Q&A #10: Sarah Goodreau

simple / mountains Illustration by: Sarah Goodreau

simple / mountains
Illustration by: Sarah Goodreau

Sarah shares her journey as an artist, the process she goes through when creating her drawings, and some of the reasons she absolutely adores her circle of friends.”

 

Leigh Lim: Hi Sarah! Thanks for taking the time to do a Q&A. I noticed you also have a Tumblr page. Was there a specific reason you wanted to keep linking to it?

 

Sarah Goodreau: Hi! No problem at all, I’m very happy to do it!

 

I actually began blogging on Tumblr way back in 2008. So it’s quite ancient. When I moved everything over to my current website it felt a little sad to just abandon the old gal. So I’ve kept posting on and linking to her.

 

LL: The site transfer process (from Tumblr), was it as easy as just doing a few clicks?

 

SG: This was pretty easy because I did it the way you probably aren’t supposed to do it. I just started completely fresh with my website. So anything that is on my Tumblr that existed before my website is not featured.

 

Sketches Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Sketches
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

LL: Can you give a quick summary in terms of how you got to where you are with drawing?

 

SG: My art has gotten to where it is very smoothly, actually. I try to draw everyday and as time passes it evolves more and more. As a kid I was always the quote/unquote artistic child. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I would get in trouble in school for drawing in my books.

When it came time for college I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design and studied Illustration. There I learned all of the classic techniques and eventually settled on Ink as my method of choice.

Once I felt comfortable in both my style and technique I moved over to digital, while still creating as if I was holding a paintbrush. That is where I am now. In a few years? Who knows!

 

LL: When creating a drawing, which part takes the longest?

 

SG: I think I would have to say that the actual drawing part takes the longest. There isn’t anything that really takes too long, the sketch guides the final drawing and I always figure out the color palette before hand so things don’t get messy.

 

Ski Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Ski
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

 

LL: During your early days of learning, did you have a particular book that you found yourself referring to frequently?

 

SG: My first few years of training were all in classic art forms. Life drawing, still life’s, oil paintings, etc. So all my books were basically text books which was pretty boring. When I finally started taking illustration classes, I spent a lot of time in the children’s book section of the library. I’m not certain if i ever had one book that I referred to the most, though I do recall having a pretty serious Winsor McCay period.

As time went on I relied less and less on other peoples books and more and more on my own style and imagination.

 

LL: If you were to put together a ‘learning plan’ or practice pack for someone who has never drawn before, so they could have the capacity to draw at your level and skill. What would it look like?

 

SG: My journey has been a life long one, this is what I studied in school.

But I would have to say just draw every day. Try new techniques when you can, and if you find yourself gravitating towards a certain style you should explore that and train it. Like most things in life, that harder you work at it the better you will become.

 

Never Stop learning.

 

 

Sarah's Bookshelf Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Sarah’s Bookshelf
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

LL: Would you say it was discipline that got you to where you are as an artist?

SG: I think that I am in a very lucky position where what I do for a living is a true passion of mine. I never really have to fight with myself to want to do work.

 

LL: Where there times when you didn’t want to draw?

SG: There haven’t really been times when I didn’t want to draw. There have been unfortunate periods where I have a pretty severe creative block (kind of like a writers block). I tend to get one every few years.

It’s very stressful because I want to be creating, it just isn’t coming out. I just remain calm, remind myself that this has happened before and will happen again and wait until the spark comes back.

 

LL: How would you describe your generic set-up?

SG: I always carry a small notebook and a pencil. For work I use a little laptop and a Wacom Bamboo tablet. People are always surprised when they see my work computer. It’s actually quite small! My sketchbooks are tiny too. I guess I just like to work in small spaces.

 

 

 

 

Sarah's Workspace Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Sarah’s Workspace
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

 

 

LL: How tiny is tiny?

SG: I have the 13 inch Macbook Pro, which was the smallest one I could get at the time. Do they make them smaller now?? I’ve never had a software issue, probably because I only use one or two programs on it. I like to keep things simple.

 

LL: Did it take awhile for you to settle on the kind of set-up that you like?

SG: This kind of evolved naturally. When I used to favor ink and water colors, my desk was a mess of ink bottles and water cups, scraps of paper, knives, tape and paintbrushes. Now it is quite minimal: laptop, Wacom tablet, sketchbook.

 

 

LL: Description of your drawing style?

SG: My style is a little whimsical and a little dark. I like to try to add a little humor in there too. I keep things fairly simple and I think my color pallets reflect that as well. I aim for simple with just the right amount of detail.

 

Behind The Tree Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Behind The Tree
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

 

LL: Did it take awhile for you to decide on the kind of header image you use for your site?

SG: I usually change these yearly! I like to keep my header close to what my current style is. While my style stays similar, I can see a definitive shift year to year. Just my illustrations growing I think. This current one was from earlier this year, I was going through a Sasquatch phase! This one is a Sasquatch doing calisthenics.

Though it’s nearly the end of this year, so it will be changing soon!

 

LL: Do you have a regular schedule of posting entries?

SG: I used to try to post everyday. Which was quite the undertaking. Then I noticed that I only liked about half of my illustrations when I was doing that, so I slowed down to 3 times a week. Quality vs. Quantity. Though, the schedule is never set in stone. Depending on what’s going on work wise, I will do more or less.

 

LL: What do you find is the best way to connect with your audience?

SG: This is something that I am trying to get better at. Right now I answer emails and try to respond to questions on my blog.

 

 

LL: Do you have some questions that you find yourself answering multiple times?

SG: A lot of time people ask how I make an illustration or what programs I use. That is definitely the most asked question by far. Then a lot of the ‘what inspires you’ and ‘how do you think of what to draw next’.

I don’t mind answering them at all! Though I think I have crafted very streamlined answers over the years.

 

Fish Emotions Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Fish Emotions
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

LL: Can you share a bit of how some of your drawings came about?

SG: All the illustrations featured come from my little sketchbook (I don’t usually post illustrations that I get paid to do on my blog). The first thing I do in the morning is sketch in it. Drawings just come to me, I don’t like to think about them too much. So, I doodle a little drawing in the morning, do the final illustration in the afternoon, and then post it on my blog.

 

 

LL: Do you keep prints of your drawings?

SG: I don’t really. Sometimes when I work on a book I will get a copy of that which is really, really, fun. But yea, I think the only time I have a copy of my work is when I’m going to gift it to someone.

 

LL: What would you like to learn about next?

SG: Right now I am learning how to Illustrate in a way that it can be translated into an animation. My boyfriend is a motion graphic artist and we work together a lot. We used to make a lot of stop motion animations using puppets I would make, but now we are moving onto 2D/3D animation. It’s really fun!!

 

My approach for learning really is to just never stop. Right now I am at a stage where I am pretty happy with my style, but I want to keep practicing and making it better and better.

 

Bird Watching Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Bird Watching
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

LL: Are there certain things you ‘geek out’ about?

SG: This is a little weird but I love, love, love, concepting. I have such a great time coming up with ideas and figuring out how to bring them into fruition. Deciding if they should be a story or a drawing; an animation or an advert…

 

We like to host nights where we gather a bunch of friends at our apartment and we all talk about ideas that we have come up with and everyone helps to get them to where they need to be. Lots of fun.

 

 

LL: Are you a big listener of music?

SG: I do listen to music! I have old soul music tastes though… I love the Talking Heads, Them, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Moondog, Elvis, Lee Moses. I have a stack of records with music from the 1920’s and 30’s that I love. But! A current artist that I am in love with is Future Islands.

 

I’m kind of the same with books. I’m making my way through the classics. I finished War & Peace last year and am now making my way through a few Hemingway’s and 100 Years of Solitude for the second time.

 

LL: What is it about ‘100 Years of Solitude’ that made you want to read it the second time?

 

SG: There is just something about the way that Gabriel García Márquez writes that is so inspiring to me, so I like to read and reread his work every so often. He really makes his characters with so much depth and there is always just a hint of magic in his worlds.

It’s kind of how I want my illustrations to be. Real and magical. It’s been a few years since I first read this particular book, so I just wanted to catch up with it again.

Books and Records Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Books and Records
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

 

LL: Do you go out of your way to discover new things?

SG: This modern world we live in, it’s impossible not to find new things daily. That internet is full of them. Plus just walking around the city, by the end of the day you will have a list of things you have written down to look in to.

 

 

LL: Where do you go for inspiration?

SG: I often take a walk to get inspired. It’s nice to just walk and think. Also, having a conversation with a friend usually sparks something. I am lucky to have some very funny, weird, creative friends.

 

 

LL: What’s your view about social media?

SG: I’m always reluctant about it. I’m not sure why but it makes me nervous. I once went 2 years without a telephone and I loved that.

I do realize that it is necessary though. It’s the best way to connect with others and show the world your art.

I do like Instagram. Most likely because it is easy to use.

 

LL: Which two years did you go without a phone?

SG: I got rid of my cellphone when I moved to the Netherlands. I planned on getting a new one once I had settled in but kept putting it off because I enjoyed not having a phone so much.

Eventually my boyfriend just gave me his old one! I think he thought it was getting a little ridiculous. I still don’t really use it, I actually couldn’t tell you where it is right now.

 

Flood Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Flood
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

LL: What are your favourite sites at the moment?

I am starting to like Pinterest. I’m enjoying that you can manipulate it to only show you things you like, plus it can become a kind of one-stop shop for inspiring images. Then you only have to go to one website.

 

LL: Do you currently post at any Forums?

SG: I don’t no. I always feel nervous about things like that.

 

LL: What would you do when you need cheering up?

SG: I play with my dog! And sometimes have a glass of wine…

 

Potemkin Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Potemkin
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

LL: Would you be open to collaborating with other artists?

SG: Definitely. I have collaborated with a few friends before and it is always a lot of fun.

 

 

LL: Are you interested in technology?

SG: I feel like I should be, but a lot of that goes over my head. Hah, I’m really showing how Tech-UN-Savvy I am.

 

LL: If you were asked to pick from the drawings you have, which one(s) would be your favourite(s)?

 

 

SG: Oh, that’s a hard one. It is often a recent one, as time goes on I tend to dislike my older drawings. Right now I like Little Freaks, Sunbathing At The End Of The Word, and Strong Man Vs. Wizard.

 

 

Strong man vs. Wizard Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

Strong man vs. Wizard
Illustration: Sarah Goodreau

LL: What feeds your soul?

SG: Drawing.

 

LL: For someone watching a looking at your creations for the first time, what is the message you’re hoping they’ll take with them?

SG: Mostly I just want them to think, “Oh thats cute, and funny…..and weird”. I want them to feel like there is a story behind the illustration, and for them to wonder what that could be.

 

 

Mini Bio: Sarah Goodreau is an illustrator currently based in London. You can also find her entries and illustrations here. See things with her eyes by checking her Instagram feed here (and more Potemkin!). Sarah also welcomes music and book suggestions.

 

Self-Portrait Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Self-Portrait
Photo: Sarah Goodreau

Source Material and Notes: The material posted is based on correspondence (September-October 2014) between Sarah and Leigh. Content has been edited for length, and the final version has been reviewed and approved by the interviewee.

Leigh Lim is Mini-Bio Photoa musician based at Sydney. You can find a sample of her music here. To reach out to Leigh, you can do so via this form or a direct message through YouTube. (Curious to find out if she’s your kind of person? You can check out her tweets and personal entries.)

Notes:

  • If there are things that you’d like to know about Sarah that I have not covered, please do leave a note (using the second form gives me the opportunity to share your request with the WNE community and also to give Sarah the option of answering).
  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome. 🙂
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!
  • This post has been tagged so it could be considered for Long Reads.

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

Interested in reading more?

  • Following each Q&A session I post a separate entry (The Quote Jar: Nine) that would be a companion piece to Sarah’s Q&A.
  • How about checking out all the other Q&As?

 

** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

The Quote Jar: Eight

Following each Q&A session I post a separate entry including quotes from various sites and publications from the web. Clicking each of the links will open a new window containing the full article or video (if publicly accessible).

The names below were mentioned by JR during his Q&A.

“Study in music gave me a fine basis for the discipline of photography.” – Ansel Adams

“I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart.” – Steve Jobs (Wired)

Notes:

  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome!
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

 

🙂

 ** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

Q&A #9: JR Smith

Sunset Photo: JR Smith

Sunset
Photo: JR Smith

 

 

JR shares his journey as a photographer, his love for film, and also his hope that more people would spend more time with their surroundings (not their phones).”

 

 

Leigh Lim: Hi JR! Thanks for taking the time to do a Q&A. Upon visiting your blog, I took a few moments to admire the subheading: “Rediscovering film while reclaiming my life”. Did you consider using other subheadings, before settling on the one you have now?

JR Smith: Photography has been the one constant, with some starts and stops, in my life. I went through a very difficult time 12 years ago and had to sell all of my cameras and photography gear. Once I put it all behind me, I started putting myself back together and rediscovered photography again.

Digital photography didn’t inspire me, so I set about rediscovering old film cameras and film photography. It’s been creative therapy for me. I lost myself for about a decade, and slowly I’m rediscovering film and finding myself..

 

LL: Can you give a quick summary in terms of how you got to where you are with Photography?

JRS: I started learning photography as a teenager. In those days, lots of people developed and printed their own film. I had very little money, used a hand me down camera and did odd jobs to buy the stuff I needed to set up my home darkroom. I think only through the process of taking a photo, developing the film and printing your images yourself, do you connect the whole process.

I started looking at the work of Ansel Adams and I read everything I could that he wrote. Adams was an artist and a scientist–always working to perfect not only the taking of the photograph, but the process of developing the film and printing his negatives to end up with the image he wanted. Through Ansel’s books, I learned about burning and dodging when printing–things you can do now in Photoshop.

Before the internet, I bought lots of books on technique as well as coffee table books containing the best work of photographers. I’d remember the images that pleased me–mostly landscapes, still life and found objects. I knew that was the kind of photography I wanted to do.

LL: If you were to put together a ‘learning plan’ or practice pack for someone who has never consciously paid attention when taking photos before, so they could have the capacity to capture photographs at your level and skill. What would it look like?

JRS: First, I would tell someone to slow down. Digital photography, by it’s very nature, encourages shooting lots and lots of photographs without thinking about them too much. When you load a film camera with 12 or 36 exposures, you have a limited amount of frames to shoot, so you tend to think more about what you are shooting.

That being said, I would suggest anyone that is serious about learning photography, start with a film camera. Get one with dials and levers so you get a visual and mechanical understanding of shutter speeds and f/stops. Pick one type of film and shoot only that. Learn it. Learn how to use your camera. Speaking only for myself, I would start with black and white photography because it forces you to learn how light is the very essence of photography.

Take the camera out of automatic mode and shoot manually–even if you goof up most of your shots. We learn by making mistakes.

 

LL: Favourite time of the day to photograph?

JRS: The books all tell you early morning or late in the day, because the shadows are more interesting. But some of my favorite shots were taken mid-day. My favorite time to shoot is whenever I have a camera in my hand.

 

LL: Do you plan when you take photos?

JRS: I do. I start out thinking if it will be a monochrome day or if I want to shoot color. I consider if I’ll be walking a lot and that will determine if I want to carry a heavy medium format camera around all day or a lighter 35mm one. When I go out, I only bring one lens. Too many photographers lug around a bag of lenses–and that just slows you down. And I only shoot with prime lenses. Zoom lenses are for lazy photographers and even the best zooms aren’t as fast as a good prime lens. I bring several rolls of film and my light meter.

 

35 Summicron F:2 ASPH Photo: JR Smith

35 Summicron F:2 ASPH
Photo: JR Smith

LL: Do you have a favourite prime lens?

JRS: My 85mm f/2 Nikkor is my favorite. The focal length seems just right for most things. And I love the dreamy bokeh. Next up would be the 50mm Summicron f/2 DR lens I use on my Leica M4. It’s amazing that man could make a lens so sharp and so well made.

LL: How would you describe your style of Photography?

JRS: That’s a hard one, because my style is evolving as I am spending more time on making better images and not fooling around with lots of old cameras. A good friend of mine told me that my style is “lonely.” He said even my shots of flowers and sunlight beaches suggest a photographer who enjoys isolation to social interaction.

 

LL: Do you think that description is accurate?

JRS: When not taking photographs, I’m around a lot of noise (both technology and people wise). I suppose that is why I cherish alone time with my camera and why I’d rather photograph places and things rather than people.

 

LL: What are some misconceptions you find about you as a photographer?

JRS: That I am old fashioned because I shoot on film. I choose to shoot on film because I like the organic connection to the process, I like the look of film and I appreciate being able to use superb old film cameras that I could never afford when they were new and now can.

 

LL: Are you learning something specific at the moment?

JRS: I have finally set aside time to learn The Zone System. It’s fascinating and I have been inspired to learn more.

 

LL: What’s your go-to set-up?

JRS: My go to kit is a Nikon F2AS and 85mm f/2 Nikkor lens. I pick up the Nikon F2 more than any other camera because I know it well and I don’t have to think about

where all of the controls are. It’s meter never fails me and the camera literally disappears in my hand allowing me to focus on making the picture and not fiddling with the camera.

I use the 85mm focal length because it’s just the way I see the world.

 

125PX Photo: JR Smith

125PX
Photo: JR Smith

LL: Did it take awhile for you to settle on the kind of set-up that you like?

JRS: Yes. Lots of cameras. Trial and error. A camera is a highly personal thing and it takes a while to find one that feels just right.

 

LL: Have any of your equipment undergone customisation?

JRS: All of my Nikons have been completely rebuilt by Sover Wong in the UK. Sover is the world’s best Nikon F2 repairman. He only works on F2s. Since these are old cameras, they require cleaning, lubrication and adjustment. When they come back from Sover’s shop, they shoot just like new. In addition, I add diopter correction to most of cameras to aid in focusing.

 

LL: When your Nikons were rebult by Sover, were they all done at the same time?

JRS: I acquired my Nikon F2 bodies at different times, so as I purchased one, I boxed it up and sent it over the pond to Sover. I trusted the US Post Office on the way over and The Royal Mail on the way back. While Sover is working on a camera, he sends photo updates via email, detailing his work.

 

 

LL: Do you have a cleaning, lubrication and adjustment schedule for your older cameras?

JRS: All of my mechanical cameras have been serviced. They’ll need no further service as long as I own them. They will outlive me. The cameras I own with electronics on board, film or digital, will die at some point. Newer cameras are disposable.

 

LL: What parameters do you use when choosing a camera bag?

JRS: Function and style. Most of my camera bags are functional and not stylish. I just went with one that is both: The ONA Berlin II for my Leica system.

 

Sign and Flip Flops Photo: JR Smith

Sign and Flip Flops
Photo: JR Smith

LL: With film, do you stick with one brand?

JRS: For black and white, I shoot primarily Kodak Tri-X and Plus-X. For color, I shoot Kodak Ektar 100. I practice what I preach–find a film you like and shoot it often so you get to know it. Trying lots of film is fun, but adds variables.

LL: Should photographers take the time to test out printing services?

JRS: Wherever you live, do online research and read the reviews from other photographers about the labs they use, why they like them and why they don’t. Find a good lab and stick with it. They’ll get to know you and develop and scan your images the way you want.

 

LL: Do you have a piece of equipment (or software) that you thought was a good buy at that time, but you eventually didn’t use it as much as you hoped?

JRS: I bought a Hasselblad 503CX because I wanted to use the fabulous Hasselblad Carl Zeiss lenses. I haven’t used it much because it’s big and heavy. It’s a wonderful camera though. I have purchased a few other cameras that were classics and I wanted to try.

A few I sold and a few I have gifted to other photographers. It gives me great joy to see one of my cameras being used by someone discovering old cameras and film.

 

LL: Have you been always mindful of ergonomics each time you shoot?

JRS: I haven’t given it much thought other than I am aware of how a really heavy or awkward camera can slow me down enough to keep me from taking good shots. I have learned to carry the lightest camera possible and pack only what I need. Some photographers think you have to bring everything you own every time you shoot. I don’t.

 

LL: Equipment Maintenance and Storage?

JRS: Cameras are in a cool, dry place in their camera bags or cases. Film is in the refrigerator.

LL: Do you keep prints of your photos?

JRS: Mostly no. I archive everything on iPhoto and online on Flickr. I have made huge prints of several of my favorite shots that I have hung in my home. I may print more soon as I have been asked to do a show here in Northern California (Yikes!)

 

PCH Photo: JR Smith

PCH
Photo: JR Smith

LL: Is that (The Zone System) a future blog entry?

JRS: I touched on it briefly in a recent post about my light meter. But I intend to write more as I learn more. It’s a complicated process and if I can share what I learn in easy to understand terms, maybe it will help someone else.

 

LL: Do you keep your negatives?

JRS: I keep some, but primarily keep the scanned images on CD.

 

LL: Do you have a regular schedule of posting blog entries?

JRS: I mostly post when I have something interesting to say and think it something my readers will like to read. I do try and post every Monday–I call it One Minute Monday and it’s a quick read post to start the week.

 

LL: Is there a way to search your blog?

JRS: Funny you should mention that–I added some additional search functionality this past weekend.

 

LL: Did you go straight to a .com?

JRS: It’s WordPress hosted.

 

LL: Was it a no brainer to choose WordPress?

JRS: It’s my first blog. I really didn’t know what I was doing at first and am still learning. I went with the easiest choice

 

LL: Has your approach to learning changed?

JRS: I find myself doing a lot more research now before I buy a camera or lens or try a new film. Prior to that, I would always just dive head first into things and wonder why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Again, slowing down has helped me.

 

Beach House Photo: JR Smith

Beach House
Photo: JR Smith

LL: Are there certain things you ‘geek out’ about?

JRS: I could go on and one about everyone’s immersion into their smartphones these days–but no one will listen because they are too busy staring into their phones. I’ve noticed over the past decade that my local coffee shop has turned from a place where people sit and chat to a place where no one talks–they all just fiddle with their phones.

Technology has created it’s own form of isolation. Even though I love my quiet time, it would be very pleasant to have a conversation in line at Starbucks rather than just look at a bunch of people texting.

 

LL: Is there a topic that would get you talking endlessly?

JRS: I’m more of a listener. I learn so much by listening to what people have to say.

 

LL: Are you a big listener of music?

JRS: As photography left my life for the past ten years, so did music.

I spent some time as a disc jockey on the radio and music was important to me. After, I moved on from radio and still listened to music all of the time. Then somehow, it just disappeared from my life.

Recently, I bought a vintage audio system and a turntable. I am rediscovering the music I loved from long ago and some new artists too. I have a couple of blog entries on this.

 

LL: Do you go out of your way to discover new things?

JRS: If I find a topic that interests me, I will chase it to the ends of the earth. I saw a short piece in a magazine about Phone Phreaks–those geeks from the 1970s who discovered that you could do all sorts of cool things with the phone system. Steve Jobs was a Phone Phreak. I bought a couple of books after digesting lots of stuff online and ultimately connected with a few of these fascinating people.

 

LL: Where do you go for inspiration?

JRS: I am lucky to leave near the beach, so I go there often to walk, think and photograph. I love the sound of the surf and the smell of the ocean. It re-energizes me.

 

Rollei Vb Photo: JR Smith

Rollei Vb
Photo: JR Smith

LL: What’s your view about social media?

JRS: I’m not a Facebook or Twitter guy. Most of what I see on Facebook is just plain dumb and somewhat narcissistic. That being said, I do like blogs that have something to say, enjoy forums that share good information and chat rooms where interesting people gather. Unfortunately, most of social media should be called “I really don’t want to be social” media.

 

LL: What are your favourite sites at the moment?

JRS: Since I post to Flickr often, I guess I like it the best. I also visit the Nikon F2 Facebook page often because a lot of my Nikon F2 friends post there.

 

LL: Do you currently post at any Forums?

JRS: I post on a vintage audio gear forum, a forum for Leica users and a Nikon user group.

 

LL: What would you do when you need cheering up?

JRS: Put an album on my turntable, turn up my McIntosh amp and sip a glass of fine Pinot Noir.

 

LL: Would you be open to collaborating with other artists?

JRS: Would love to!

 

LL: Are you interested in technology?

JRS: I’m a Mac guy. I have a MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone. iPhoto, Aperture, iWork

 

ASA:DIN Photo: JR Smith

ASA:DIN
Photo: JR Smith

LL: If you were asked to pick from the photos you have, which one would be your favourite?

JRS: I have many. If I had to pick just one, Horses on the Dunes which really delivered the mood of the day.

 

LL: For someone looking at a photo of yours for the first time, what is the message you’re hoping they’ll take with them?

JRS: I always think of photographs that I am attracted to as seeing a beautiful woman for the first time. You see her, are attracted to her and think to yourself–“wow! she is beautiful!” You are attracted and you want to know more. It’s visual. It’s physical. Just as I look back on, for instance, famous women that I have found attractive, when I look at them months, years later–they are still attractive to me.

It’s highly personal. If someone looks at one of my images and finds it appealing, that pleases me. For whatever reason, they found it attractive and I would hope that it would inspire them to create images that would please others as well as themselves.

 

LL: What feeds your soul?

JRS: The ocean. Good music. Fine photographs. Things that last.

 

LL: What do you find is the best way to connect with your audience?

JRS: The comments I get on my blog or to the photos I post on Flickr give me the most satisfaction.

 

 

JR Smith is a photographer currently based in Bodega Bay, California. You can also find his entries about photography here.

000032790034 Self Portrait Photo: JR Smith

000032790034
Self Portrait
Photo: JR Smith

 

Source Material and Notes: The material posted is based on correspondence (September-October 2014) between JR and Leigh. Content has been edited for length, and the final version has been reviewed and approved by the interviewee.

Leigh Lim is Mini-Bio Photoa musician based at Sydney. You can find a sample of her music here. To reach out to Leigh, you can do so via this form or a direct message through YouTube. (Curious to find out if she’s your kind of person? You can check out her tweets and personal entries.)

Notes:

  • If there are things that you’d like to know about JR that I have not covered, please do leave a note (using the second form gives me the opportunity to share your request with the WNE community and also to give JR the option of answering).
  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome. 🙂
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  • This post has been tagged so it could be considered for Long Reads.

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

Interested in reading more?

  • Following each Q&A session I post a separate entry (The Quote Jar: Seven) that would be a companion piece to JR’s Q&A.
  • How about checking out all the other Q&As?

 

** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

The Quote Jar: Seven

Following each Q&A session I post a separate entry including quotes from various sites and publications from the web. Clicking each of the links will open a new window containing the full article or video (if publicly accessible).

The names below were mentioned by Dean during his Q&A.

“You have to play awhile to figure out exactly what is most comfortable, for you..” – Buddy Rich (Downbeat)

“I’m tuning those drums like a timpani player” – Manu Katche (NPR)

 

“…for me exercise is just as important as practising and I think it helps if I’m not playing, it helps when I do pick up the sticks and go back to work.” – Steve Gadd (Mike Dolbear)

“…as musicians we’re all trying to create good music, to have fun playing, to communicate within ourselves as a group, to communicate to the audience, to give something positive.” – Dave Weckl (Tomajazz)

Notes:

  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome!
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

 

 

🙂