After having made large oil paintings for so many years, it made so much sense that I would be drawn to photography because of the overlapping similarities between the two art forms. With this background as an oil painter, I naturally approach photography through a study of light, color, and composition.
But I really enjoy how collaborative and social photography can be: it is so often a team effort between models, makeup artists, set designers, editors, and more that brings the creative talents of everyone together. It is so much fun to work in a team of talented professionals and make something beautiful together.
It is also so much cleaner to make digital photographs: no messy oil to clean up and no brushes to clean! For me, I am always looking at and inspired by all kinds of art: digital animation, obscure B- movies, vintage design, RuPaul’s Drag Race, fantasy literature, rave music, and whatever else I can get my hands onto. I think being open and curious about all kinds of art keeps us artists fresh and always growing. One of the biggest influences on my artistic development has been the photographs of James Bidgood, with his iconic colorful scenes and playful male models.
They definitely inspired me to pursue photography and I admire the way he has kept making art throughout his life. Of course, the drawings of Tom of Finland have also been a huge influence on me! I will never forget the first time I visited the Tom of Finland house in Los Angeles, I would never be the same after that afternoon! The house is full of his drawings and erotic art collected from around the world: it is like a candy store for erotic art!
The founders have also created an inspiring community and series of creative events during the year to sustain this vibrant legacy. Recently, the drag queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race have been especially inspiring to me. I am blown away by the international drag community and how those visionary artists keep pushing the boundaries of everything. I look forward to attending RuPaul’s Drag Con every year and seeing what everyone comes up with! In closing,
I hope that people looking at my photographs can sense the vitality, fun, colorful spirit, exuberance, and natural beauty in what we have created. I would hope that the photographs might empower people to feel freer in expressing who they are, their artistic spirits, their unique personality, and keep pushing the limits of what we can make of this world.
The world desperately needs us creative visionaries right now, let’s share our gifts and inspire the change we know is possible.