This week's 'Behind the Canvas' interview is really more of a 'Behind the Lens', as we chat with Art Perspective photographer, Allan Bailey. Allan has an extensive background in photography working both commercially as well as personally on projects that interest him. Over the last year Allan has been experimenting with his iPhone capturing images from his travels around Alberta. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Allan Bailey.
AP. Give us a quick background on yourself as an artist.
AB. I grew up just outside of St. Albert, AB - which for those of you unfamiliar with the area, is a city just north of Edmonton. I loved being outdoors as a kid, actually, I still love being outdoors. I think my passion for the outdoors is really reflected in a lot of my work. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, whether it was building things in the garage, fixing a car, or just sitting down with a sketchbook and a pencil and drawing. I personally feel that photography is a natural extension of all of that, and it is just another tool that I can use to create. I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I do for a living, to be a member of the PPOC, and to be recognized for my work.
AP. How would you describe the type of art your create?
AB. Spontaneous. When I am out, I am always observing my surroundings. I can frequently be caught pulling over the car and hopping out to capture a moment or something that has caught my attention. I find beauty in simplicity, regular everyday things. There is something about capturing those seemingly mundane things in an unexpected way that intrigues me. I also create for myself, I shoot what interests me, and then hope my agent can sell it!
AP. What project(s) are you currently working on?
AB. I always have something on the go, or some project that I am working on. If I haven't been out shooting I feel like I am wasting opportunities to capture something. The work I am currently shooting has a bit of a darker tone and feel, but that is likely reflective of the change in seasons and the shorter days.
AP. Where can people find your art? How can they purchase a work?
AB. I will gladly point anyone in the direction of my art agent! Thanks Art Perspective!
AP. You're welcome!
AP. Who is your favourite creative person? Why?
AB. Frank Miller is one of my favourites. He creates these stories and imagery that draw you right in. He is a great writer, one hell of an artist, and he's managed to be successful across multiple mediums and genres, including visual arts.
AP. What is your favourite album of all time?
AB. Metallica, Black Album. Hands down. I also love anything by the Beach Boys.
AP. If you didn't have to work what would you do with your time?
AB. Honestly, I would continue to photograph whatever interests me. It is just too much fun to ever stop doing what I do. When I finally put the camera away for the day, I'd be in the garage tinkering with things, working on an old Volkswagen. Plus, I'd have my kids with me the whole time.
AP. What is your favourite journey?
AB. I would have to say it is the journey I am on as an artist. For the last 16 years, gaining confidence in my work, learning, growing, setting goals, achieving those goals, setting new goals. Becoming a member of PPOC I am never satisfied with my current achievements I always want to keep learning and exploring.
AP. Do you have a favourite piece you have personally created? What is it?
AB. I have a terrible memory so for me photographing everything helps me remember moments, and special occasions. In particular the photos I take of my family and my kids, they are such great reminders. From an artistic standpoint, there is a photo I took of seagulls at the garbage dump that I love. The colours are really saturated and it is slightly over exposed, it looks really cool - it's not one of the ones you selected from my work to be represented though, lol... I suppose I can appreciate that not many people want a photograph of a garbage dump.
AP. What are your thoughts on the influence of fashion and music on visual arts?
AB. There is absolutely no question that they go together, like peanut butter and jelly. I think they are constantly influencing one another. What is happening in music can really influence the tone or feeling of a visual piece and fashion is the way, colours, imagery, they are all connected. Actually, I'd love to do a show where we match each image to a piece of music that captures the feeling, that would be really cool.
AP. Who is your favourite author?
AB. Koushun Takami's Battle Royale is an all time favourite. But whoever I happen to be reading at the time can easily become a favourite, Alan Moore or Grant Morrison. Comics are great too, they get a bad rap, but a great story is a great story.
AP. Where do you go for inspiration?
AB. I love playing with light and shadows, which makes it easy to find inspiration in every day things, where ever I happen to be. That is part of what makes photography so great, in my opinion, is that ability to play with and capture light and shadows they can have such an impact on the subject matter or on setting the tone or feeling of the shot.
AP. What is your greatest achievement in life so far?
AB. I don't think you can be a parent and not say your kids, as an answer to that question, but I know that also may seem like a bit of a 'cop out' answer, but it really is true. My kids give my life such meaning, and I absolutely adore them. Outside of my kids, it is being able to do what I love everyday. That is something I really want to instil in my kids is that pursuit of happiness, and following your dreams in that regard. So many people are not nearly as fortunate, so it is not lost on me that what I get to do is pretty special.
AP. What is your favourite colour?
AP. What is the one thing you want to share with everyone reading this?
AB. It has kind of been a recurring theme in my answers already, but really believing in yourself, finding that thing you love and going for it. Not worrying about what other people might think, say or do. You only have one life, so it's up to you how you want to live it.
For more information on Allan Bailey's work, or to inquiry about available works, please contact us at Art Perspective.