Chris Galford here once again to bring you another wonderful spotlight for One Shoot Sunday! Today, One Stop Poetry’s going down under with Australian photographer, artist and writer Kevin “KJ” Halliday. I first discovered KJ through his presence on Twitter…a presence I quickly discovered was matched with a presence on Facebook as well. Continuously on the go, this tech-friendly photographer’s skills range from the beautiful and natural to the artistic, computer-aided image.
KJ’s work is spread across numerous sites, including a blog (http://kjwriteleft.com/
Do you have a personal philosophy about photography? How do you find it complements your other creative work?
KJ: As far as a personal philosophy goes I think as far as creating and experimenting you're best served by not having one. If anything then it would be a little goes a long way, like cooking a sauce it is best to reduce, reduce, reduce. This is the main reason the new series was done in black and white with high contrast on a lot of the shots. I am glad you asked this question actually because a few years ago a good friend looked at my site when I was more stubborn and just putting my poetry on there and she said "it's good, but it needs more pictures". This is I think a common problem with people writing poetry in that they have little to draw someone in unless they take the chance to read your work. This is where the newer series I have produced have had something to get people reading. It also stops me from getting bored with writing or photography, if I am tired of writing I work on photos and vice versa.
KJ: This is a difficult question to say yes or no to. Yes, because it allows us all to connect with each other and view what others are doing; but no because we are all in danger of drowning each individual's creative vision in a sea of tweets. It is of course fantastic to see so many diverse creative people sharing their work and it is a great way to see things you would otherwise miss. Unfortunately with anything like this there are always a great deal of people only looking to profit and you see quite a lot of twitter accounts relating to writing that only exist to sell products. For the most part though I find it a great way to view trends and to especially view work from around the world that differs greatly to my own. I think all artists can benefit by viewing these works.
What has been your experience with the internet as a medium for sharing your art and experiences? What prompted you to get so involved with the online and creative community?
KJ: The internet itself is a great place to stay on the creative cutting edge because of the pace in which it evolves. It has allowed me to use many different mediums and combine mediums particularly photography and poetry. My experience started out badly creating kjwriteleft.com to host a single poetry series. Because poetry cannot be indexed properly by search engines visitors to the site were nearly non-existent. It was only after the new site was created and I discovered twitter that people began to show a lot of interest.
I have always been a little impatient and it was the 'instant' nature of the internet that prompted me to focus on digital publishing. It is an exciting area where even experts are not sure exactly what works online and what doesn't. For my own poetry I found that the compact form of writing that it is works perfectly for the online world and the amount of time people will spend reading online.
What were your intentions when you created your site? Has it lived up to expectation – and do you hope to expand or build upon what you’re doing now in the future? KJ: My original intentions were very subdued and experimental. The "Scents Sand Censor Billy Tea" series was great to make as I wanted it to be as organic as possible and the websites lend themselves to organic creativity quite well. The goal was to 'see where it goes' and so far that has led to me having the site, blog, two spin off sites as well as my first published book of poetry. I really want to get a free e-book of poetry up onto the site soon and to provide an avenue for other writers and artists to get their content onto e-reading devices and computers.
The main goals at the moment have been to work towards 'self sufficiency' as an artist and writer. So while the visitor numbers to the site are fantastic the economic realities are far from rosy. In saying that it is definitely a labour of love for me and I guess most writers and photographers face similar economic problems especially if they are pursuing projects they find 'interesting' instead of projects that merely make money.
My next step would probably be to create some form of communal art market for local (Australian) and international artists to sell and promote their work. Not many if us have cash to spend on gallery displays and so the Internet is our next best option. I also work with another blog of mine called "The Gift Economy" and am interested in the communal idea of sharing and gifting among artists. It helps a lot when collaborating and sharing among other artists.
What kind of camera, lenses, filters, and/or editing programs do you typically use?
KJ: I use a digital SLR (Canon EOS1000D) and try to remain as 'organic' as possible. Due to other mentalities as an artist I also use 'GIMP', an open source imaging program and have been able to do more than I imagined with that. I highly recommend that program especially for people that don't have the money to fork out on Photoshop, etc... I love natural light and although it sounds simplistic I try to use only the camera relying more on digital editing for some of the photography.
Are there any photography or other creative resources you would recommend for individuals who wish to know more about these art forms?
KJ: I always find the internet a great place to go when you're stuck for ideas. It sounds obvious but twitter and facebook can be a great start for just sharing some of your work (be it visual or written). This was especially true for myself when I was still 'testing the waters' as it exposes your work to non-artists who will be the hardest judges of your work. I have also used noise.net before and have a profile there and found it good for visual works but so-so for sharing writing. As for learning about different art forms I have found blogs by individual artists to be fantastic as they provide frank accounts of what they are doing, what has worked and more importantly what hasn't worked. There are so many great artists that have almost impossible to find blogger accounts that it is worth having an old fashioned surf around. While websites and other resources are great for technical guidance I always think people need to forget about these sometimes to find their own creative 'voice'.
Thanks for the interview, it was great having to think over all the questions and it gave me a better insight into what I am trying to do online. Congratulations on a great site and look forward to seeing more of it! —KJ
KJ's Facebook Page
- Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55). Post it on your site.
- Sign up using Mr. Linky so people can find your work.
- Let us know what you are sharing by leaving a comment below.
- Finally, visit other participants; comment on their work.
- Please give credit to KJ Halliday in your post.
Accept the challenge! :)