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Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, I come from a large family; 3 boys, two girls, two parents. I was fortunate to have grown up with parents who provided an environment where creative ventures and a love for the arts were encouraged. Mom and Dad always found ways to inspire our developing minds.
Some of my fondest memories are when my family would pile in the old station wagon for a day trip. During these trips, we drew inspiration by exploring the artistry in nature and exploring local libraries, galleries, and museums.
My favorite was when one of the valley’s cities would sponsor a free symphony concert in a park. After listening, we were charged with creative energy! So, my parents would encourage us to express the sounds we heard visually. For me, this stimulated a lifelong connection between my art and music.
Today my work is comprised of photographs, composites, and digitally rendered images. This is different from the pencils, paint, and ink I started with, but I believe the chosen tools or mediums, while important, are not as crucial as the act of creating. Learning new tools, techniques, and mediums means exploring another way to create. For an artist, these are simply vehicles. That being said, each creative work can be a type of destination.
However, a life of creativity is the journey, and the journey is what makes it all worthwhile.
I guess in many ways, I’m still in the back of that old station wagon.
Realist or Dreamer
In all things, balance is essential to me. It is what I admire, what I seek, and what I strive to understand. Balance has been a consistent variable throughout my artistic journey.
Back in 2015, I began to get involved in learning photography seriously. To gain some insight, I started by speaking to both amateur and professional photographers. While doing so, I noticed two very different schools of thought among a few of them. Aside from the typical Nikon vs. Canon banter, at the time, some photographers felt that utilizing programs like Photoshop showed a lack of skill and real talent. While others embraced the use of such programs as a means to more effectively express their artistic vision.
What I saw in these two opposing opinions was the classic difference between a realist and a dreamer. In studying photographers' work employing each approach, I saw many examples of fantastic pieces on both sides. Regardless, I realized that I would need to decide where I stood in entering the world of photography. Would I approach my craft as a realist or a dreamer?
It wasn’t hard to decide. I’m a dreamer through and through. I also had already learned Photoshop in the late nineties. Sure it took some effort to dust off my brain and become accustomed to the latest updates and changes, but I was excited about the challenge. I was ready to grow in a new artistic direction, and I wanted to use Photoshop - my digital darkroom - to do it.
But as always, there was a need for balance.
Although I am a dreamer by nature, I didn’t want to discount the realists' approach. I needed to learn from them, and understanding their perspective has helped me a lot. In particular, because of them, I resolved not to rely solely on my skills in the digital darkroom to create art. They helped me recognize the need to become adept at utilizing my tools during the initial shoot, thereby saving time on tedious corrections. Doing this allows me to use the digital darkroom primarily to dream and express thoughts and concepts.
So it is with this approach that I have learned to create as a photographer. Having the heart of a dreamer but balancing it with the mind of a realist.
As far as Nikon vs. Canon...
I chose Sony.
Light and Sound
I have a few different visual art pieces I create; I use my camera for the initial capture. In my mind, it’s a lot like painting, except my brushes are made of light, and my canvas is the world.
Sometimes, I spend hours, days, weeks, even months planning and researching before finally executing a shoot. Other times the world falls together perfectly in a single instant. If I am ready, then I manage to capture the moment as it unfolds.
After capturing the photo, I decide if the digital darkroom is needed to express the idea and intent behind the piece. Truthfully, most of my pieces are created with the digital darkroom in mind because it’s here that I can explore each thought and dream. Moreover, to transform these thoughts and dreams into something tangible, I need music.
For me, music is the purest form of expression. Perfectly balanced. Its nature is both mathematical and emotive. We count songs out using numbers and timing, yet each note consists of raw emotion.
Though I see the world through light, I feel it through music. I think to some degree, we all do. After all, every sound is the result of vibrations traveling through the air. So even on the most basic level, music is felt.
Movies, theater, even a pleasant meal, these things become better when punctuated by music. The same is true with my pieces. When I go into the digital darkroom while listening to artists like Thomas Bergersen, Audiomachine, and Blackmill, what comes out more accurately expresses the ideas I am attempting to share.
The most concise way I can describe my artistic process is to use light and sound to understand and interpret the world around me. Creating this way helps me achieve a sense of balance.
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