Austin Anderson @toy.at.heart

Today I’m very excited to share some insight into the fabulous artist, Austin Anderson. I became familiar with his work, and got to know him online and then later had the opportunity to meet him in person! He creates beautiful images and tells very compelling stories along with them. Read his interview here, soak in his images, then check out the links for more!

Which comes first your stories or your images? 

In my stories the image comes first. For the most part I need to sit on a photo before the words come together. That said, much like the way a map in a video game works, although it’s blurred in the beginning I know that it’s an area to explore. Once I get to that place something new will inevitably happen that may change or challenge the story in progress. Sometimes that happens in a day, sometimes it’s from coming back to a photo months or even years later.

What inspires your creation? 

I’m inspired by many things from all kinds of sources. I feel like what happens is that I absorb ideas, images, thoughts and something of my own grows. For instance, I’ve started a story and it almost writes as a rap song, because I like the flow of that storytelling but as a short story it doesn’t work and I have to change the anatomy of it. I’ll take elements of the flow or emotion that went into the original draft but make something entirely different.

Why toys? 

I’ve always used toys as a storyteller. I grew up making my own adventures with Star Wars toys, I even wrote my first short story based on what toys I had. When I was into wrestling, I kept a notebook of fake Pay Per View events to chronicle an ongoing story. When I was interested in filmmaking, I made up posters (text only) on a 3×5 notecard of fake movie titles and fake actor names and on the back of the card I’d write up a brief synopsis and fake critic quotes. I did take portraits of every toy I used (Star Wars, Gi Joe, knock out GI Joe, or anything in 1:18 scale that fit). Toys will always have a special place in my heart and I will never skip the toy aisle.

What draws you to Rey? 

Rey always sees the good in others, whether it’s new friends, fearsome adversaries or even dangerous creatures. She allows her emotions to show and when the galaxy needed hope, she was there to rise to the occasion. I grew up a Star Wars fan before the prequels came out and I thought the original trilogy was the last of Star Wars movies. At the end of the prequels I thought that was the end of Star Wars movies. So, when it was announced and we saw the first images  and a new trailer, for me, Rey became the symbol of joy and excitement for my Star Wars fandom.

What do you hope others get from viewing your images and reading your words? 

When someone reads one of my stories I hope there’s something in the writing that resonates with them or sheds light on something they haven’t thought about. 

What do you get out of creating? 

Toy photography is a hobby, an outlet and an excuse to play with my action figures. I get a chance to escape into another world when I create. Whether that’s through Star Wars or my #ToyAtHeartStory pieces, the goal is to have fun making something you like.

What do you like to do outside of toy photography? 

Outside of Toy Photography I’m a bit of gamer. I’m a part of 4 person squad that regularly plays Call Of Duty Warzone. I also just started an ASMR channel on YouTube with a focus on video games for world building. 

Thank you so much Austin for sharing with me and my blog readers!

Find Austin here:

More Toy Photographer Interviews & Info:

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