I sat down this week with someone who is too shy to be named here, but who wants to know more about me and what I do and why I do it. More importantly, in my opinion, how they might be inspired by the answers to pursue their own passion for journalism…So for practice, I agreed to do an interview on my own platform. Please “regard me” (name the movie reference) as I put this out there…it’s my own take on the Elevator Introspective.
What do you do?
I am a professional creative, meaning, I have my hands in a few different things. I am an artist, a photographer, and I publish this online art magazine articentric.com.
An artist? Tell me about that?
I paint, almost exclusively with acrylic, in a very emotive abstract way. I try not to go into a session with any pre-conceived idea of what I want to paint, rather I prefer to play some great music, depending on my mood at the time, and line up my tubes, grab my palette and palette knife, and go for it. I love creating layers, textures, and unsuspecting shapes. Sometimes it all comes together in an amazing way, other times, I grab the spray bottle, and create a very multilayered background for the next session.
My collectors all tend to gravitate toward the feeling that my work arouses in their imagination, or even their memory. I recall one of the first pieces I sold having had multiple subjects that people saw in the painting, it was a very heavily textured black background, with swaths of copper red in various areas of the canvas. The person who ended up purchasing it, did so because it reminded her of her dog that she had recently lost, and thought it would be nice to have to always remind her of the good times they had together. Others saw things like ships at sea, or a charging bull, or forest fires on a hillside. That is the absolute beauty of my work, for me, the fact that everyone who looks at it sees their own mental image, and nobody can ever see what they see. Thats how I know I’m on the right track.
What do you do with photography? Is that a profession, or a hobby? Tell me more.
Photography has always been in my blood. I was practically born with a camera in my hand. Those old 110 cameras that you put the flash cube on top of and it spun each time it went off, and you needed like 6 of them in your pocket because you could only get 4 flashes from them. Those were awesome. I think my first camera was some kind of mickey mouse themed camera. I’m sure its still around somewhere, my mother never threw anything out.
I remember my grandfather had a ton of polaroids and little 110 and 126 cameras. He was likely my inspiration for photography, as he was always letting me use them and take what I wanted to take. Thinking back, polaroids were not cheap. I think a pack of 20 cost the equivalent of about $30 today. So taking polaroids of the clothesline pole and the weathervane on the top of the garage, rather than Uncle Bob and Aunt Marie were probably a costly hobby, but I dont recall him every trying to stop me. He loved to see what I came up with. I remember him getting one of the first VHS Camcorders in the mid 1980’s and I threw that bad boy on my shoulder every holiday and got some of the best candid family interviews in history, at least in my mind they were. Back then people were still used to the old 8mm cameras before they recorded sound, so most of my videos were of the tv blaring in the background, while people smiled and waved and maybe my aunt shouting “Say something, it can hear you”.
As I grew up I received cameras as gifts almost every other birthday or Christmas. If I didn’t get a camera, I got film for the one I got the year before. Then I got to go to the drug store and get two of every picture I took (Doubles), because for a few bucks more, who wouldn’t want twice as many pictures? I still remember beginning high school, and finding out that the pharmacy two towns over had a photo lab INSIDE the store and I could get my pictures developed the same day, and a year later, that time decreased to within the HOUR! Boy oh boy! Getting 36 pictures of the family dog, with doubles in case other people liked it and wanted a copy, never was so easy. Yeah…that happened. … … Fast forward to a few months ago when I stopped at Target and asked the 19 or 20 year old Electronics guy if they sold film for cameras, and he takes me to a small corner of the store, shows me the INSTAX rack, which is that new Fuji brand of essentially polaroid instant film, and then says “There ya go”, and walks away. I never felt so old. I proceeded to go across the street to CVS, where they had film, but the ONLY 35mm film they had was 400 speed….something you REALLY had to look for, and then come out of pocket big time for, when I was growing up.
So in 2006 I splurged on a Canon Rebel XTi and a Sigma lens determined to ditch the Kodak and Samsung point-and-shoots and take my photography seriously. And I did. Since then I have amassed quite a camera collection, which I try to keep in rotation for various purposes. I am primarily focused on Travel, Street, and Architectural Photography that I can get outside, explore, and come back with some very interesting angles and perspectives that one might not always think to capture in the traditional sense of photography. My sappy idea is that someone with the same love of details sees the way I honed in on the corner of a particular building and shares the same affinity for that corner but could never have imagined capturing it in the way I did, so they license that image, and contract with me to travel the world capturing my idea of the most interesting aspects of a collection of buildings they list for me. Or something like that. For now, I enjoy selling prints online, through instagram, and stock photography sites. I recently got some exciting interest from the city of Miami, and an emerging technology product to take photographs for them that they could use in their marketing materials, etc. So stay tuned for some exciting news to come. So that’s my photography story.
You know by now, the magazine. This is my passion. Clearing the red tape that seemingly has constricted the growth and development of the platform was my focus throughout 2018, and articentric is now poised to take on 2019 full speed ahead, fully digital, and fully FOR ARTISTS, BY ARTISTS. I have big news coming up and can’t wait to share every step of the journey from here on out. I would ask all of you reading today, to browse the site, keep track of the sections you’re most excited to see developed, and let me know which ones those are. Are there sections you think are missing the mark, or perhaps obsolete? I want to streamline this platform for you, the emerging, and the established artist, to enjoy, get inspiration from, network through, and create a thriving online community. To do that, I closed the office, and am running this from the streets and galleries I travel to/from wherever I go. No more stuffy “suits” trying to squeeze sponsor and advertising dollars from entities that have no interest in art or artists and then try to exert their influence on what content should and should not be presented. This is real, raw, and grassroots from here on out. This is our platform, but it doesn’t work if you’re just looking for the shiny new toy in the store, you have to let me know what you like, love, and even hate about it. Shoot me an email through the contact form and let’s have a discussion. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for articentric. I’ll be announcing something cool in the next 30-45 days, so stay tuned.
How can people stay tuned, are you on social media?
Yes, I am on social media, but one of the best ways is to get on the articentric VIP list, it is free and I only send email with updates on the site, or upcoming features to be excited about. So I encourage everyone to sign up, please. Also, please follow articentric on instagram @articentric. I would be remiss not to mention my “personal” social media feeds as well. Follow my photography on instagram @scottmichaelphotography, and my art collective feed @smd.gallery
Thank you for opening up to us in the way that you did. Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?
Yes….This is going to be an EXCELLENT YEAR!!
Thanks to my protege for this “practice” interview. It was so fun, I just had to publish it. It’s a bit about me, but more about the reasons why and a glimpse of what’s to come….hopefully it’s been enlightening. If not, I can’t help you. It’s all I’ve got, it’s ME.
Cheers to an AMAZING 2019!!