Saturday, 28 August 2010

Intermission. Scott Pilgrim: twelve-seventeen

Scott Pilgrim was born on December 17th and very recently has launched his new website twelve-seventeen, which features both his design and photography work. Take a look! 

Some pieces seem familiar? Probably they remind you of the feature around and about Scott here on milkwithtea earlier this year, where you'll also find further links connected to his work.

Ninja Hanna

Ninja Hanna
Stockholm, Sweden

What led you to photography?

I'm not one of them who can say that I photographed all my life. That I took pictures before I learned to talk or walk and got my first SLR when I was five years old and all that. No, my road that led to photography is slightly more diverse and goes mainly through the arts.
However, I have painted and drawn all my life. I am a major cliché in that department instead, you know the deal - claimed since the tender age of three that I would become an artist when I grow up and nothing else would do. I wanted to work visually… and well, I still do. So, not so much has changed in the last 25 years, or so. But it took some years before photography made its great entrance into my life. I was probably around 16-17 years when I decided it was time to try it. And I kinda knew that I would love it before I’d even properly tried it out. I was mostly focused on photo-realistic painting at that time but felt like I didn’t really quite master it. Also photography felt more, well in lack of other words, real. I think that the passion for the photo-realistic way of painting led a quite natural way into photography. It seemed like an almost organic evolution and today it’s such a big part of who I am. Unfortunately, I must say that the artist with a brush and canvas disappeared on the road. Today I only do photography.

What's the best part of making photo shoots with friends?

The security and the trust in each other’s creativity. That you can have a dialogue and let the work emerge naturally. It is not the same pressure and performance anxiety and you can experiment more. And well, just the fun of it!

If you were to model for a designer/fashion company, who/which one would it most preferably be?

I know it may seem a little cliché now, after he recently passed away, but I was always impressed by Alexander McQueen’s visual visions and amazing designs.

Is there an artform you would like to combine to your photographic work?

The obvious answer is the cooperation with good make-up artist and designers of various kinds. I feel that there is much to learn out of that type of collaborations. Both in the commercial aspects of it as well as in the personal development department. I have also already made a series in which I interacted illustrations with my pictures and I would very much like to take these ideas further. Maybe work with professional illustrators in the future. Be inspired by each other’s work.

Does the exchange of favourite photos among bloggers/flickr member etc. increase or decrease the value of the pictures?

In my opinion it’s clear that there are both good and bad aspects about the internet. I personally however find there are mostly benefits.
Obviously you feel happy and flattered to see your pictures on various blogs, favorites on flickr and tumblr, etc... While on the other hand it is incredibly annoying to find your images without credits and omg, when some photos emerge on sites of the more “suspect” kind. But it is part of the way it is today and I think that this just has to be accepted. How this affects the images value I can’t really consider, I believe that a picture's value lies in the eyes of the beholder. And the feeling an image can evoke in the viewer. This is very individual and I can’t really determine if there is a change in the pictures "value" because of this.
But after some lighter self-review, I might have to admit that I do appreciate the pictures that I feel are more exclusive to me and which not everyone knows about a bit more. You do feel a bit better or at least more special when the images feel more intimate to you. And I do think that I put a greater value on them then. Isn’t that the artist’s eternal struggle though, commercial and successful or underground and street cred?

Why do you think has photography become so very popular among young people recently?

At the risk to appear a bit backward now.
It feels like everyone has a digital camera today. And it seems like all it takes to call yourself a "photographer" these days is a digital SLR. Photography has become a very easily accessible visual medium with the digital age. I can’t really take position on whether I think it is good or bad. I mean, it was not too long ago that photography was not even considered a full-fledged art form. So in some aspects this development is really good. And well, I'm probably just being partial here, because I almost only work analogically. Anyway, I think it seems that everyone wants those Andy Warhol 15 minutes in the spotlight. We grew up in a world in which we’re regarded as successful only if we are famous. Blogs are the latest thing and they give everyone a chance to express themselves visually. And they are also able to use as online portfolios that can reach more people more quickly. It’s actually amazing. And like I said earlier, it’s easily available and inexpensive to be digital. And aren’t young people the ones really taking advantage of the perks that the internet offers? 
Maybe? Or I do not know. Now I sound bitter, it's not my intension. Trends will come and go now won’t they? Time will tell what the upswing among young eventually will lead to, too. Hopefully something really good.

What implies "making it" for you?

When I can live of my own projects and the type of photography that appeals to me.
Oh Glory Days; I'm eagerly awaiting you!

Vivid and fresh. Be sure to check out her work!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Adolf Strah

Adolf Strah
- or Christina -

A little bit more about you?

I was born and live in Russia, where people are harsh and have a special mentality. This is a beautiful country, but still, sometimes I want to take a broom and fly on it into space. So I always want to find an adventure and escape from social life. And it is the most beautiful thing to me when my friends and I succeed in this. For me, my photography is like a documentary film about the life of my friends’ and my life! Each photo carries a little story! So when I'm old and one day will start to look through these photos I will die from heart failure and happy with a smile! My camera is my best friend.

What do you love most about Russia?

In Russia, I love the feeling that I'm home. There is freedom. Not everything is perfect, but as they say 'well, where we do not know'!

Have you ever thought of travelling through the whole country by train?

On the train I'd like to get to know the whole world, or maybe more preferably in a light aircraft for two... But surely I would not only like to travel in Russia! It’s certainly a beautiful country, but there are some other interesting places on earth, too.

Which camera(s) do you use?

Now I photograph with a very old soap-box Samsung. It’s convenient and practical.

What else would you be interested in photographing?

Generally I’m in for anything. I would like to photograph underwater life.

The best music video in your opinion?

I don’t even know ... everyone's favorite bands have often their favorite clips. In music I do not dwell on one thing. It is so difficult for me to highlight the "best". Everything is beautiful in its own way!

Some spirit. Be sure to take a look at her flickr!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans
Brooklyn, New York

Is Brooklyn inspiring?

Definitely an inspiring place. Surrounded by great music, creative friends, and plenty of coffeeshops. But really, some of my favorite photographs were taken when I was venturing OUTSIDE of Brooklyn.

A majority of your pictures on flickr are medium format. What do you like specifically about this format?

Easy. Clean. But captures the moment exactly how I want to remember it.

What distinguishes an "artist" from a "tourist photographer"?

Hm, good question. I’m not really sure actually. I could say that a tourist documents a trip to capture the memory and as proof of the adventure...but then again doesnt every 'artist' do that same thing with their photographs?

If I am not mistaken, you also design jewellery. How did this come about? Where can one buy these?

Yes, I do also design jewelry. Im actually right in the middle of launching the FW10 line of EVIE! Currently people can shop EVIE on etsy and I’m in talks with a couple of shops in Brooklyn and one in LA.

What is the story behind the Photo-Shoot pictures series?

All of the 'photo-shootin' photos are outtakes/observations when I’m on set during photoshoots for work (I’m an art director/designer).

I take that you're interested in fashion personally, too. Is there a magazine/webiste/blog... you would recommend?

Oh my, I spend too much time/money at magazine stands. My Reccos: 'I LOVE YOU', 'APARTMENTO', 'DOSSIER', and 'FUTURE CLAW' just to name a few. I often review fashion mags on my site as well (just to completely plug my own site, ha).

What is the best part about fashion photography?

It’s layered creative. One layer being the fashion itself. Then layered onto that is the how the photo of that piece is taken. Then it can be finished off with that photo being laid out in the context of, lets say, a magazine. I like that it’s gone through filters, sometimes filtered many people. Collaborative creation.

A lot of my friends love photographing their meals in a before-after fashion almost like souvenirs when we go out. Having seen similar images on your flickr: why did you take them?

I have a couple of food photos in my flickr. They happen to document particularly good memories with my boyfriend: sleeping in then getting late afternoon waffles, his pride in cooking me breakfast in bed...etc.

Where would you move to if you were to leave Brooklyn?

Played around with the idea of moving upstate, like an hour or two outside of the city. My boyfriend and I have plans for german shepherds. And currently our Brooklyn apts cant handle big beasts like that. But who knows.

What is your favourite means of travel?

Train. Easy question. Next.

Your preference: traditional or digital art?

Both. Things I always have in my bag: a sketchbook and a jumpdrive. Drawing, painting, sculpting...all that hands on stuff is SO important for expressing yourself in the rawest form. HOWEVER, its important to accept and appreciate what technology allows...organizing files, consistency, immediacy, etc. Of course I don’t condone overly digitally-manipulated photos, or being techy for techy's sake...but at the same time a personal pet peeve of mine is when people immediately dismiss art if it’s in any way digital.

Emails/messaging or handwritten notes/letters?

Handwritten for sure. Who doesnt love getting a surprise in the mailbox? It's important to make time to send notes to people close to you.

Finally please describe art in a few words.

Wow, this is really a hard one. Art is full of contradictions: it’s immediate and longterm, it’s bold and soft, its personal and public, its easy and its hard. (that list really could go on and on and on)

Go out and create something. Be sure to take a look at her photography, and maybe take some time to browse on her other sites, too.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Fernando Farfán

Fernando Farfán
Mexico City

You study graphic design. Did you start getting interested in photography
before or after you started your studies?

I´ve been interested in photography since I was a kid. I used to take pictures secretly with my mom's Yashica but when I grew older, she bought a digital point and shoot camera which is when I started taking pictures more often. I also then began to read and investigate about photography and photographers. Though my interest in graphic design started when I was about 12 years old. I remember I used to collect business cards and I was always interested in album covers, magazines, book covers and a lot of things like that, so I´d say my interest for photography started first.

Recurring themes in your work are windows and the play with soft light. What fascinates you about these motifs?

I really don´t know when or why I started to develop that aesthetic in my pictures. It may be because I don´t like artificial light. I enjoy natural lighting much more like you see through curtains and windows.

Do artists consciously or subconsciously always have a certain message in their work?

Yeah, definitely. I remember being asked if some of my selfportraits had a certain message or meaning to me and the answer was always no, but then I realized over time that they did. I can see my mood when I took the picture; what I was feeling shows in my posture or even the lighting. I can almost convey what I was thinking. I think it's that way for any artist.

Do you enjoy illustrations in books, especially in novels, or do you prefer to leave it to your own imagination?

Imagination FTW.

If you were to pick a novel/story/narration for a photography project, which would you choose?

La Sombra del Viento (The Shadow of the Wind). It´s a novel written by Carlos Ruiz Zafrón that takes place in Barcelona in the first half of the XX century.

What was your collaboration with heeykiddo about?

He took the pictures and I added some graphics.
Everything was random, there was no theme, no rules, no anything, the point was to do something with pictures that he thought were boring.

Is there one artist that has shaped your perception of art significantly?

Yes, definitely. There are actually many artists that surprise and keep surprising me every time I look at their work which makes me reconsider the meaning of art. But probably the most inspiring work that I´ve seen in person is from Yishai Jusidman (a plastic artist) and Gregory Crewdson (a photographer). I also died when I saw an exposition of Andy Warhol's work.

Can one get addicted to buying cameras?

Yes, I'm an example.

What is going on here?

Well, there´s a place called ‘La Marquesa’ in Toluca, Mexico, that I like to go with my friends. One day we discovered these bubble things by a lake and decided it would be fun. It was, but I couldn't breathe so I got away from those bubbles and started taking some pictures of my friends inside them.

Which magazine would you love to work for?

Photography for GQ.
Designing for Celeste or Little White Lies.

Soft and soothing lights, be sure to take a look at his flickr!