Updated: May 29, 2020
Let’s start with bit of small talk:
Where would you rather be in quarantine?
Luckily, I live in a really beautiful place. My partner Emily and I have able to go out on hikes and get out of the house without running into many people, which has kept us sane during the quarantine. So, I can’t say there is anywhere else I’d rather be right now.
What is the weirdest meal you’ve had during quarantine?
We ran out of meals the night before we were going to get groceries and had to figure out what we could make in the freezer, so we made tamales and dumplings.
What were you curious about today?
Idk. I guess finding new music?
What conversations did you have today?
I haven’t really had a conversation today lol
What did you learn today?
I have been trying to read more in this time. This morning I read through Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s new book from Aperture which covers the progression of his career and work. My favorite part about this mornings read is him talking about how he used to kiss him self in the mirror as a child.
Now, let’s get a bit deeper:
Could you please describe yourself and your work as a creative.
I’m never really good at this question. I have been going through life trying to find interesting ways to view things while out in the world. I usually always have my camera so common themes usually appear after the fact.
Has the current situation had an impact on your work process?
It’s actually been nice to have the constraints of the quarantine for making new work. The limitations have forced me to create new images with things around my house and try to make it interesting.
How has it affected your productivity?
It’s been up and down. I get bursts of energy to make photographs or clean my house or work on some other projects but then there can be a week or so where I’m depressed and don’t want to do anything. It has been nice to not have so much to do though.
Long term, how do you think this will impact your work or the industry you work in?
The photoshoots I had lined up through June all got cancelled obviously. I also travel as an assistant to another photographer typically 5-6 months out of the year photographing people around the US, which doesn’t seem like I will be doing that at all this year.
This will probably make a lot of people rethink how they will travel and work with strangers. I can’t imagine flying or staying in a hotel any time soon.
How are you reframing your social interactions?
My partner Emily and I haven’t really seen anyone else in person for two months. We have some close friends who live next door that we occasionally will hang out with from a safe distance but that’s it. It’s been really weird. I miss hugging people and just being able to go out for a drink or dinner with someone.
What’s the most inspiring / creative response to COVID-19 you have come across so far?
A huge inspiration since the first week of quarantine has been David Brandon Geeting and Lina Sun Park. They have been creating wild images almost constantly in their apartment. David definitely was an inspiration to start making weird still lifes in my living room.
But there are a ton of friends and artists I follow on instagram that have creating all sorts of new things. It’s really fun to see what new things people are learning or just the weird ideas that come from the limitations of being home constantly.
Looking back, what will you miss about quarantine?
I really like that I’ve been forced to slow down and evaluate how I want to live my life. No agenda, no rules. I do love traveling but spending half of the year on the road is taxing. Finding a way to keep this balance in my life after this ends is my main goal.
Please elaborate on your quarantine work…
The quarantine work I have been making is mostly constructed still lifes. The first couple of them that I made were spontaneous gathering of objects in my house and see how they fit together and then started to pre-conceptualize what I wanted to make a little bit more after that. I also have been trying to make images when I go out on walks and hikes or just around the house.