1. Your’e a multidsplinary, acting and photography to name a few of your talents. By being a multidsplinary do you feel it allows you t explore your creativity as opposed to being stuck in one industry?

Absolutely! My interest in each of my chosen mediums happened quite organically and because of this, I find they are intrinsically connected. My passion for storytelling started with a love for movies and for the escape they provided me while I was coming of age. I later became involved in my school and local community theatres and then asked for a camera at Christmas and fell in love with creating and exploring my own narratives through my own lens. I became more immersed in my small artistic community and started auditioning for films and even acting as a cinematographer on some of them. Because my passion is storytelling, all of these mediums give me a different avenue to realize that passion. It’s incredibly rewarding to have opportunities that allow you to explore and give life to stories that you believe in in many different ways.
2. How would you describe your photography in one sentence? 
 The greatest stories are those that lie beyond what the eye can see.
3. Film or Digital?
Digital.
4. Why?
I don’t have the same access to film equipment that I did when I was spending more time in NYC, and especially while I was in school. I find that digital is more freeing for me, although film is still the most magical way to take a photograph in my opinion.
5. How do you start a project? What’s the thought process?
My interest is usually peaked by reflecting on a certain time in my life or finding something I connect to and feel, that I must say through my work. My work naturally flows from my own experiences and is most definitely influenced by the environment in which I find myself. I am currently working on a projected exploring the experience of marginalised identities here in the South and am actually using a circle of people that I encounter in our local social scene frequently. It’s interesting because it makes the work personal; it has to be personal.
6. How has your identity shaped you? Has your personality and past life experiences played a important role in your endeavours?
My identity and who I am has become much clearer to me in recent years. My work started as a means to explore who I was after a period in my life where it became incredibly confusing to see myself clearly, so my past has played the biggest role in the development of who I am as both a person and as an artist.
7. Your imagery seems to take cues from a past life. Presenting itself in ambiguity through old references, is this something that has been intentional or something which has had a natural development?
It is both natural and intentional. I was always intrigued by these small southern towns that seemed as though they were lost in time or in some David Lynch movie perhaps because of how stagnant my hometown felt to me while growing up. Nothing ever felt like it was moving forward with the rest of the world, and I suppose I may have identified with the decaying buildings around me whose glory days were slowly being forgotten. There is also this juxtaposition of what seemed to me to be this outward perfection of the 1960’s (the past) that was really just a curtain for what was happening on the inside of so many people, and within the walls of so many homes. It was this incredible juxtaposition that really resonated with me, and that is always somehow lurking in the work I create. I have always been seeking to really get at the truth.
8. What does a typical day in the life look like?
I wake up and usually immediately check and respond to my emails, although this has become a compulsion throughout the day at this point: me endlessly refreshing my inbox anxious at what new opportunity awaits me. Right now, I am working on a few different collaborations and , as I mentioned earlier, a new body of work that has taken more logistical planning than anything I’ve ever done before because of the fact that I’m branching out into more uncharted territory. I am very excited to be in the final design stages of a collaboration with Wombat Paris on a Limited Edition Art Box that will be presented at Les Rencontres d’Arles in July.
9. Final Words?
Do what feels right to you. Don’t lose your voice in the sea of people that attempt to mold you into their idea of who you should be!
Photo Credit: James Michael Martinez

Author Mannase Team

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