Every artist is influenced by the world around them. The people, places and things that define my work are what the Influencers post is all about. I hope you find inspiration from what you read/view.
Nastassia’s work was first introduced to me via Facebook friend René Couret. I was wowed by her level of creativity, especially with her “Selfies” which has inspired me to come out of my shell and work on my own self-portrait project. Additionally, I love her use of symbolism and frequently marvel at her ability with photographic design. Find out more about what makes this beautiful and talented light scribe tick by reading on.
How did you get into photography (or a specific genre of photography)?
I started taking pictures around the age of 14 with a camera I bought after saving money working at a bookstore. I loved capturing moments of my friends in extracurricular school activities. Once I got to college, I took up a few darkroom classes and a digital course where I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop. When bored, I enjoyed taking images of myself and editing them into scenes and ideas. It was quite entertaining for me to do when my friends weren’t around to hang out with.
How do you want others to view your work?
People can currently view digital versions of myself portraits online and take it as creative self-expressions of my personal thoughts. However they interpret it is completely up to them.
Who are the artists that influence and inspire your work? Why?
There are many. But just to name a few, I love the old masters of painting, such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte. Their surreal paintings take me to another world. Artistic photographers, like Cindy Sherman and Lorna Simpson because they use themselves as the subjects in their brilliant work. I love celebrity portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz, because she’s beautifully capture some of the most iconic people of the 20th century.
What do you like most about your own work?
I take all kinds of pictures, weddings, engagements, concerts, special events, but my favorites are the ones in which I am the subject. Having an idea in mind and seeing it transpire to something tangible that others can look at and appreciate is a great feeling. To express myself in that medium is wonderful because I’m able to create another reality for myself, a place where my dreams become images that others can see. Visually, I love how colorful and surreal some of the images turn out to be. [I] truly believe it’s a direct reflection of me. As a creative soul at heart, I feel whole when I’m using my talent to express myself. As a photographer, my artistic self-portraits (and other works) have been an interesting way for me to connect with others in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
What about your works brings you joy?
The messages I receive are truly awe-inspiring and touching. Recently, a girl from Texas wrote to me saying she grew up deeply discontent with the color of her skin. The “mixed” photo split in half of one dark skinned light skin girl reminded her of that internal struggle that she had survived. My photo she saw reminded her that she was beautiful. Another person wrote me saying that my college debt photo was “his life summed up in one image”. The fact that I can create mere pictures that others can relate to or helps them feel better about themselves humbles me and is one of the greatest joys my work brings.
What do you do to positively influence the next generation of photographers/visual artists?
I hold digital photography workshops at college universities and do presentations of my work. Next week I’ll be speaking about my photography at a Summer Reading Program in NJ to art students. I look forward to doing even more in the future!
What are some of your favorite processes and techniques?
I enjoy using a long exposure technique; I’m always surprised with the results I get. My “Arise” and “ArchAndroid” self-portraits are a couple of great examples of that long exposure technique. Additionally, using the Clone tool is fun because it’s a quick and easy way to make an ordinary portrait something extraordinary.
How can readers find out more about you and your work?
I want to sincerely thank you for this interview and for sharing my work with your viewers. I can be found on my twitter, Facebook and blog links which are listed on my official website – http://nastassiadavis.com. I also sell most of the work posted on my website. If anyone is interested in purchasing, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.