JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
BRAD WILSON: In a very general way, I knew I wanted to do something creative with my life, but finding and pursuing a specific profession proved quite difficult. I took many classes relating to art and art history throughout my years of formal education, but it wasn’t until after college that I found photography and decided to make that my career.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
BW: The writings of Alice Miller and Arthur Janov, the JMW Turner exhibition at the Getty in Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean.
JC: What are you up to right now?
BW: Mostly I’m putting the finishing touches on the “Affinity” series of animal portraits and doing a lot of press to support it, and considering future exhibitions. Also, I’m promoting my new book, Wild Life. And, as usual, thinking about what’s next in my photographic pursuits - more animals, or something altogether new?
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
BW: Early in my career, as a way to learn the business, I assisted a number of different professional photographers in New York City. In many ways, they all helped shape my overall perspective of the medium and my technical skills. However, there was never just one person that I considered a “mentor”.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
BW: Currently I’m based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I moved there a decade ago after 12 years in New York City. At first, Santa Fe was a refuge from big city life - a place to rest and recover and enjoy natural beauty again. Right now it’s offering me a relaxed home base where I can plan future work without distraction.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
BW: Work extremely hard and strive to find your own unique voice and style - don’t just copy what someone else is doing.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
BW: Marrying well, or living in a cardboard box under a bridge in an area of the country with a warm climate. Other than that, there really is no “Plan B”.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
BW: I’ve often debated that question, but generally I haven’t felt it very important - at least up until this point in my life. I really like working out things on my own, and I didn’t want to be overly influenced by other people’s opinions and art. However, over the past few years, I’ve really enjoy interacting with my galleries and meeting other artists, so I’m building more of a creative group around me now.
Brad’s Photoeye profile can be seen here.