10/11/2008

featured artist: jared may

this week's featured artist is another oldie-but-goodie. if i could singlehandedly pick out one photo to showcase as representative of all of an artist's work, the below picture would be, without a doubt, the one i would choose for jared may. it's as if it's his brand photo ... the one that everyone can recognize him by. his own little (prettier) nike swoosh.

i had first found his shop on etsy last year when this photo was featured on the front page treasury - and fell in love instantly. from there, i'd go and look in his shop on a regular basis to see what new photos he'd recently posted; the style, richness and warmth of all of his work is so characteristic of the feelings it emotes. rich and saturated, jared's work always elicits a tangible physical reaction that can vary from calming to brooding to hopeful. (for proof, see here, here, or here.)

{not to mention, he's got a series on dandelions - and i love dandelions!}

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Jared. I teach math at an alternative high school and use photography as my primary means of artistic expression. I also draw and paint a little bit, and I like to pretend that someday I'll write and record a really cool record. I suppose I'd also like to write.

I'm fickle.

02. What first made you want to become an artist?

Honestly, I think I'm just trying to add my own bit of beauty within the much larger world of beauty I see around me. I suppose artistic expression is essentially just one person sharing their own viewpoint with others. I feel fortunate that I see so much beauty all around me, and I just love that others enjoy seeing what I have to offer.


03. Tell us a bit about how you first discovered photography - what were some challenges that you encountered and how did you overcome them?


My mom put a camera in my hand when I was eight. I don't know that I've encountered too many challenges. I've taken thousands of bad photographs, if that counts. When I used to shoot film, I had a couple of photo shoots where I returned home to find that there was absolutely no film in the camera. That was heartbreaking. Thank goodness for digital cameras.



04. Where do you draw your inspiration & motivation from?


I am constantly inspired by beauty all around me. Sometimes I forget to look, but honestly there is beauty everywhere, if you learn how to look. I am inspired by other artists, by wonderful books, by people, by nature, everything.

05. Apart from creating things, what do you do?

As I mentioned above, I teach math. I'm almost done with my schooling that will allow me to be a principal if I choose. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do with my career, but I love teaching.

The most important thing in my life is my family. My wonderful wife helps me out with my Etsy shop, handling most of the shipping duties. She also works in education. We have three boys, and the four of them are the joy of my life.


{bet you didn't know that this isn't jared's first appearance on wunderbug!}


06. What's your favorite photo that you've taken? Why?


My favorite photo changes all the time. One that I come back to a lot is Windblown Grass. I keep it in my Etsy shop even though it almost never sells, just because I like it so much. It captures everything I love about Kansas - a powerful thunderstorm, wild grass, and the energy brought through by the wind. Every time I look at that photograph, I feel like I'm standing in the breeze right before the storm hits, which is one of my favorite things about living in the midwest.

07. What undiscovered artists would you recommend to the world?

My mom just opened an Etsy shop, as a matter of fact. She takes photographs of pets and creates beautiful works of digital art. Check her out at http://CherylMayPhoto.etsy.com

08. Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

Right now I'm re-reading
Jack Kerouac's On the Road, which is even better than I remembered. Off the top of my head, I love the Lao Tzu, the Dhammapada, and any book that helps me prepare for my next national park trip. I'll use up my fifth book slot by mentioning that I'm planning to pick out a Dickens work for my next novel, once I finish On the Road.

My favorite films include
It's a Wonderful Life, Harvey, A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer, and just about any Hitchcock film. Musically, lately I'm obsessed with Alison Krauss. Before that, it was Coldplay, then Jack Johnson, the Shins, and Medeski, Martin and Wood. I look forward to whatever's next.

I don't have five web site suggestions. I spend a fair amount of time (and money) at Amazon. I'm a sucker for going through and rating everything I've ever seen, heard, or read. I'm also fairly well addicted to
Flickr, but nothing tops Etsy for me.


09. What's something unique/interesting about you that you've always wanted to mention in an interview but never found a way to work it in?

This one stumps me. I lived in Seattle for a little while, and I don't think I've ever mentioned that before. Not sure how interesting that is, but there you go. I missed the thunderstorms. A lot.


10. What is the best advice you have ever received?


Enjoy all things now while you can. Life moves quickly and this too shall pass.



1 comment:

the whole self said...

I love these interviews. Such a great idea and so well done. Love the photography especially!

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