I felt really honored when Irene Suchoki graciously agreed to be interviewed for my "artist of the month" feature. To say she is a talented photographer and artist would be an understatement. In her profile on Etsy, she says, "I enjoy experimenting with different styles and techniques, both in-camera and in my digital darkroom. Faithfully capturing a scene is less important to me than finding that little bit of mystery or evoking a certain mood. I like to explore the ethereal, the surreal, the whimsical, the mysterious, and the beautiful. I enjoy creating little poems for the eyes." I love how Irene calls them "little poems for the eyes", and this philosophy definitely shows in her work. Even the titles of her prints are beautiful! (For details or to purchase, click on the photos.) I asked her a few questions recently, and here's what she had to say.
1. How did you first get interested and started in photography?
I have been an on-and-off photographer for about 12 years, but for the past 3 years, I have been serious about it, taking photographs regularly and developing my artistic vision.
2. What inspires you most as you photograph and create?
I'm inspired a lot by other works of art and by ideas - an image may come to me as I listen to a song, or read a book, or look at another photograph or painting. I then try to recreate that image I've seen in my mind's eye. When walking about with my camera, I'm often inspired by abstract compositions that I see in nature to which I try to bring some kind of order, as well as by beautiful light. Let's just say that photography has been the only thing to inpsire me to get up for sunrise (I'm truly not a morning person otherwise).
Certainly. My collections are as follows:
- The Texture of Life - These are primarly photographs of landscapes and flowers that have been overlayed with textures, such as paint or antiqued papers.
- Square format/TTV - This collection includes Through the Viewfinder photographs (TTV) that have been taken using a combination of a digital camera and a vintage Duaflex camera (in some cases); and in other cases, photographs that have been manipulated in photoshop to look like TTV images. Square format simply indicates that the prints are square rather than rectangular, so that people who are looking to create a grouping of similar (square) images can easily find them.
- Landscapes and Flora - are pretty self-explanatory. These have not been overlaid with textures.
- Infrared - Photographs that have been taken with a specially modified camera that is sensitive to the infrared spectrum. Results are often rather surreal, as anything which is green in the scene (such as grass or leaves) appears as white and blue skies go very dark.
- Black and White/Sepia - Photographs that have been converted to black and white or toned sepia.Fine Art - NoteCards - Single (or sets of) greeting cards that can be created from any of my photographs.
- Print Sets - Smaller photographs (4x6 and 5x7) that can be purchased in sets of 3 and 4.
4. How long does it take you, on average, to create a print from start to finish?
That's a tough one to answer. Any photograph that is taken on location, obviously takes time (there is travel time to get to the location; time spent observing and photographing), and that's just to get the raw image. I then have to sift through the images and pick the ones that have the most potential or that draw me to them for some reason. Since I manipulate my photographs in one way or another using Photoshop, which usually involves experimentation and trial and error, that adds more time to the process. Getting to the "final" photograph can take anywhere between 2 hours and 12 hours or more. I don't know that there's an average time really.
5. What gives you the biggest "rush" in this business?
Number one is most definitely the creative process itself. Either having a vision ahead of time and bringing it to fruition, or starting with an image and slowly uncovering its potential and meaning through a process of experimentation and discovery.
6. Where can people view your work?
Right now, my work can be primarily seen online in the following places:
- My Etsy shop:http://www.irenesuchocki.etsy.com/
- My main website:http://www.irenesuchocki.com/
- My online shop:http://isphotography.myshopify.com/
- My flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37043062@N00/
I've also had my photographs exhibited during the Sundance Film Festival and at an exhibition called Etsy!, featured Etsy artists, in Brooklyn.