Curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand. And as we get older, we start to lose that need to question everything or create for that matter. We no longer want to swim against the grain but instead, want to blend in. But why?
In order to produce unique, new ideas one has to be open, curious, and stay creative. Let your imagination run free.
And with that, I welcome you to my newest series that will spotlight some of my favorite people who continue to push their own boundaries when it comes to creating. Photography, installation, designing, painting - anything and everything.
First up to the podium is Lydia Hudgens.
I've known Lydia for years now. I started as her photo intern years ago and the rest is history.
You may have seen her name receive photo credit for an image whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed. But what you may not be so familiar with is her personal portfolio. It has a completely different vibe - moodier, bold, and with a hint of homage to film. Fuel your fascination with our Q&A below.
San Francisco -> Brooklyn, New York
Academy of the Art University for Fine Art Photography
Who inspires you and how did they influence you?
Lately, I've really been into really quiet photographers. Artists like Erika Astrid, lililand, sabrinasantiago, paradisonyc and Christina Emilile (the last being a close friend and an amazing minimalist photographer). I've shot street style for so long, so photographers like this interest me directly because it's so different than the fast speed that I've come accustomed to shooting. It's quieter, more thoughtful, poignant and I respond to it.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
I want to start going in a more thoughtful direction with my work because the photography I personally enjoy is quiet, almost brooding and nearly always serious. I want people viewing my work to think, not only about the shape and fabric of the garment I'm shooting but the story I'm trying to convey. I'm working on rebranding currently, so this is the direction I'll be starting to gear my personal work towards.
What is the difference between beauty and vulgarity?
I think it's a fine line honestly. I see some photos where the subjects are clearly naked but they're more poignant and raw than someone completely clothed. I personally loved photographing the human form for years so I find beauty in the skin, regardless of the shape - whether it be fat, thin, muscle-bound, etc.. People can find something vulgar in any image but generally that vulgarity is personal. Something about the photo causes them distress but that response differs from person to person. It's not necessarily a negative but can become one if it's voiced online - an issue that is becoming more and more normal in this day and age. People feel like they can hide behind their computers and pick other people apart and it's honestly disgusting. If you don't like something, look elsewhere. It's not for you.
Black and white or color?
Do you miss film?
Yes, 100%. I shot film this weekend and will start incorporating more into my work. Unfortunately, it's very pricey so that's the only hurdle but I have been seeing more and more brands paying photographers to shoot film so maybe there's hope it'll have a resurgence!
If you could take your art / photographs in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new thing would you try?
I may have already mentioned this before but I'm rebranding myself and created a new photography account @LydiaHudgensPhoto. I think people have sort of pigeonholed my work to bloggers and I know I have the bandwidth to do so much more. So that's what I'm working on - expanding, experimenting, slowing down, etc. Getting back to my roots!
Hope you enjoyed the first After (Art) School Special installment featuring Lydia Hudgens. Be sure to give her Instagram account a follow at @LydiaHudgensPhoto. My goal is to have these installments have their own consistent schedule, but until then you can stay up-to-date on all my blog happenings on Instagram and Twitter!