This piece has been a long time coming, it is one of those images that I would work on for a while and then step away having not fully realized my vision. On Tuesday I was having coffee with my Mom, who is an artist, and we were talking about this image; I told her that I was just not getting this to where I wanted it. I had something stuck in my head and would not let it go, it was too vivid, too strong of an idea to not get it exactly right. My biggest challenge was the color and getting it to work just right. My Mom’s advice was to do what I had done a few times already with this piece, just walk away from it and come back with a fresh perspective. Sure enough that is exactly what happened; I came back to the image a few days later and it clicked, not just the color but how I was going to do the color in order to pull together all of the other elements of the image.
Some people work completely in a vacuum, I am not one of those people. Sure the final decision on a piece I am working on is mine, but I like to talk through ideas both the good and the bad with family, friends and even the model I am working with. While some people may see this as a weakness, I see it as a strength and feel that I am and continue to become a better artist because I am so open to discussing my ideas. The collaborative process to me is very fulfilling, I like working with people and there are a few people that I have collaborated with over the years including LuxBot Lächeln – who is the subject of the image above – who I enjoy trading emails/texts/phone calls with where we talk about ideas I am playing with or artists we are following. In early October I was texting LuxBot some of the ideas and broad concepts I had been playing with and through that conversation it was decided we needed to shoot some setups the next time she was in town.
For me, this is how a lot of my ideas have become reality, more so recently than in the past few years. Some ideas are big, almost too big for me to tackle right now, but others suddenly start to come together quickly and the next thing I know I am shooting an image that just a few days or weeks earlier was a text conversation on my phone or a discussion with my wife on the living room couch. I think there are people that are afraid to be collaborative, but the people I have surrounded myself with in my life do not just make me a better person, they help inspire and motivate me to be a better artist.