Artist Spotlight #2
Dear reader, you've already heard me talk about my second shooter: Christina Kumler, but I realize I've never truly introduced her. Thus, in an effort for us all to get to know her better, I've decided to make her my second artist that I spotlight. I sent her a few questions and she gracefully agreed to answer them.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did.
1. If you were asked to describe yourself as an artist what would you say?
More than likely, I’d smile and immediately think about how I’m maybe less an artist and more a story-teller. I always have been and I thank my parents for that. They constantly filled the house with opportunities to create stories, capture these stories in different mediums such as cameras, and then retell them over and over again. So, I suppose one could say that I use that passion to tell stories as fuel to my artwork. It brings me joy to share stories of people, events, and places.
2. There are many forms of art, what pulls at your heart strings, and can you describe why you like it?
It’s a close call between music and photography, but I would have to say that photography takes the top slot. I say this because I can really get lost in the photos that I take. To me, they’re rarely boring and many of the pictures have their own stories to tell and have already told me how they want to be edited. On my most recent trip, my first visit to mainland Europe, many of the photos I captured were asking to be black and white and rustic. They found familiarity and warmth, much like the sound of old popping records and soft-vintage voices, in the grainy-vignette processing. In contrast, my trip to New Zealand was filled with so much bold color. The deep greens of the rainforests, the bright pinks of the flowers, the piercing blues of the water.. I think this is why I never spend much time editing. I find that the photo knows where it wants to be already, and it’s only a few clicks of “dim that shadow” or “up that clarity” to get it there. And, that’s how I know it tugs at my strings: it’s ALMOST talking to me and seems to be… easy.
3. Describe your art in three words.
Seeing Feeling Being
4. In your favorite discipline of art what is your favorite subject to portrait (if you said writing, what writing genera do you like to do, if you said photography what is your favorite thing to photograph...etc.)
Why is this not an easy question lol… It’s so hard because overall, I think I am drawn to nature photography and coming up with cool ways to share the world I see around me; but then at the end of the day, I’m sucker for BW, often candid, portraits. Maybe that can be generalized to spontaneous candids? I just don’t think most people think of candids referring to “nature” in addition to people.
5. What is your favorite piece of work you've done and why?
For sure a tie between two shots, and ironically in categories that are mentioned in question number four. One is a photo capturing Aspens, mountains, and clouds off Last Dollar Road. The other is a portrait of Andrew Kumler at a random strawberry stand in New Zealand. I think they’re both favorites because I love the composition of the shots, the framing, that they never get old to look at, and because I have such vivid memories of what I was doing standing behind the camera and of the events surrounding the moment of those photos.
6.What would you say is the most important ingredient necessary for creativity?
Hmmmm, honestly being well rested and not being tired. I find that when I have a clear headspace, I can get lost in it. If I’m overworked, stressed, exhausted, and what-not, then I have no desire to look inside for inspiration or creativity.
7. What helps you in your creative process?
Going on adventures. Whether I’m surrounded by friends, or alone, and in a new area or old area that I’ve been through a million times but never stopped to be a visitor at, I feel that I can see the places and people with new lenses. Suddenly this shop I pass a million times as a local becomes this “amazing discovery” as though I’m seeing it for the first time.
8. Do you ever have a creative block, and if so how do you help yourself through it?
Creative block strikes most often when I need to deal with me-stuff. So, I find that cutting myself off of a schedule and obligations is a great first step. Then, I allow myself some scheduling flexibility and often turn to my close friends, who know who they are, and see what they’ve been up to lately and if they need help. It’s a lot of fun to help or shoot them doing their artwork and it motivates myself to get back into things. Seeing people in their own creative space is a gift in itself, then having it refuel my own creativity is just an added treasure.
9. What type of art are you horrible at but wish you could do brilliantly?
Playing the violin. I’m classically trained but I never really got great at it. At this point in time, I could probably work to get back to high-school level talented but I wish I could play like singing comes to me: naturally and just as a flow of “hey this bit goes here and these words are coming together nicely here.” Right now, I feel like I’m still bound to my set of tools/rules and have no vision or skills to break free of that.
10. As an artist, what are you growing towards...aka what are your artistic goals?
This one is tough because I’m not sure and I’m not sure if that means I’m an ambitious artist. I suppose my hope is never run out of the fuel and joy that keeps my photography passion going. If I can look back on previous photos and still be proud of them and don’t get sick of looking at them, I consider that a win. I still have plenty to learn about editing, camera settings, and vision. Along those lines, I really need to work on taking more time to play with photos and transform them into something I might not immediately see. This will come with taking more time in my edits.. Admittedly, I’m also not very much a visionary when it comes to photography and still don’t know if I’ve discovered “Christina’s style.” I keep working towards discovering ideas for photos and following through by continuing to watch and listen to what my talented friends create and share because I’m only me, and have my own eyes to see through, but seeing their ideas feeds my own. If I had to sum it up, I suppose my artistic goals include discovering what my style is and taking the time to look more closely at the work I’ve done. If possible, I hope to find ways that my style and photos can help people, either through encouragement, making them smile, or even helping in ways I’m not yet aware of.
11. Lastly, can I include a link to your work? If so, what is the link you want me to share