Where do you get your models?
I get my models from a variety of sources, and it always heavily depends on the concept for the shoot. I have to be very specific about what I’m looking for so that the model communicates what I’m trying to say. For example, the Goddess Almighty series required someone to play mother nature, a character of power. They also had to have a universal and classic look. I needed a dancer. I couldn’t use a skinny ballerina because I thought it would look too much like a bizarre nude fashion shoot and would have a mixed message. I needed a girl with a normal body, who can dance and who is willing to do this naked and be put on a wall as art. I was lucky to find the perfect person in my network. My friend Irene who I used to work with. If I have to do a fashion creative, the source is usually a modeling agency. You can contact a booking agent and they will send you a package of models (virtual package, not a real package), which you can choose from.
How do you do these?
The medium is photography. I do all the photography, and I put the images together as a digital collage in Photoshop. So if I need a tree to come out of someone’s head, I shoot the person and then the tree and composite them in Photoshop. Some ways I’ve described this before are: image composites, Photo-illustration, digital art, photomanipulation.
How did you find photography?
I’ve been making art since I was 6 years old. I have a vague memory of me drawing in the kitchen one day and shortly after being put into art classes to perfect my craft. It took another 10 years of… perfecting my craft before I found photography in the last year of high school. I also began to play around with photoshop around that time. The marriage of painting and photography began when I saw that I could make the types of images that I wanted combining photography and collage in Photoshop.
Where did you learn Photoshop?
I am self taught in Photoshop. I started playing around with Photoshop even before I picked up a camera, and it was natural for me to play with photography in post when I began shooting. After university, I started working for other photographers as a retoucher as well.
How do you do self portraits?
After I test exposure, composition and focus on an object like a chair, or a lamp, I set up a tripod and self timer and shoot away.
HOW do you stay creative?
I believe creativity is a muscle you have to exercise. Ideas could, but don’t always come out of thin air. I look at a lot of digital art websites and blogs to constantly discover new work that is similar to mine. I also listen to a lot of podcasts about a variety of topics that have little to do with art like psychology, science, technology and mental health. I build my life so that I have a variety; I don’t have a 9-5 job where I do the same thing every day, but rather different freelance jobs where I get to engage with different people and projects. I also don’t like to stay in one place, and travel as much as possible to gain a fresh perspective. I combine all these in an idea soup that results in an art project.
Where do your ideas come from?
At the end of the day, my ideas can come from different sources. A conversation I’ve had with a friend, something I read in an article, a trip I took over the summer. But it’s important to outline what inspires and motivates me to create. I surround myself with those elements and the stars will align in time for the next project.
Why do you use so many women as models?
Female models are usually aligned with my concepts. I like shooting girls because I relate to them being a female myself. I also find female nudes more fun to shoot due to curvature. One of the visual inspirations for my art is lots of fashion photography, and must play into my craving to shoot girls.