2017, A Look Back

Over the years my creative process has changed. As of late, I’ve been focusing on longer form photo series, as well as life outside of my artistic practice. And as I consider where I want my art to go from here, I’m reminded of pieces I’ve created in the past. Lately I’ve been enamored by my 2017 work.

You have to understand that this is not normal for me. I tend to create, be proud of what I create for a bit, then heavily dislike whatever it is for awhile. Eventually I’ll settle back into a level appreciation, but always feel like I could do better. Overall, I think this is a good creative drive, but it’s also a good feeling to legitimately feel proud of what you’ve made.

From changing my artist name, creating book covers,  youtubing, being a part of gallery shows and publications, to the beginning of my vitamin deficiency struggle and  pulling away from blog challenges and zine publishing, 2017 was quite the year on all sides of the spectrum.

In any case, here I present my favorite images I created in 2017, in order of creation.

Let me know what you think in a comment below. Maybe I’ll do some other look backs soon. :)

Continue reading “2017, A Look Back”

As I Lay Dying Behind the Scenes

I’ve shared the following images here a couple times now, whether posting them individually, or the story behind how they’re recreations of my first ever toy photos from 9 years ago. However, I’d like to take the moment to go into how I created each one.

I am so happy with how this one turned out. And it was actually a very simple set up. I took a pack of plastic wedding doves (about 1 inch wide each), painted them with varying shades of brown to create a more vulture-esque look, glued them to a blue gradient sheet of scapbook paper, then lit the paper from behind to create the sun effect.

This one I sadly don’t have any in-progress shots of, however it’s fairly straight forward – a horse drawn wagon from the flea market surrounded by green poly-fill esque scenery and fake mini trees. I then photographed the scene from a low angle and added the dirt like fog in post processing.

I designed this barn in tinkercad then printed it with my m3d. Once printed I painted the outside with brown acrylic paint and lined the inside with orange and yellow cellophane. I then placed a lit incense cone inside to create the swirling smoke effect and lit the barn from behind with a small studio light. The sky in the final image is cut together from multiple shots to get more fog. I then added the ash bits in post processing.

The background of this post is the barn you see above before it was painted. The tree is a dollar store Christmas village accessory with the white snow painted yellow. I then held the tree to the war gaming grass mat with clay and positioned the figures. The boy originally was holding a bag above his head. I cut this off and his hand went with it, so I drew his hand back in in photoshop.

And finally, my favorite of the bunch. I purchased a fishing pole and attached fish from hobby lobby, detached the fish and dirtied it up with brown acrylic paint. I then created a coffin in tinker cad and printed it, glued the coffin down to a piece of glass from a picture frame using e600 glue, then placed died preserved moss in and around the coffin. The base of this picture is a piece of scrap book paper and the water is clear glue. Fun fact, the glue never did dry and was a huge mess through this whole process, it achieve the solid edge, reflection and bubble effect I wanted however.

A Reflection

This post was originally published on Toy Photographers.


I shot my first toy photos 9 years ago.

I was 17, in Ms. Jen’s 11th grade English class, and chose to illustrate scenes of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying from a list of project options.

I really knew nothing about photography, but was slowly discovering that I liked it.

I outlined a few key scenes from the book and set out to photograph them. To my knowledge, I had never knowingly seen a toy photograph, nor did I think of what I was doing in any sort of category. All I knew was that it seemed the best way to represent a burning barn, brothers, horse drawn carriage, fish mother and vultures was through toys and maquettes.

The resulting photos weren’t what I’d now call good, but at the time I was quite happy with what I’d managed to create with minimal supplies and a point and shoot camera.

So now, 9 years later, some 6 or so years since I’ve actually considered myself a toy photographer, I’ve recreated those images with better technical knowledge and artistic vision.


“My mother is a fish.”

“The barn went swirling up in little red pieces against the sky and the stars moved backward.”

“Motionless, the tall buzzards hang in soaring circles, the clouds giving them an illusion of retrograde.”

“The wagon went on…the wagon creaks on.”

“Jewel is my brother. Cash is my brother. Cash has a broken leg. We fixed Cash’s leg so it doesn’t hurt. Cash is my brother. Jewel is my brother too, but he hasn’t got a broken leg.”

“Tell the same story again and again in an interesting way.”

-Christopher Niemann

Jewel is my brother. Cash is my brother.

“Jewel is my brother. Cash is my brother. Cash has a broken leg. We fixed Cash’s leg so it doesn’t hurt. Cash is my brother. Jewel is my brother too, but he hasn’t got a broken leg.”

An image inspired by William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

Read my full post over on Toy Photographers on this series here.

 

ho scale figures, model scenery grass and tree, 3d printed barn, scrapbook paper, clay

tall buzzards hang in soaring circles

“Motionless, the tall buzzards hang in soaring circles, the clouds giving them an illusion of retrograde.”

An image inspired by William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

Read my full post over on Toy Photographers on this series here.

scrapbook paper, small table top studio light, painted plastic doves

The barn went swirling up…

“The barn went swirling up in little red pieces against the sky and the stars moved backward.”

An image inspired by William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

Read my full post over on Toy Photographers on this series here.

3d printed barn, cellophane, incense, war gaming grass mat, model scenery trees, scrapbook paper

My Mother is a Fish

An image inspired by William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

A reshoot of one of my very first miniature images from 9 years ago. Check out toyphotographers.com tomorrow to learn my story behind this image and to see the rest of the series.

Dollhouse fish, 3d printed coffin, glas, clear glue, scrapbook paper, preserved moss