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THE UNLIMITED Magazine is a theme-based iPad quarterly that examines contemporary culture through a techie lens. Designed with features that encourage readers to swipe, push, tilt, listen, watch, and participate in,The UNLIMITED is a complete interactive media source. We bring forward the latest revolutionary inventions from across the globe, as well as the brilliant people behind them. We provide the platform for you to create your own individualized reading/viewing experience. 

Each issue of THE UNLIMITED comes with a carefully chosen topic, which we make sure to dissect to pieces. From wearable tech and cutting-edge artists, to unusual cultural events, and novelties in the music field, THE UNLIMITED is an internationally available format that is innovative in nature and timeless in essence.

Artist Profile

Filtering by Tag: interview

Tom Smith

The Unlimited Magazine

Tom Smith is not a digital artist. In his most recent show “Heavenly Bodies” the New York City based artist featured acrylic paintings inspired by the aesthetic of digital art. We sat down with the artist the hear more about his technique and his new video project "Tamala and the Volcano". 

 

THE UNLIMITED - Your work reminds me of digital art but it is not, describe your technique?

Tom Smith - I like for my work to go in and out of those two illusions.

For a few years I was doing collages  on paper that are cut into tiny strips and then glued together, so there is an illusion of it looking like a digital filter.  That was the entry point for me into painting and after doing that process, I took on the challenge of finalizing a painting without slicing it and combining it.

Last January while working in Brazil I started using this illusion of putting two different colors on a paint brush and creating these brush strokes that sort of mimic digital output or a photoshop filter, or pixels even. A lot of the paintings in the show are using that technique, which kind of echoes the process before of a painting that looks like it is digitally created but then when you see it in person you see all of the hand techniques to create the picture.

TU- What inspires you?

TS- I am not necessarily inspired by digital culture in any way. It is not so in the foreground of what I am planning for each painting. I think about it a lot as like building an environment that could be explored in space or in time.

"The light that is in each painting is specifically supposed to remind me of a certain time of day."

Your color palette is vivid and computer like which only adds to the digitized illusion, care to elaborate ? 

I am bit of an idealist, with color especially. 80% of the work that goes into my paintings is color studies. The colors are meant to inspire a certain type of reaction in the viewer as in other forms of entertainment. The color palette could come from a Disney or anime movie, more vibrant than true life but also referencing reality.

Can you tell us about your new piece?

I create these sci-fi surrealist videos that circle around idealism. In this case the idealistic vision of a woman or of a hero. In the video that I am working on now my character Tamala steps into the role of a volcano sacrifice. I shot the video in Iceland and under water on Fire Island. I also worked on a series of stop-motion animations that will be integrated into the piece. The final shoot will happen in New York using a green screen and the video will be released this year. 

@Kat_in_NYC

The Unlimited Magazine

Kat Irlin is a Russian born photographer now based in NYC. She gained prominence in the photography world through her popular instagram, which now has over 460,000 followers.

Were you a photographer before instagram?

No.

What were you before?

Before instagram, I graduated school with a degree in finance. Then I did human resources for 10 years. 

What was the big change?

When I joined instagram, I started getting really positive feedback on my work. I have always loved photography but I was never a photographer. I started posting pictures of New York for the most part in the beginning. The feedback had been great and people were saying, ‘oh, you should be doing this full time.’ Kind of thing. So at that point I was over human resources and kind of sitting in one place, and I needed something where I could be running around and getting creative. A year ago, I decided to take the plunge and do photography full time.

"I think the way I see things is kind of interesting because I grew up in St. Petersburg, which is a very beautiful, very European city. As kids we were always in some museum, or watching a play, so I think that made a huge impact on how I see things."

"There are images of New York that sell, the Empire State Building, a skyscraper, a sunset, a vanishing point. These are the images that people are most engaged with and get the most likes."

What’s the major difference for you between shooting with your iphone and a professional camera?

I think it is the thought that you put into it. You can create great images with the iphone. It is more about what you are trying to communicate, or if you are trying to create or portray, or say something with your images. On instagram it is more about posting something pretty, like your coffee. 

So when was the shift moving from iphone to regular cameras?

I think it was more actually learning to use a camera. I had never really used a camera, so I think it was more about learning. Right now I shoot with a Fuji XE1, and it shows because you see all these other guys with huge cameras. I mean I have a Nikon D800, but I mostly shoot with this, so you see guys with all big cameras and me with my little camera like snapping in everybody’s way. So yeah, learning to use the camera, and then when I realized I was going to start treating instagram as my portfolio more, versus just a social media platform. So now, mostly what I post is from the camera.

Do you think the instagram following has changed since you became more professional?

I think my following in general appreciates a good image. For the most part I don’t post like HDR or super colorful, mostly black and white, so I think my following is more artsy. 

You are some what an ambassador to the city?

I mean, yeah I love New York. New York is my favorite city. It is sort of my muse I guess you could say. It is amazing. The energy, the people. The atmosphere is ever changing depending on the season, or the year, or the day. There is no city like it in the world. It continuously inspires me. 

Do you see yourself going towards more dynamic photography or sticking with stills?

Instagram can try and create all these different tools, and videos, but its not going to work on instagram. People do not care about video on instagram. You go through your feed and literally spend a second on each photo. It is much less engagement with video. I think it is always going to be a place for stills. 

"I try not to follow other photographers, so I can always come up with my own ideas and creations. There is a very fine line between plagiarizing and being inspired. I see so many posts inspired by @kat_in_nyc but I mean you are just copying my freaking idea. I guess its not an issue, I should be flattered or whatever."

How do you see fashion and social media coming together?

My job as a ‘journalist’ so to say, is to be able to portray the most interesting way, but still applying my aesthetic. I try to make my imagery different from everybody else’s as possible. I try to capture a different light or a different edit, or angle. So I treat those images as I treat everything else, I try to have sort of my stamp on it. So when someone sees an image they know it is mine. Trying to also portray the mood that was there, or what the designers were going for. 

Do you see yourself doing other things in the creative world?

Everybody has an iphone and is a photographer. I have a friend who has done journalism in war epicenters, but now with all the smart phones there is so much less need for that. I think the content it moving away from being generated by agencies, to being generated by people. It is moving in a different direction that way. I think for myself I would like to get into creative direction. I have a good visual sense, so do a campaign for a brand or something.

Advice for someone else?

Have your own style. Something people can recognize you for.

 

Credits:

interview by: Karin Bar, photography by: Kat Irlin (taken from instagram @kat_in_nyc)