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Interviu Jason Travis
13.02.2012
[Recomanda unui prieten]

L-am gasit pe 9gag. Cateva dintre fotografiile seriei sale "Persona", care intrasera recent la rubrica Trending a site-ului, m-au facut sa vreau sa aflu mai multe despre el. Pe masura ce ii admiram lucrarile din portofoliu, am devenit tot mai interesata despre cine e si cu ce se ocupa. In White Pages se mentioneaza 89 de persoane cu numele de Jason Travis in Statele Unite. Dati-mi voie sa vi-l prezint pe ACEL Jason Travis. [Foto: Jason Travis]

 

 

[1.] Cel mai rapid lucru care iti vine in minte: cum crezi ca ti-am descoperit lucrarile?

 

Dat fiind faptul ca tu esti in Romania, iar eu in Statele Unite, cel mai probabil mi-ai descoperit lucrarile pe internet. Seria mea de fotografii "Persona" a fost promovata si pe CNN, si in numeroase bloguri si reviste de pe glob. Au ajuns destul de departe de data asta!

 

 

[2.] Adevarat. De fapt, in vreme ce ma documentam cu privire la munca ta, nu mi-a luat deloc mult sa realizez ca ai devenit cunoscut datorita seriei "Persona". Ce parere ai despre asta? Consideri cumva ca poate ai proiecte si lucrari mai importante, care nu s-au bucurat de aceeasi atentie?

 

In ceea ce priveste munca mea fotografica de pana acum, "Persona" cu siguranta s-a bucurat de cea mai mare atentie. Ma simt onorat de faptul ca ceva creat de mine este atat de apreciat. Sunt implicat si intr-o multime de proiecte care nu sunt legate de fotografie, cum ar fi design-ul grafic si trupa mea, Sealions. Mai mult decat atat, fotografia mea acopera o multime de subiecte - nunti, editoriale, produse, familii, trupe, evenimente si asa mai departe. Mare parte din ceea ce fac se bucura de atentie, dar cred ca ideea unui lucru original si inovativ atrage mai mult decat, sa zicem, un portret clasic sau o fotografie cu o trupa. In cazul seriei "Persona", combinatia dintre diptic si povestea pe care o spune acesta atrage atentia. Acestea fiind spuse, lucrez la niste proiecte noi care sunt oarecum inspirate din "Persona", desi aduc ceva cu totul nou.

 

 

[3.] Ai putea sa-mi spui mai multe despre respectivele proiecte?

 

Unul dintre cele mai recente proiecte ale mele este o serie de portrete ale unor personaje, ce implica tot felul de costume si fundaluri elaborate. Altul este despre animale de casa si stapanii lor. Asta a inceput ca un accident, dar cred ca e destul de haioasa. Am mai fotografiat si pentru noua rubrica de street fashion a unei reviste locale de aici, din Atlanta. In ultima vreme am pus bazele unui proiect mare despre care, insa, nu pot sa spun inca nimic. Inca trebuie sa mi le pun pe toate in ordine. Va fi lansat undeva anul acesta si cred ca va fi cu siguranta de impact.

 

 

[4.] Asteptam sa vedem despre ce e vorba! :) Revenind putin la proiectul "Persona". Eu, una, il gasesc foarte intim, foarte personal. Arata lucruri private din gentile oamenilor si, prin asta, implicit, si din vietile lor, intr-un fel. Chiar tu ai spus-o, la un moment dat: lucrurile pe care le porti cu tine te definesc. Asadar, am vazut si o fotografie cu tine si cu lucrurile tale in seria aceasta, dar ce contine geanta ta la momentul de fata?

 

Chiar este personal! Am intalnit oameni care au refuzat sa isi lase fotografiate obiectele din genti. As spune ca, in general, oamenii sunt deschisi la ideea aceasta. Fotografia mea e destul de veche, trebuie sa ii fac un update. Chiar acum, lucrurile sunt cam aceleasi ca si data trecuta. Camera, desigur, iPhone, portmoneu, chei, pix Micron, agenda, laptop, balsam de buze, pana de chitara, carti de vizita. Am observat ca lucrurile oamenilor se schimba de-a lungul timpului in general datorita profesiei sau a situatiei lor actuale. De pilda, un student are cu el obiecte foarte diferite fata de un angajat. Lucrurile se schimba si de la o zi la alta, in functie de unde mergi. Daca locuiesti intr-un oras mare si esti mereu pe fuga, s-ar putea sa ai nevoie de mai multe obiecte in geanta. Nu poti sa ajungi mereu sa iei lucrurile care ti-ar putea trebui de acasa.

 

 

[5.] Stii, de unde vin eu, se spune ca nu e prea politicos sa te uiti in poseta unei femei… :)

 

Haha. Eu intreb mereu inainte! Cateodata las la latitudinea subiectului sa decida ce anume arata. E un experiment, scopul nu e acela de a fi invaziv. As spune ca in jur de 90% dintre ei nu au nicio problema sa isi arate toate obiectele. Si mai sunt cativa care doresc sa aiba optiunea de a "edita" putin. De pilda, daca nu vor ca cineva sa stie ca fumeaza, sau daca sunt jenati de ceva ce poarta cu ei la momentul respectiv.

 

 

[6.] Ai mentionat pana de chitara in lista obiectelor din geanta ta. Pe langa faptul ca esti fotograf, esti si muzician. Care dintre cele doua pasiuni ti-e mai aproape de inima si de ce?

 

Buna intrebare! Cum masuram dragostea? Fotografia si muzica, alaturi de ilustratie, design si productie de film sunt toate aproape de inima mea. Fie ca am o camera foto sau chitara in mana, sunt fericit, desi sunt forme de arta complet diferite. As spune ca fotografia si designul sunt mai aproapiate, dar compunerea melodiilor si cantatul sunt intr-un alt registru. Astea fiind spuse, imi place sa lucrez cu alti muzicieni si cu alti artisti. Mi se pare ca ma raportez mai bine si pot sa iau ceva folositor din toate aceste experiente. Incerc sa dau 100% din mine de fiecare data, indiferent despre ce este vorba, si faptul ca am diferite moduri prin care sa ma exprim ma ajuta sa mentin un nivel constant de creativitate.

 

 

[7.] Cum reusesti sa te imparti intre toate activitatile acestea? Se pare ca esti implicat intr-o multime de proiecte.

 

Nu prea usor, de asta poti fi sigura! A devenit destul de greu sa-mi impart timpul eficient de cand am terminat scoala. Incerc sa imi setez prioritatile cat de bine pot. Timpul liber mi-l folosesc, de regula, pe lucruri creative, fie ca e vorba despre recuperarea muncii din urma sau planificarea proiectelor. Uneori e destul de stresant sa mentii o cariera de freelancer, in special daca incerci sa creezi un echilibru intre arta si venituri.

 

 

[8.] Iti lipseste vreodata slujba ta cu norma intreaga?

 

Am avut cateva slujbe cu norma intreaga si, din cand in cand, imi e dor de rutina aceea. Am lucrat la un proiect urias de refacere a design-ului unui website, pentru o agentie, timp de aproape un an, si a fost extraordinar sa fac parte din acea echipa.

 

 

[9.] Cum arata programul tau intr-o zi obisnuita?

 

In momentul de fata difera foarte mult. As putea sa fiu la o sedinta foto intreaga zi, sa am intalniri cu clientii, sa editez fotografii, sa am repetitii, sa scriu sau sa particip la un concert cu Sealions, sa lucrez la proiecte de design sau sa fac ilustratii pentru un viitor show artistic, sau orice alta combinatie. Astazi (19 ianuarie, n.r.) am o scurta sedinta foto pentru o revista locala, am de terminat niste lucrari, de inchiriat echipament pentru o filmare care va avea loc weekendul acesta, de raspuns la emailuri si orice altceva mai apare intre timp.

 

 

[10.] Si cum arata o zi obisnuita de vacanta pentru tine? Sau ar trebui, mai intai, sa te intreb daca ai vacante? :)

 

Pe masura ce au trecut anii, vacantele au devenit mai putin importante pentru mine, atunci cand in discutie intra lucrul si planificarea. Am avut o sedinta foto de Craciun anul acesta! Au mai fost oameni care mi-au spus ca trebuie sa ma odihnesc, dar eu privesc lucrurile astfel: daca am timp liber ar trebui sa il folosesc intr-un mod creativ. Dar imi plac filmele, si cand iau cate o pauza, de regula e pentru a cauta inspiratie.

 

 

[11.] Nu devine niciodata coplesitor stilul acesta de viata?

 

Ba da, desigur! Dar exact asta ma incarca si mai mult. Sunt inca tanar si am multe in fata si sunt plin de creativitate, asa ca vreau sa mentin lucrurile asa! Da, e drept ca am cam trei sau patru caderi nervoase pe an, dar orice nu ma ucide ma face mai puternic. Incerc in mod constant sa invat si sa devin mai bun in ceea ce fac. Am multe de realizat si nu e timp de pierdut!

 

 

[12.] E bine de stiut! :) Care e cel mai mare vis al tau legat de fotografie?

 

Visurile mele sunt in permanenta schimbarea si evolutie, dar cred ca mentinerea fericirii in timp ce sunt un fotograf e o realitate. Fiecare pas pe care il fac e un nou vis. Mi-ar placea sa am ocazia sa fac mai multa fotografie de editorial si sa lucrez cu nume mari. Sa invat de la ei. Inca ma bucur ca sunt in stare sa creez proiecte. Nu am fost niciodata dezamagit atunci cand am avut camera in mana, asa ca am de gand sa continui in sensul acesta.

 

 

[13.] Numeste cateva persoane care au fost surse de inspiratie pentru tine.

 

Gasesc inspiratie peste tot. Cu siguranta sunt cateva persoane apropiate care m-au inspirat, la fel ca si fotografi si artisti si regizori din intreaga lume. Aici, in oras, am avut placerea sa lucrez si sa fiu inspirat de Stefan Kjartansson, Troy Stains, Julia Badovinac, The Coathangers, printre altii. Cateva exemple de surse de inspiratie la nivel mondial ar fi si Flickr, Tumblr, fotografii Magnum, muzica alternativa a anilor ‘90, Wes Anderson, Audrey Hepburn, Alphons Mucha, benzile desenate, Star Wars, John Hughes, Woody Allen si lista poate continua. Nu in ultimul rand, sunt inspirat de oamenii si prietenii din jurul meu. Toti cei care ma lasa sa ii fotografiez imi dau automat voie sa vad o parte din viata lor.

 

 

[14.] Spune-mi despre fotografia ta de nunta. Cum crezi ca e apreciata de catre ceilalti?

 

Fotografia de nunta e extrem de importanta pentru mine. Pun mare pret pe ceea ce fac si pe cuplurile cu care ajung sa lucrez. Am abordat intotdeauna fotografia de nunta in felul meu propriu si cuplurile ma solicita, de regula, datorita lucrarilor si stilului meu. Nu as renunta la asta pentru nimic. Toata lumea e mereu intr-o dispozitie foarte buna si faptul ca am posibilitatea sa petrec o zi atat de speciala cu mirii si cu familiile lor ma face sa dau tot ce am mai bun. Fac asta deja de mai bine de trei ani si simt ca am un stil bine definit si metode amuzante de a aborda diverse situatii. Cred ca ceilalti imi vad fotografia de nunta ca pe o extensie a lucrarilor si a personalitatii mele. Ador sa lucrez cu oamenii, si fotografia de nunta imi ofera posibilitatea de a umbla nestingherit, timp de o zi intreaga, printre o multime de oameni, capturand momentele in cel mai bun mod posibil. Nici ca as putea sa imi doresc o slujba mai buna.

 

 

[15.] Cat de usor/dificil este pentru cei care nu te cunosc sa-si deschida sufletele si zambetele in fata camerei tale foto? Hai sa luam, de exemplu, cazul fotografiei de nunta.

 

 

As spune ca in 95% din cazuri e usor. Daca nu i-am cunoscut inca, atunci e nevoie de cateva minute de acomodare, dar daca au ajuns la mine, atunci sunt sanse mari ca deja sa aiba o idee despre cine sunt si ce fac. Vreau ca ei sa se simta confortabil si, daca o fac, atunci si eu ma simt la fel. Simti destul de repede ce le place si ce nu le place oamenilor atunci cand au de-a face cu camera foto. Mai este si chestia asta imposibil de definit pe care o cauti in oameni, fara insa ca sa o ceri. Iti doresti ca ei sa arate si sa se simta cat mai bine in timp ce sunt fotografiati, iar partea aceasta nu e totdeauna usoara. Dar, pe masura ce incerci, gasesti cooperare din ambele parti.

 

 

[16.] "Designer/fotograf/ilustrator/muzician/alergic la pisici". Au! Sunt si alte informatii de acest gen de care ar trebui sa stie publicul tau? :)

 

Sa vedem. Ei bine, sunt pe jumatate daltonist. Asta face ca lucrurile sa fie cam dificile uneori, dar in acelasi timp imi ofera o perspectiva unica asupra lumii. In afara de asta, sunt acelasi om care eram si la 14 ani, doar ca acum am facut o cariera din asta. Creez mereu.

 

www.jasontravisphoto.com

www.jtrav.net

www.flickr.com/photos/jasontravis

 

Interviu si traducere in limba romana realizate de Ioana Filipas

 

Varianta in limba Engleza.

 

I found him on 9gag. Some of the pictures from his "Persona" series, recently featured in the Trending area of the website, made me want to Google him. I became more and more interested in who he is and what he does, as I kept browsing thorough his portfolio. The White Pages say there are currently 89 people named Jason Travis in the U.S. . Please allow me to introduce to you THE Jason Travis. [Photos: Jason Travis]

 

 

[1.] The quickest thing that comes to your mind: how do you think I discovered your work?

 

Being that you're in Romania and I'm in the United States, it seems likely that you discovered my work through the internet. My series "Persona" has been featured on CNN as well as various blogs and magazines around the globe. Reaching out pretty far this time!

 

 

[2.] True. Actually, while documenting on your work, it didn’t take me a lot to realize that you became known thanks to the "Persona" series. How do feel about that? Do you think that maybe you have some more important projects and works that weren’t paid enough attention?

 

As far as my photography goes, "Persona" definitely has had the most attention. I feel honored in any respect that something I created is greatly valued. I have my hands in a lot of projects outside of photography as well such as graphic design and my band, Sealions. Not to mention I cover a wide range of subjects with my photography - weddings, editorial, products, families, bands, events, and on and on. Most of what I do gets attention, but I think the idea of something original and innovative gets more than say a basic portrait or band shot. The combination of the "Persona" diptych and the story it tells grabs attention. That being said, I'm working on some new projects that draw some inspiration from "Persona" while creating something completely new.

 

 

[3.] Could you tell me more about those projects?

 

One of my latest projects is a character portrait series that involves costumes, props, and elaborate background setups. Another one involves pets and their owners. That came about as an accident but I think its pretty fun. I've also been shooting a new street fashion column for a local magazine here in Atlanta. Lastly, I have a big project in the works that I can't really talk about yet. Still working out the kinks. It will debut at some point this year and I think it will definitely have an impact.

 

 

[4.] Looking forward to seeing it! :) Let's return a bit to the "Persona" project. Personally, I find it very intimate, very personal. It shows private aspects of people's bags and, by this, of their lives, too, in a sort of way. You said it yourself once: the items you carry define who you are. So, I’ve seen a picture with you and your items in this series, but what does your bag contain at this particular time?

 

It is personal! I've had a few people say no to having their bags photographed. I'd say mostly though, people are open to the idea. I took mine quite awhile ago, I need to do an update! Right now its pretty similar to the previous one. Camera obviously, iPhone, wallet, keys, micron pens, moleskine planner, laptop, chapstick, guitar pick, business cards. One thing I have noticed is that people's items change over time usually depending on their profession or where they're at in their lives. For instance, a student carries very different items than a working professional. Items also fluctuate on a daily basis depending on where you're going. If you live in a big city and are on the move you might need more items in your bag. Can't always get to what you might need back at home.

 

 

[5.] You know, where I come from, they say it isn't very polite to check a woman’s bag … :)

 

Haha. I always ask first! Sometimes I give the subject an option to show whatever they feel comfortable with. Its an experiment, its not meant to be to invasive. I'd say about 95% have no problem with showing all their items. There are the few that like having the option to edit slightly. For instance, if they don't want someone to know they smoke, or are embarrassed by anything they may have on them at the time.

 

 

[6.] You mentioned the guitar pick in the list of items from your bag. Besides from being a photographer, you’re also a musician. Which of these two passions is the closest to your heart and why?

 

Good question! How does one measure love? Photography and music, along with illustration, design, and filmmaking are all close to my heart. Whether I have a camera in my hand or a guitar I'm totally happy, however they are two completely different artforms. I would say my design and photography are more closely related, but songwriting and performing are in another league. That being said, I love working with other musicians and artists. I seem to relate better and take away something meaningful from my experiences. I try to put 100% into everything I do, no matter what it is, and having different avenues to express myself helps me to maintain a constant level of creativity.

 

 

[7.] How do you manage to split your time between all these activities? It's seems like you're involved in a lot of projects.

 

Not easily, that's for sure! Managing my time has become rather difficult the past few year since graduating from school. I try to prioritize my time the best I can. The free time I do have is usually spent on something creative, whether its catching up on work or planning projects. Maintaining a freelance career can be extremely stressful especially when trying to balance art with income.

 

 

[8.] Do you ever miss your full-time job?

 

I've had a few full-time positions, mainly contract, and from time to time I do miss the routine of it all. I worked on a huge website redesign at an agency for nearly a year and it felt wonderful to be a part of that team.

 

 

[9.] How does your usual day schedule look like?

 

Right now it varies greatly. I could be a at a photoshoot all day, or client meetings, or editing/processing photos, or having Sealions rehearsal/writing music/playing a show, or working on freelance design, or illustrating for an upcoming art show, or any combination. Today I have a small shoot for a local magazine, finishing up some artwork, renting equipment for a video shoot this weekend, answering emails, and anything else that may come along.

 

 

[10.] And how does a usual holiday of yours look like? Or should I first ask if you have any holidays?

 

As I've grown older holidays have become less important when it comes to work and scheduling. I had a photoshoot on Christmas Eve this year! I've had people tell me I need to rest, but I look at it like this: If I have spare time I should be doing something creative with it. I do enjoy films and when I do take breaks its usually to get inspired.

 

 

[11.] Isn't all this lifestyle becoming overwhelming sometimes?

 

Sure it does! But that just gives me more fuel. I'm still young and have a lot going for me and am creatively charged so I want to keep the momentum! Yes, I have about 3 or 4 mental breakdowns a year where I freak out, but what doesn't kill me just makes me stronger. I'm constantly trying to learn and become better at my craft. I have a lot left to achieve and no time to waste!

 

 

[12.] Good to hear that! :) What’s your biggest dream regarding photography?

 

My dreams are always changing and evolving, but I think maintaining happiness while being a photography is a reality. Every step I take is a new dream. I would love to have the opportunity to shoot more editorial, and work with some big names. Learn from them. Being able to create projects still gives me excitement. Picking up a camera has never let me down, and I will always continue to pursue it in some respect.

 

 

[13.] Name a few persons who have been an inspiration for you.

 

I find inspiration from all over. There are definitely certain individuals close to me that have inspired me as well as photographers and artists and film makers around the globe. Here in town I've had the pleasure to work with and be inspired by Stefan Kjartansson, Troy Stains, Julia Badovinac, The Coathangers, among others. A few worldly examples of where I cull inspiration from would include Flickr, Tumblr, Magnum photographers, 90s Alternative music, Wes Anderson, Audrey Hepburn, Alphons Mucha, Comic books, Star Wars, John Hughes, Woody Allen, and the list goes on and on. Lastly, I draw a ton of inspiration from the people and friends around me. Everyone that lets me take their photograph lets me see a slice of their life.

 

 

[14.] Tell me about your wedding photography. How do you feel it is appreciated by others?

 

Wedding photography is very important to me. I greatly value the work that I do, and the couples that I get to work with. I've always approached wedding photography in my own way and couples usually approach me based on my work and style. I wouldn't give it up for anything. Everyone is always in a great mood and having the opportunity to spend such a special day with couples and their families in turn brings out the best in me. I've been doing it for over 3 years now and I feel like I have a grasp on my style, and fun ways to approach certain situations. I think others see my wedding photography as an extension of my body of work, and personality. I love working with people, and wedding photography lets me run wild for an entire day with tons of people and capture it the best way I can. I couldn't ask for a better job.

 

 

[15.] How easy/difficult it is for people who don't know you to open their hearts and smiles in front of your camera? Let's take the case of your wedding photography.

 

I'd say 95% of the time its easy. If I haven't met them then it takes a few minutes to warm up, but if they've reached out to me then chances are they have an idea of who I am and what I do. I want them to feel comfortable and if they do, then I will be as well. You get a sense pretty quickly of what people like and dislike when there's a camera involved. There's also this undefinable quality you search for in people without asking for it. You want them to look and feel their best while being photographed and that part isn't always easy. But, you keep trying and eventually there's a connection on both ends.

 

 

[16.] "Designer/photographer/illustrator/musician/allergic to cats". Ouch! Is there any other information like this that your public should know? :)

 

Let's see. Well, I'm half colorblind. That makes things pretty difficult sometimes, but also gives me a unique look at the world. Other than that, I'm the same person I was a 14, I just make a career out of it now. Always creating.

 

www.jasontravisphoto.com

www.jtrav.net

www.flickr.com/photos/jasontravis

 

Interview by Ioana Filipas

 

 

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