos, slightly tweaking here and there, learning how slight changes in aperture, shutter, ISO, and focus impacted the image, whereas with film, every shot of the 16 in the roll felt too precious to practice and experiment. Another big change was transitioning from a traditional darkroom to Lightroom, basically a digital darkroom, which was faster and cheaper, but also provided a wider range of possibilities in how one could edit and develop an image.
ARE YOU FORMALLY TRAINED?
I took a few continuing education photography courses at International Center of Photography way back in 2006. I learned a lot technically, but the most important aspect was making the new connections with classmates and instructors, of which various opportunities arose.
DO YOU DO ANY RESEARCH AS PART OF YOUR ART PRACTICE? WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT?
Yes, when I have a location in mind to photograph, for example Greenland or Faroe Islands, I gather as many books as I can and online reading to research the logistics of traveling there and within the country, the weather and light during the different seasons, potential hiking trails, and sites to photograph whether it's a waterfall, glacier, ancient site or anything else that appeals to me.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE ARTISTS? ANY THAT INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
My favorite photo-based artists are the ones that I was first drawn to when I started learning about photography. One of them is the German photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans, whose portraits and still-lifes had a natural, intuitive, and sensitive quality that I tried to emulate when I first started shooting. Another artist that I loved was Roni Horn, in particular her haunting, ethereal Iceland landscapes. I believe her work was one of my first exposures to Iceland, and probably subconsciously inspired me to visit there in 2008.
IF YOU HAD UNLIMITED FUNDS, TIME AND ACCESS, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
To travel throughout Greenland, in particular the icecap, to photograph the meltwater rivers.
DO YOU CURRENTLY PRACTICE ART FULL-TIME OR DO YOU HAVE A "DAY JOB" AS WELL?
Luckily, I haven't had any weird day jobs because of my background in graphic design. Because of my background, I've been able to freelance as an art director in advertising, which has afforded me the time and resources to pursue photography projects.
DO YOU HAVE A DAILY PRACTICE OR ESSENTIAL ROUTINE WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ARTMAKING?
I'm an early bird, so I always religiously wake up at 630 to work on my photos for an hour or 2 before I have to leave for my day job. It's when I am most clear and have the most energy. It's a nice quiet time where I can just focus on my photos and listen to the morning news.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN THE STUDIO FOR YOU. WHAT'S THE FIRST STEP YOU TAKE WHEN BEGINNING A NEW ARTWORK? DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC OR PODCASTS WHILE YOU CREATE?
I wake up early and start working on editing photos in Lightroom. I always have NPR One on in the background which has a mix of national and local news and other stories. I only have an hour or 2 before I need to get ready for my day job, so I try to make a goal of finishing one photo a day and uploading onto my site.
WHAT CREATIVE OR PERSONAL ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE?
To work when you have the most energy and are most creative, whether you're a morning person or work better late at night. You'll be more efficient and make better decisions. It also helps to maintain a routine for your work schedule and stick to it. Another helpful thing for me is to break down large projects into small daily goals. It makes it more manageable, and soon enough you find that the project is finished!
HAS THE CURRENT HEALTH CRISIS AFFECTED YOUR CREATIVE DRIVE IN ANY WAY?
I still have the same drive, but just a lot more time available for my artwork, as working from home for my day job has saved 3 hours of daily commute time! So, yes, I've been able to make a lot more work than usual.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? WHAT IS THE MOST FUN OR REWARDING PART?
The hardest part is the marketing aspect and trying to get your work out there. The most fun part is making the work! Just being out and exploring and shooting.
MANY OF OUR ARTLYOWL COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE NEWER ART BUYERS. HOW WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THAT OTHERS MAKE ART PURCHASING DECISIONS?
I would just go with your heart and what speaks to you, more so than as a financial investment, but certainly that is important too. In the end, it will hopefully be something you will be living with for a long time and want to enjoy looking at everyday.