Interview Excerpt from 202 Magazine #2

I was sent some interview questions by 202 Magazine, which is a family magazine for the  lower East Valley (suburbs of Phoenix which include Chandler where I live, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert).  I posted some in a previous blog, and here’s another excerpt:

Q:  How did you develop your surreal portrait style? How do you keep it fresh, and what, briefly, is your approach to your art? 

A: When I started shooting with models I realized there are a lot less limitations on the imagination, versus shooting animals or landscapes or street photography, where you often have to accept what is presented in front of you.  It became more like illustration and over time I met models who could contribute a lot via their own quirkiness, and I explored a lot of techniques that actual surreal photographers utilized in the 1920s and 1930s including collage and mixed media.

I keep it fresh by working on multiple projects over a period, each with their own rules- for example, I have a scanner series now, and something involving lenticular images and extreme looks and remixes by other artists, and I’m still continuing a horror film parody series.  They all draw upon pop culture and art history, which means you can be influenced in everything from cave paintings to Japanese woodcuts to 1940s cinematography techniques to video games, and when I do a project I research how those styles worked and do my best to mix them with the available resources.  There always should be some research and handwork to the art, I don’t connect to the purely digital or purely modern.

Q: Do you photograph other things as well — I think I remembered reading you liked to photograph the Southwest as well.

A: The things I like to photograph beyond the model photography are panoramics of nature, dilapidated towns, and arcades/ carnivals, WW2 era military tech and planes, animals, scientific stuff, and of course my own family… I think in all the time I’ve been photographing I’ve tried every genre there is with varying degrees of success and/or interest.  It has to be a subject I have interest or an opinion about.  Specifically the Southwest, I have a different experience from the romanticized landscapes- I live here, and see the cartoonish tourist traps and politics and the daily life moreso than the beautiful sunsets.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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