"My creative process is very simple. I take pictures of what calms my soul. There may be other, more descriptive or poetic words that may be used to define the “pattern” that connects my images, but the simplest meta-pattern is this: I take snapshots of moments in time and space in which a peace washes gently over me, and during which I sense a deep interconnectedness between my soul and the world." —Andy Ilachinski
Do you find similarities between photography and poetry? What is your personal philosophy about photography?
Both obviously represent a means - a "language" - of expression; though each has its unique gifts and requires something of the "observer" (or listener). As languages of the soul, neither can bepracticed very well until the artist becomes wholly immersed in the craft. Just as "words" alone - without craft - convey little of lasting value, so, too, "pictures" - by themselves, without reflection or careful artful consideration, will almost never show anything more than what the picture depicts as a "thing." In either case, the art - for me - comes from the images (or words) communicating something of what the artist *felt* (and/or experienced), beyond a mere regurgitation of "what was there." As Minor White used to say (one of my favorite photographer-teachers, and a true inspiration, though I was too young to ever meet him), "One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are."
|Micro Worlds Triptych|
a part of your life?
|Spirit and light|
What would you suggest to people just starting out in such creative pursuits? I wrote a long piece on that subject in my blog once (here is the link). A young artist emailed me with the question: "What are the most important lessons you've learned on your way to becoming a fine-art photographer?" My answer (elaborated considerably in my blog entry) consisted of these fundamental lessons: (1) Never stop taking pictures; (2) Forget about things and concentrate on feelings; (3) Do not internalize (or take too seriously) what others tell you about your pictures; take the pictures that are important to you; (4) Learn the basics of technique, so that "technique" never again requires your conscious attention; (5) Never stop learning from the masters, and their photographs; and (6) Forge your own path (strong form of lesson #3).
What inspired you to share your work, opinions, etc. with the world?
Another lesson my dad taught me is that art, if left alone in the company of just the artist who created it, is only *half*-an-art; true art needs to be observed, and experienced, by others. There are three singular moments in which my artistic joy is at its peak: (1) the ineffable instant preceding my finger going down on the camera's shutter button to go "click"; (2) the final (post Photoshop) print as it emerges out of my Epson printer; and (3) the expression on a person's face as he or she first gazes upon a print of mine that they have "emotional reaction" to. Posting on the web dilutes #3 somewhat ;-) but the tradeoff is more than my fair-share of heart-felt emails I get from time to time from people that an image or two has touched in some way.
Here's the challenge: