Artist Cameo: TOUCHING HEAVEN
If I had to describe my artistic voice I’d say it sounds like an adventure. I never really know what I’m going to produce, each project is drastically different from the last and I think that’s due to a variety of my experiences and my influences. I love fantasy and fashion and I’m really aiming to blend those two concepts together in my work going
forward. I love playing with colors and tones, I think they can truly change the entire vibe of a photo and convey a deeper meaning. A lot of my passion projects are linked to my emotions and life journeys at the time I’m creating them and I usually draw on them to create some sort of whimsically vague yet direct visual. The messages I aim to convey
are subject to change based on the photo set or video however so far I believe the majority of my self portrait projects have been conveying a sense of unconventional vulnerability to the darker sides of one self. My personal shoots “Ego Death and “Agape” both kind’ve dance on the lines of self acceptance and letting go or coming to terms with parts of your being that aren’t as easy to digest while my shoot with models “Cosmic Black Love” embraced the concept of requited love and soulmates. All in all I love to experiment.
What moment did you know being a creative was the life path for you?
The moment I knew being a creative was a life path for me was when I took a photography class as a random elective my sophomore year in high-school and I just
fell in love with capturing time and imagery as well as shaping those moments to my vision. Ever since then I’ve never imagined a life where I put a camera down. I was talking to a good friend recently and upon a creative exchange of ideals I think I said I can’t imagine a life where I’m not creating something. I never envisioned an ending. I’m trusting myself and my skills to grow and get me to a point where I can solely create and
thrive off that wherever it may lead.
Photography, Creative, styling, editing, model
by Shemar Anthony
Being an artist isn’t an easy life, it definitely comes with its number of challenges. What are some challenges that you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is budgeting for projects. Just kidding, but that comes with time and it allows me to be more creative and very resourceful. A true challenge I’ve faced internally and externally as an artist is the whole concept of sexuality and self confidence. Being a black man raised in a Christian household and growing up in church I was never able to fully be myself and that reflected in my art and it was very stagnant for a long time.
I would look at my past work and it felt empty. I sacrificed a lot of creativity out of fear of being judged or labeled and over the course of the last year I decided to simply push myself past these fears and embrace my full being and just owning who I am and I’ve just touched the tip of the ice berg creatively. There’s a lot in store.
What social topics are you most passionate about?
I’m vey passionate about representation. I think it’s one of the most important things in art. Art lives forever. We know everything about history from various art forms over the years. I want to shine a light on those who are not deemed conventional or societal beauties with my focus being primarily black people, other people of color and the LGBTQ community. Imagination and fantasy have an unspoken history of being exclusively owned by white people and I want to do my part in changing that. I have a bestfriend who is Mexican and we had a conversation once about representation and I asked him if he’s ever seen a Mexican person ride a dragon in any form of media and he said no and I asked why not? I’ve seen dozens of white men ride dragons and save the world but I’ve never seen a Black man do it. That tells our children something and it conveys a message that imagination is not available to them as they are and through my future work I want to embody and empower them to dream big and embrace all facets of their imaginations to create whatever it is they desire to bring into this world with no restrictions.
"I’m vey passionate about representation. I think it’s one of the most important things in art. Art lives forever. We know everything about history from various art forms over the years. I want to shine a light on those who are not deemed conventional or societal beauties with my focus being primarily black people, other people of color and the LGBTQ community."
Name three of the biggest women influencers in your life? How do they influence you professionally?
Rihanna, Jazelle Zanaughtti or better known as Uglyworldwide on instagram and My Dad.
Rihanna spearheads representation with her SavagexFenty shows and I love how she experiments with fashion and overall as a creative especially when she models for photoshoots. She’s confident in herself and in her endeavors and she’s not afraid to push boundaries and that’s a quality I hope to embody. Jazelle/Uglyworldwide is a model and I honestly don’t know to much about her personally but I know her work is stunning. She’s always committed to the project and creating whatever persona is necessary for the visual to be accomplished. To me that’s what a true creative is. Lastly, My Dad because his best quality is that he never gives up no matter how hard life gets and that’s exactly the drive I need to get where I’m going.
If you could collab with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?
I would love to collab with Jazelle/Uglyworldwide as I mentioned previously. She’s very courageous and I could only imagine what we could create together artistically. I would also love to work with Jora Frantzis, Her work is stunning and has that dramatic blend of fantasy and fashion I aspire to create. Blair Caldwell is extremely talented as well I love his clean edits. Definitely another creative I’d love to work with.
.Finish the sentence my art is…?
My art is emerging…I think that’s the best way to describe it. I love trying new concepts and editing styles. Lately I’ve been challenging myself to use colors outside my norm to see what I can push myself to create. I’m really coming into my own now with no restrictions and my visions are manifesting through my camera and my style is being birthed so I'm excited to see where I go with all my creative passions, ideas and influences leading the way. Hopefully I can break some boundaries for myself and the world as I move forward.