Tanner Almon

Tanner Almon is a Baltimore born photographer who attributes much of his creative success to his parents encouragement. Having graduated film school at The University of Maryland at Baltimore County, where he had made several “rather imaginative, albeit confusing” student films, and finding it hard to organize film shoots with little money and/or equipment, he began to tell some of his stories through photography - a much more “budget friendly” medium.

Most of these photographic tales, usually shot on 35mm slide film, involve Tanner and his lovely wife, Vicki, driving out to abandoned places and taking pictures of themselves dressed up as whimsical characters caught up rather peculiar situations. Tanner views these rather quirky narratives as a way to always ensure that his imagination remains “close at hand”, his ultimate goal being to figure out a way to make a living traveling around forgotten America taking photographs with Vicki.


Q.  Can you explain what triggered your interest in photography?
A.  Hmm, that’s a tough one. My first experience using a non-disposable camera was an Intro to Photography course I took during my sophomore year of college. Unfortunately all I really remember about that class was being a nervous wreck trying to load the plastic film reel. What did eventually get me going was a visit to a thrift store a few years later when I was home visiting my family for Thanksgiving. I found a pair of matching adult outfits that reminded me a Cub Scout uniform I wore as a kid (I never did make it all the way to Boy Scout). Anyway, every Thanksgiving we have a family reunion of sorts in Ocean City, Maryland and our hotel is right across from the Jolly Roger Amusement Park. I thought it would be awesome to hop the fence with my wife and take some photos of us in the scout uniforms exploring the various water slides and roller coasters. So I dusted off my trusty Nikon FM-10 and we hopped the fence and ran around the park posing with walkie talkies and canteens in what I like to call “high pressure situations”. After about seven or eight shots a security guard kicked us out, which was a bummer,  but I knew I had found my “new thing”, so to speak.

Q.  What do you consider to be your greatest achievements?
A.  Honestly my greatest achievement is just finishing any of my photo and/or film projects. I’ve never really had a crew, so from start to finish I’m not only the photographer and/or filmmaker, but I’m also the art director, the prop guy, the wardrobe guy, the sound guy, and the craft service guy. Fortunately, my awesome wife Vicki usually helps with most of these and has made sure that I never have to be the “make-up” guy or the “hair” guy. Oh, and more often than not I also play a character in these shoots, so it’s quite a bit of a) set up the shot, b) hit the timer, and c) run like hell. Words cannot adequately describe how emotionally draining some of these shoots have been, especially the film shoots. One film in particular, Soda Pop Cough Drop, was especially challenging as it involved my wife and I driving blindly into the Mojave Desert to shoot a film in which we both played multiple characters. Logistically it was a complete nightmare: it was at least 110 degrees out, several of our live goldfish didn’t look too alive once we set up our first shot, our script literally blew away, neither of us could figure out how to work the helium tank, and we didn’t think to bring any food. As incoherent as Soda Pop Cough Drop may be, I’m extremely proud that we stuck it out and saw it through to the bitter, bitter end. I’d say that’s probably my greatest achievement. As a side note, those cub scout uniforms I mentioned earlier are what we are wearing in Soda Pop Cough Drop.


In terms of awards type achievements, I haven’t really gotten too many of those, although I’m proud to say that our version of Hiphopopatamus Vs. Rhymenoceros was a finalist in a Flight of the Conchords lip sync contest. HBO actually aired a portion of our video on actual HBO, which I thought was pretty cool. Unfortunately I don’t have HBO so I never actually saw it on HBO, but several of my friends who do have HBO assure me that it did in fact play on HBO.

Q.  Are there any particular artists you admire and why?
A.  Most of my inspirations are film directors, namely Jean-Pierre Juenet, Wes Anderson,  and early Tim Burton (recent Tim Burton, unfortunately, not so much). All three have such a beautifully whimsical visual language, and that’s what really attracts me to them. If lightning struck me tomorrow and I lost my hearing, I’d still be able to enjoy each and every film by these guys (minus a few recent adaptations by Mr. Burton). Aside from these big name directors I’m mostly inspired by several lesser known artists I’ve found on Tumblr, Flickr, and Vimeo. It’s really inspiring to see folks such as myself, most of whom also work “real” jobs, still somehow finding the time and energy to make their “art” happen. Finally, in the early 90’s there was an absolutely brilliant show on Nickelodeon called The Adventures of Pete and Pete. It’s creativity and quirkiness was way ahead of it’s time and it definitely had some sort of effect on the way my brain works.


Q.  What does photography mean to you?
A.  For me photography is a way to escape from reality and keep my imagination going strong. I just turned 32 but I like to think that photography has helped me to maintain the same level of imagination I had when I was seven. I really love just packing up my car with some funny outfits and props, heading out to some forgotten location, and creating a story with my wife. For me the experience leading up to the photograph is much more rewarding than the resulting photograph itself, although it is really nice when the pictures turn out as well. But really it’s the process that I love, as frustrating as it can be sometimes.

Q.  Is there a narrative behind your work?
A.  Haha! If you ask me the answer is “Absolutely, without a doubt, yes, it’s all about telling a story”. But if you asked my mom the same question, she’d probably say “All I see is Tanner dressed up like a goofball doing stupid things, and poor Vicki, I can’t believe she puts up with him. I wish he’d just take a normal picture for once!” So I guess it’s really up to the viewer as to the presence of a “narrative”. However, I will say this… for me the first part of “the process” is creating interesting characters to put into some sort of “story”, so yes, I always have some sort of narrative tale in mind when embarking on a project. Whether that narrative comes across through the final product, however, is really beyond my control.


Q.  What projects are you currently working on?
A.  I’ll be honest, right now my primary weekend project is trying to learn Adobe After Effects, as I’m hoping it may lead to some sort of job that is better than my current job. That being said, I have two short films that I shot over two years ago that I’d very much like to start cutting together. Both were shot at an amazing hotel called The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. The first is a whimsically morbid tale inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and the second is a rather eerie ghost story involving a traveling salesman. I feel sick to my stomach every time I think about these films as it’s literally been two years now and I haven’t had a chance to touch either. I also have several other photo projects that Vicki and I shot at the Salton Sea around three years ago that I’ve never had a chance to scan. So unfortunately it seems as if most of the projects I’m working on right now are actually very old projects.

Q.  Split between still narrative and documentary, you also have a body of work on Pelime spanning Music Videos, Commercials and Short Films…  How do you divide your time?
A.  Haha, that’s just the thing, there’s NEVER enough time! I basically gave up exercise last year and gained a bunch of weight because I literally convinced myself that I needed that extra hour each day to work on finishing old projects so that I could actually get some content on my website. Now that I just turned 32 I had a change of heart and decided to start exercising again, which of course means I’m back to having even less time to work on personal projects. I’m pretty sure when I’m eighty years old I’ll still be scanning negatives of film I shot in 2007, assuming my negative scanner still works. All that being said, it’s more or less random what project I pick to work on at a particular time. Scanning negatives and playing with them a bit in Adobe Lightroom is definitely way less daunting and stressful that trying to cut a film together, so lately I’ve been working more on the photo side of things, but I really do want to get started editing those two films I mentioned sooner rather than later, so, we’ll see how that goes I guess. It’s quite overwhelming and really bums me out that there’s never enough time!


Q.  What are your inspirations?
A.  I’m not quite sure why, but i have a really strong affinity to certain objects that I grew up around such as typewriters, hula hoops, and etch-a-sketches. All those old toys and gizmos really inspire me. One of my most vivid recurring childhood memories is of me sitting at the kitchen table drawing pictures of robots on my etch-a-sketch while listening to the beautiful sound of my mom punching away at her typewriter. I’m a rather nostalgic person and thus I think it makes sense that these items influence quite a bit of my “work”. This affinity to obsolete objects extends to places as well. My favorite places to shoot are empty deserts, abandoned trailers, old motel rooms, and unkempt backyards - all of which are places that, at least to me, seem to be from a much more “pure” era. I guess you could say that I’m most inspired by old, worn-out, forgotten things and places.


Q.  What are your aspirations?
A.  My only real aspiration, creatively speaking, is to be able to work on photos and/or make film projects seven days a week, 365 days a year. On a smaller scale I’d simply like to finish all of my unfinished projects before I turn 33. On a more personal level I’d really love to learn how to play a musical instrument, I don’t even care which one, I’d just love to be able to “jam out” every now and then.


Q.  Have you ever collaborated with some other artists?
A.  Yes, but not as much as I probably should seeing as I like to make films, which is probably the most collaborative art form there is. That being said, my wife is always a big part of whatever I’m working on, I couldn’t do it without her, that’s for sure. I also have a core group of friends back in Maryland who I work with whenever I get a chance. I lived for a few years in LA and met some really cool actors who helped me with a few projects, and hopefully I’ll continue to work with in the future. But unfortunately nine times out of ten it’s just been my wife and I, primarily because all of my projects require a big time commitment and I’ve never had any kind of budget to pay for help. Most of the time if it’s not me or Vicki in my pictures it’s either a family member or a very close friend who I consider to be “family”. My mom has actually been in several of my films, and while she may not be considered to be an “artist”, she’s a hell of a lot of fun to collaborate with.


Q.  What equipment & techniques do you use?
A.  In terms of my personal photography projects, thus far my primary camera has been a Nikon FM10 35mm camera.  I wish I could say that I particularly love the “look” that the FM10 offers, but really I’ve only used it because in college it was a “pretty good” beginner camera according to the guy at the camera shop at the mall. Not that I have any complaints, it takes nice pictures, but I did absolutely no research before purchasing that camera. I typically shoot with slide film and process it as normal, I’m not really sure why, but I did it once, liked it, and figured “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Once I get the negatives back I scan them with my Nikon SuperCoolScan 9000. In terms of post I primarily use Adobe Lightroom to tweak color balance and contrast.

I also spent most of 2010 shooting one “furball” photo a day on Fuji Instax Mini for a Tumblr blog I was doing called My Mom Reviews My Photos ( And finally, in December my wife and I invested in a Canon 5D Mark ii so that we’d have a nice digital camera to take on our belated honeymoon to Japan. Deep down I’ll always probably prefer film to digital, primarily because I like the “surprise” aspect of film, but I’ve got nothing against digital. As I mentioned earlier, for me the most exciting part of the process is the experience leading up to clicking the shutter button, I’m not too worried about what camera’s being used. A camera’s a camera.

In terms of film I really love shooting on Super 8, it’s pure magic and I’m so thrilled that small format film is still being made. I feel like I’m a cool seventies dude every time I’m shooting off a roll of Super 8. Of course the Super 8 “look” only works for certain projects. Most of my more traditional film projects have been shot with the Panasonic DVX100 or HVX200. I hope to start shooting some video with the 5D very soon. And finally, I edit everything in Apple’s Final Cut Pro and usually grade using Apple Color.

Q.  What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011/12?
A.  I think I’ve probably answered this already, but my only professional ambition at the moment is to figure out a way to get paid to do what I love so that I can do it all the time (not just on late nights and weekends). In a dream world I could somehow figure out a way to make a living driving around forgotten America taking photos and making films with my wife. Obviously I realize that every married couple probably shares this same dream, but still, it’s a good dream and I’m stickin’ to it!

Q.  How do you think Pelime can help with this?
A.  My hope is that Pelime can put me in touch with folks who share a similar creative sensibility. Once I get that networking ball rolling on Pelime only good things will happen, I’m sure. And hopefully, one day, those connections I make through Pelime will lead me to place in my life where I’m doing what I love 365 days a year!


Jessie Aspiras


Jessie Aspiras from Manila, Philippines is a 22 yrs old photographer graduated from the University of Santo Tomas - Fine Arts. Aspiras is currently working as a Graphic Designer in Dual Action Blender, an advertising agency.


Q.  Can you explain your interest in visual arts?
A.  When I was a kid, I used to have this Pentax camera of my dads and whenever I heard the shutter, it was like music to my ear, I just loved the sound of it. I started to take photographs of random subjects… Later I stopped for a period of time because my dad kept the camera from me. I felt like I was just wasting the film. But that did not mean stopping exploring arts. I remember seeing my grandfather drawing once and I realized how good he was while helping me with all my grade school projects. I was so amazed and felt the same thing when my brother joined drawing contests in our school. I was really curious about their talents and I felt like trying as well because maybe I had that kind of talent too. My brother, my grandpa and even some of my uncles are into arts; this pushed me to start drawing sketches, painting, then made me take fine arts in college, where I did some designs for the fashion industry. Later on I went into graphics and eventually tried photography.

Q.  Who are the artists you admire and why?
A.  I admire Leonardo da Vinci; he is not just one of the greatest in arts but he’s also good in other things such as music, architecture, science, writing and etc. He just has everything. He has a perfect hand when it comes to drawings and paintings with really great style. You’ll know right away that a piece is Da Vinci’s. He’s incomparable. Another artist that I admire is Michael Kutsche. I’ve been a fan of his works and especially of the characters he created for Alice in Wonderland. I mean where does he get all the ideas? He’s just really amazing, a great talent.

Q.  What does photography mean to you?
A,  Photography for me is not about manipulation and mostly the way people live their lives. Photoshop helps making those moments even more significant. It’s all about capturing the soul of the subject, its inner beauty whether it is still life, nature, portrait and etc.

Q.  What were your subjects on the most important project you had done until today?
A.  Different places and people…

Q. What were your inspirations?
A.  People and nature;    I’m just really inspired by the beauty this planets offers us.

Q.  What are the subjects you chose for your latest works?
A.  Different amazing places here in Philippines…

Q.  Is there a story behind your works?
A.  Some of my projects do, the Sunrise album for example. I was depressed when I took those shots and I also didn’t have enough sleep cause I was nor feeling well. I waited for the sunrise that day and it gave me hope… Every time you fail in life, you always have tomorrow to correct your mistakes, improve yourself to be better, a better person, a better artist.

Q.  Can you talk about any professional experience?
A.  I’ve encountered lots of different people in advertising. Some will praise you and some will pull you down. It is important to believe in yourself and keep your creative ideas flowing no matter what people will say about you.

Q.  Do you have a favorite piece among your works?
A.  My Camotes Islands project; it’s just unforgettable to me and the place is just amazing.

Q.  Can you talk about your design and animation projects?
A.  Well I do t-shirt design, web design and graphic design when requested and some for my work. I also did the album artwork of my brother’s SORA series who’s a known DJ here in the Philippines.


Q.  How do you explain your interest for advertising?
A.  Well, at first I was clueless about the way life goes in the world of advertising but when my professors, way back in college, started telling me stories about their experiences, I got really interested. I wanted be like them. All they do is think of ideas, share their creative juices, go for shootings and having fun but in the same time making money. From that moment on, I told myself that I want that kind of world. It is stressful but really fun. 

Q.  Can you define Lomography for us?
A.  Lomography is a type of photography that uses film cameras created by Lomographic Association like Holga & Diana. Pictures taken from Lomos are defined as vignette with its soft, a bit blurry and faded effect on its edges. Nowadays, it’s also called “art” as it can capture random subjects than can be turned out into a very eye-catching photo well which I think people mostly post on their tumbler accounts.

Q.  What equipment & techniques do you use?
A.  I use my Nikon DSLR, tripod, external flash and my devotion for photography of course. My dedication is my technique. 

Q.  What is the motivation behind your choice of material?
A.  I am just inspired with all everything that is around me; the essence of one thing come out when once captured, most people do not notice how beautiful that thing can be.

Q.  Are you working on new projects currently?
A.  None for now because my work is taking almost all my time but I have plans to take shots in Hong Kong, Macau & China this year.

Q.  What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011?
A.  To be a professional photographer of National Geographic and the creative director of a known advertising agency!
Well my project for 2011 is to take more shots of undiscovered places here in the Philippines, and yes the purpose is to promote my home country!

Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A.  Pelime is a very resourceful website for creative people and it can help young artists like me to be more inspired, dedicated, motivated and be discovered.


Patricio Suarez

For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about photography.  It has always been an intricate part of my life.  Even though I’m not a professional photographer, what I do is very closely related to it.  I’m a Director of Photography in the film industry.
I grew up in Mexico and Ecuador, attended college in New York and started my professional career as a DP in Argentina.  I now reside in New York.  I’m just a common guy with a strong passion, a father of two and a husband. 


Q.  Can you explain what triggered your interest in Photography?
A.  Hard to say… I’ve been interested in photography from an early age.  All I can tell you is that I have always been a very visual person.  Somehow, I gravitated towards photography.  Nothing conscious.

Q.  Are there any photographers you admire?
A.  Many for many different reasons…  All the famous ones for their legacy!
We all do, right? I find many photographers everyday in places like Pelime, Flickr, DeviantArt or blogs.  A few I like are: Jock Sturges, Sebastiao Salgado, Michael Kenna and Mona Kuhn.

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about your interest in Film & Television?
A.  Well, it started when I was 16.  I lived in Ecuador at the time and I was spending my summer vacation in New York. At the time, I wanted to become a National Geographic photographer.  I enrolled in a basic black and white darkroom class and someone suggested that I should also enroll in another class, which I did.  It was a basic filmmaking class taught with Super-8 cameras.  I was hooked. 

Q.  Any important F&TV projects that brought you success?
A.  It’s been a progressive growth process.  Every job I do brings me some sort of success because I’m busy. 

Q.  What are your inspirations?
A.  Way too many to list…  I look at hundreds of photographs daily. 


Q.  Your subjects seem to be generally ‘women’. Is there a specific reason for that?
A.  I find the feminine form very delicate, harmonious and powerful.  I’m bewitched by it.

Q.  Is there a story behind your work?
A.  Not a story per se, but I always put myself in some sort of role.  I try to live vicariously for a few hours.  The model’s attitude and location play a great role into what mental state I’ll be in for the shoot.

Q.  About your photography works, why black & white?
A.  Black and white is very basic and simple. It puts more emphasis into the content of the photographs since there is an absence of color.  I also shoot square because of that.  The content is not weighed by the framing.  Of course you can weight a square frame, but it is purely done with the content and not the frame.  I like how basic all this becomes.  It let’s me focus on the subject.


Q.  Can you talk about your professional experience?
A.  What is there to say?  I love what I do.  I feel blessed because of that.  I try to learn every day and be open to change.  We are surrounded by an ocean of possibilities!

Q.  Any collaboration in photography or film industry?
A.  Well, in my film world is always about collaboration.  It all a team job, I’m just one part of the machine of making films. In photography, I mostly, only, work with the model.  Sometimes my wife helps me but I’d like to collaborate more. I feel that I could learn a lot this way.

Q.  Do you have a favorite piece among your works?
A.  In film, I think my favorite one was a car commercial that I shot in Argentina for Ford.  It was extremely challenging and I was allowed to be free creatively.  We had limited resources because of the remoteness of the location and we all had to be very creative in our approach.
In photography, I think I can pick a few. There is one shoot of mine with a model named Giovanna, pausing against a window. She is embracing a piece of fabric and has her eyes closed.  This photo reminds me a lot of Maxfield Parrish. There is a very painterly feel to it.

Q.  What equipment & techniques do you use?
A.  Even though I own a lot of the equipment, I tend to not give much importance to it.  I believe that a good photograph can be made with anything. 

Q.  What is the motivation behind your choice of art?
A.  I’m a very visual person.  Both industries have the same needs visually but distinct methods of delivery. There is something inside me that pushes me to create. I thrive when I do.


Q.  Are you working on new projects currently?
A.  I always have something flying inside my head.

Q.  What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011?
A.  To keep creating and learning…

Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A.  I believe Pelime can help me with my future projects by allowing me to interact openly with like-minded people.

C. Kirk


C. Kirk is an urban contemporary painter concentrating on figurative art. For more than a decade, he rambled across the country consuming legendary amounts of booze, drugs, sex, misadventure, and jail food. In 2005 he sobered up, settled down, married and turned his insatiable appetite toward becoming a successful artist. After stampeding the Dallas art scene, kirk’s art quickly became a sought after commodity by local collectors, visitors, and those just passing through.

Since then, C. Kirk has turned his focus toward a broader global audience. His work has been featured in publications (both in print and online) worldwide. The art of C. Kirk hangs in corporate and private collections across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. He lives and works in Texas.


Q.  We would like to know how everything started for you… What triggered your interest in art? In painting?
A.  My mother began to teach me to draw characters from my comic books probably when I was around 5 years old.  I drew until I was probably 13 and then suddenly stopped.  I guess art became less important because I was too busy seeking out pleasure, excitement and escape from reality.  I had a brief stent in art school in 2000, but soon dropped out and didn’t pick up a pencil for at least 4 or 5 years afterward.  In this time I worked every kind of job you could think of and even underwent pro wrestling training.  I traveled the country for a year or so.  I probably either stayed or passed through every state in America.  I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was during this time on the road that picked up a pencil and began to fill sketchbooks full of distasteful, psychotic, autobiographical illustrations.  Toward the end of my nation wide spree, I began to develop an interest in fine art.  Like I said, I have no I idea what happened…I just remember that I was living in a furniture warehouse in Hickory North Carolina and decided that I was going to do everything in my power to become a successful fine artist.  

Q.  Are there any contemporary painters you admire?  
A.  There are so many contemporary painters that I admire that my list could become incredibly long.  I have collaborated with a few artists who admire including THH70 and George Morton Clark.  I’m also due to collaborate with the Canadian Stencil artist Indigo sometime this summer.  I’m a fan of Guy Denning and many of the British figurative artists working today.  The Berlin based painter Jaybo Monk is a huge inspiration for me, and a pretty nice guy to boot.  I actually helped pick many of the artists for an upcoming group exhibit witch will be held at Seven Minus Seven in the US Virgin Islands toward the end of April.  It was cool to be included in this process because many of the artist including Indigo, Jaybo Monk, and George Morton Clark, are some of my favorite contemporary painters working today.

Q.  Are there any other artists that interest you?
A.  Sure.  Jenny Saville is a phenome.  I’d give my left nut to be able to paint like that women.

Q.  How do you choose your subjects?
A.  A lot of the subjects I paint or draw are people that are close to me.  My wife and my son both have been portrayed in my work on more than one occasion.  I did two portraits of Indigo since late 2010.  I did a portrait of my friend and mentor THH70 last year that turned out to be one of our collaborative pieces.  I stay pretty busy nowadays so I don’t really get out much for social calls, so many of the subjects I draw are from various publications…basically everything from Vogue to old French nudie magazines.   

Q.  What are your inspirations?
A.  I have a few inspirations for sure.  One would be for my name and my work to wind up in museum collections and textbooks someday.  I think it would be great to be remembered and put in that sort of league.  

Q.  Does ‘time’ and ‘space’ mean anything to you?
A.  Time and space do mean something to me.  Time for sure because that is something I have very little of today.  Between having a wife, young son, and being self-employed, I stay pretty busy.  I recently thought how nice it would be to have an assistant, but then realized that I would micromanage things way too much and really wouldn’t trust anyone else to handle things for me.
Space is easy.  Space and depth is what I use to visually create works.

Q.  Is there a story behind your work?
A.  Sometimes there is.  Other times my work is based on observation.  What I think really tells the story in my paintings is the different uses of media, technique, texture, line, ect… Many of my works are based strictly on a character defect or human experience.  I don’t like to tell people what they should get from viewing my work.  I like for them to walk away with their own experience and hopefully identify with some aspect of the piece.  I think that is what great art does for people.

Q.  What materials do you use?
A.  I use a slew of different materials.  I use oil, acrylic, spray paint, charcoal, chalk, prisma, tape, and paper.  I guess that’s primarily what I have used to create my current body of work.


Q.  Are there specific techniques that you prefer?
A.  I find many of the traditional techniques to be very helpful and fulfilling.  One that I started to use last year would be to either paint your surface first to create a mid tone or to work off of Darker toned papers.  When using white paper or primed canvas, I still generally create a mid tone very quickly.  For me, having a mid tone is easier when building a composition.  Occasionally I’ll create my mid tone later in the work using thinned out paint and rubbing areas with a rag to lighten them up.
Another technique that I like to use is one I call “The take away” method.  Basically I just rub out areas of the paint/charcoal to create highlights or sometimes abstraction.

Q.  Have you ever collaborated with other painters?
A.  Yes.  Like I mentioned above, I have collaborated with THH70 on several occasions and last year did a piece with London based artist George Morton Clark.

Q.  How about your first exhibition? Did you face any challenges?
A.  My main challenge early on was my ego.  My work began to sell very quickly when I began showing in Dallas.  There were some occasions when my art would sell out during a show.  I was so driven but still very GREEN, that when a gallery owner didn’t sell my work, I would become angry.  Nowadays, I realize that sometimes art doesn’t always sell.  Sometimes as an artist, you go through ruts or slow periods.

Q.  Do you have a favorite piece among your works?
A.  Last year definitely.  “Manone” was the star of my 2010 body of work.  There were some other good pieces, but “Manone” topped the all in my opinion.  From my current collection I can’t pick favorite piece.  I put a lot of effort into not putting out any filler this year.  I wanted every piece to be able to stand on it’s own as a top quality piece of art.  I don’t believe there is one star of the collection this year.

Q.  You documentation pieces quite impressive! What pushed you to actually do this?
A.  Thank you. did a video interview over a couple of my 2009 pieces that received an amazing number of hits.  Later THH70 began filming me during the creation of my 2010 body of work.  I enjoyed the documentation, but didn’t necessarily like how THH70 edited the videos.  I wanted to film/edit the videos myself to have complete creative control.  Also, I don’t do live paintings anymore, so I guess I just wanted to find a way to allow people to see how my pieces were created in the most entertaining way that I could.


Q.  Did you prepare them yourself?
A.  Yes.

Q.  What materials were used while filming?
A.  I used a Cannon Power Shot SD3500 IS.  Also, some of the photographs were taken with a Cannon Ultrasonic thanks to Clay Jones of Seven Minus Seven

Q.  Are you working on new projects currently?
A.  Actually for the last 3 or 4 weeks since releasing my new work, I’ve been doing interviews, sending in info/jpegs for features in magazines and blogs, gathering and preparing info for business collaborations, shipping art to buyers, etc…  I haven’t been able to paint or draw since releasing the 2011 collection.  I’m not complaining though, because things will eventually slow down and then I’ll be complaining because there’s nothing going on.  

Q.  What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011?  
A.  I have a few goals and plans for this year.  I want to get started on phase two of my 2011 work.  Right now I have a very limited number of paintings available.  If I don’t get to work on more, things are going to get pretty slow pretty fast!  I want to independently release some limited edition prints this year.  Hopefully the first run will be successful and I can release a print once every month or two.  I hope that my collaborations with 5 pieces gallery in Switzerland will be a successful one.  I have also recently started a partnership with a company in Austria called  They will be offering a selection of my works as T shirts and digital prints on canvas.  I hope offering my works in capacity will be successful as well.  I am also looking for more galleries around the world where I might find opportunities to exhibit my available works.  One of the most important things for me is to keep moving.

Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A.  I hope that my membership and participation on Pelime can be beneficial to everyone I work with.  Thanks again for the invite.


A first attempt at HDR tone mapping timelapse.


Creative studio, Special Problems, is acclaimed for working with some of the most talented performers, from Alicia Keys to The Naked & Famous to Jonathan Boulet. It now begins a new play on performance in a seductive film, In Pursuit for LUCAS HUGH.


Marcus Eckert is a freelance Motion Graphic and web Designer with experience in broadcast identity, motion design and direction. This is his reel.

Matt Humphrey


Matt is a documentary and portrait photographer whose work bears a strong international influence. He’s lived and worked in Spain, South America and South-east Asia throughout his life, and has also spent time in Brazil, Cuba and Peru as part of his studies, earning a degree in Hispanic studies from the University of Manchester.

After graduating, he spent five years teaching Spanish and French to students in the UK and Hong Kong. It was then that he decided to devote himself fully to his lifelong passion - photography. Based in London, he has taken photographs in West End theaters, both of stage productions and behind the scenes action; his work can be found displayed in the Old Vic.

Last October, he held his first solo show, Nicaragua: Open Wound, in Canning House. Other work includes Death in the Afternoon, a series of photos of bullfighting. He also took part in 31thirtyone, a series of 31 photographic portraits taken across 31 days. The project garnered the involvement of Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes and Richard E. Grant, and the auction proceeds were donated to Crohns & Colitis UK.


Q.  What prompted you to give up teaching an pursue photography full-time?
A.  Although teaching stimulated me cerebrally and creatively, it left very little time for me to pursue my passion, which has always been photography. I had always fancied the idea of earning a living from a hobby and something that I inherently enjoyed every part of. I am a creative soul at heart, and thrive off the buzz of taking photos and finding special moments to capture.

Q.  Was it a difficult transition?
A.  It was a massive leap of faith to go from steady, full-time, regularly paid and secure work to chasing my dream in the creative industry, and at a time of huge austerity too! In retrospect, quite a mad choice, but not one that I regret. I figured that if I didn’t make it I could always go back to teaching, which so far I have not had to do. It takes time to build up regular clients though and it has quite often been a test of patience, as well as book-keeping.


Q.  How do you decide which projects to undertake?
A.  At first I didn’t decide and took whatever opportunities came my way. This is the only way to set out and the best way to gain experience of working with a variety of people and in a variety of situations as quickly as possible. Of late I have made my own projects if the ones I want have not appeared. This was the real impetus behind my latest portrait project 31thirtyone, which featured 31 portraits of actors and directors taken in as many days. As I had total creative freedom in it, I really enjoyed seeing it evolve and expand, and in the end it was very successful, being featured a couple of times in The Independent, as well as The Evening Standard and other national professional photography magazines. I also raised in excess of £12,000 in aid of the nominated charity for the project.

Q.  What is it about portraits that interests you in particular?
A.  I enjoy the challenge of trying to find that inner silence or something different or quirky about the person who I am photographing. During 31thirtyone, I was in a different location with unpredictable lighting scenarios for every shoot, so technically it was hard to plan for, but a great challenge. I enjoy building up a relationship with the person on the other side of the lens and trying to figure out how to coax out a certain characteristic of their personality. Quite often this can be fairly hard as there are actually very few people who can feel totally at ease with a camera pointed at them. Finding a way around this interests me - that and getting a graphically strong image.


Q.  Do you think you have a particular style, and if so, what informs it?
A.  In this latest project my style was to use natural or available light only, in an attempt to get as raw and organic a photo as possible. My reasoning behind this was to try and portray the sitters that I was photographing (well-known faces such as Kevin Spacey, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Ryan) with their guard down and in as natural a way as possible. I was interested in them, not a character or the personality that they are built up to be. I would like to think that I am quite unobtrusive in my style of photographing, in an attempt to draw out an unforced look. I believe that if your sitter feels comfortable with you as a person without the lens, then there is more chance of getting the shot you want out of it.

Q.  Your first solo show was a series of portraits of Nicaragua, entitled Open Wound. Can you tell us more about this project?
A.  This was a series of photographs that I took when I visited Nicaragua in early 2009 with a charity called the Peace & Hope Trust. I was there volunteering with the charity, whose aim during that particular stay was to build a bakery and assist families that live and work on a rubbish tip in the Atlantic coastal town of Bluefields. They wanted photos of their work, and for me it was a privilege to help them out - speaking Spanish was also very handy to their work. In terms of the images that I took and exhibited, they featured the type of reportage work that I have always primarily enjoyed taking, and that I would love to do more of. It is important to put everything else into perspective every now and then, but also to be able to share stories with others through still images and to provoke contemplation is an integral part of our mission as photographers.

Q.  You’ve worked frequently with West-end theatres in London. What is it you enjoy about working there?
A.  Entering the backstage world, that is privy to few, and being able to take photographs is a huge privilege for a start. I also enjoy the whole process of putting on a production in theatre and, having worked behind the scenes, I can appreciate the different levels and stages of this. It is the moments that happen offstage, in the corridors, dressing rooms and quiet times that are the ones that the cast and crew remember most, but that the public are rarely able to witness. I find it absolutely fascinating to observe these and, if possible, record them. I like this approach to working and have learned the importance of knowing and researching all the strata of a particular project.

Q.  What projects are you currently working on?
A.  I have a few personal projects that are ongoing, but I am also planning the next 31thirtyone, which will feature portraits of well-known musicians. It will have the same format as before in that I aim to take 31 portraits in as many days, and will then feature these portraits in an exhibition. I will hold a silent auction of these prints again and, alongside further print sales, attempt to raise money for charity. This year I am raising money in aid of The African Workshop, based in Mali, which helps local street children to learn, play music and socialise in a secure environment, keeping them away for the perils of child labour, poverty and crime. I’m very excited about it, and can’t wait to see who I can get on board!


Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with these?
A.  Well, with such a creative network, I hope to find some other like-minded individuals who may be interested in getting involved with this innovative and exciting project. Introductions can be difficult to come by, which is why I am really looking forward to getting into Pelime and seeing what is out there!



Thomas Girard is a Shanghai-based Agency Art Director, born in Canada in 1980.

After being educated in Industrial Design and Communication Design at the prestigious Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Canada, he relocated to Shanghai to be a university lecturer in design, later becoming an ambassador of the Art Directors Club and contributor to TEDx.


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