How did you get started in photography?
Which photographers and other artists work do you admire?
It’s a very long list, so I’ll keep it simple. Off the top of my head: Teun Hocks, Starn Twins, Rocky Schenck, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Christian Boltanski.
And what about their work inspires you?
This list is some of the photographers that inspired me early on in my photography studies. I’ve always been drawn to photography that uses alternative approaches and mixed media.
If no one saw your work, would you still create it?
Of course. I do make it for myself. It’s how I challenge myself to address my spirit, our earth, our atmosphere, our little universe, and the connections between us all. Sounds kinda new age, must be my upbringing.
Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day of photography is for you.
My work, like many artists, is all about process. My intention when starting a project is just to shoot things that I’m drawn to emotionally. I have no one way of capturing images — I use many tools (cameras). I labor over what the work should look like in the end which requires a lot of experimentation with printing, presentation, and substrates. I use an acrylic lift process for most of my work. In a nutshell, it’s a pigment print transfer onto a variety of substrates (wood, metal leaf, papers).
The perfect day is when a piece is finished and I title it, sign it, and frame it. Done. Mission accomplished — satisfaction.
Would you care to share the inspiration for your newest work, “Chasing the Afterglow” ?
This project started a few years ago when I found that my creative time was limited to the evening, during twilight, and late into the night. I’ve always enjoyed the night and especially when there’s a moon present. As a goal, I decided to photograph every full moon night (of course I shot every chance I had whether the moon was full or not). The subject matter varied though depending on the moons location and visibility. Of course I shot many full moons, but I also captured what goes on under the moonlight. When the moon was not visible, I spent that time working in the studio on creating my own twilight lores. This studio work also allowed me to add a more abstract narrative to the project and gave me the freedom to add hand drawn elements with still lives.
With the rapid changes in how people make and view a photograph how do you view this time in the history of photography?
It depends what we’re talking about really. People are writing books on the subject — It’s exhausting really. If we’re focusing on fine art photography I don’t actually think much has changed other than the tool options. This is the biggest difference between a fine art photograph and let’s say painting. Photography is more susceptive to technology advances. It is mechanical. Whereas traditional painting is less impacted by technology. Because cameras are mechanical I don’t feel the evolution of the photograph will ever end.
How do you overcome a creative block?
I have the luxury of producing a photography print publication, as well as curating for an online gallery. These projects are a great escape from my own work (actually at most times, takes priority). I work with so many creative and exciting photo-artists through these that I’m continually inspired by them. It is a double-edged sword though, at times, it seems impossible to have an original idea. Call me naive but it’s only recently that I realized that it IS impossible but that does not take away from the reality that we should make work that makes us happy anyway. That’s the most important piece and pretty much the point for creating in the first place.
How does your art affect the way you see the world?
My art is a reflection on how I see the world, not the other way around.
Is there another type of photography or subject matter you would like tackle?
Plenty! I started this journey in film making. I’d love to go back to it in some way, some day.
Thank you Blue Mitchell for sharing your work and words with us.
To learn more about the work of Blue Mitchell please visit his site at, Blue Mitchell.