The eXTra finGer

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Interview with Elizabeth Young

q)Let's start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?

a)Elizabeth Young
New York City

q) Do you have any formal training?

a)Yes, I graduated from Art Center College Of Design, California.

q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?

a)Yes. I grew up in san Francisco, a very open minded city. My family also spent two years in Germany when I was a child. We would always travel during school holidays. I think being exposed to many different cultures and languages has been a big professional and personal influence.

q) How do you come up with your concepts?

a)My concepts come from many different sources. Sometimes I’m inspired by words, music or conversations with friends. Sometimes they are a reaction to what currently exists.

q) Describe your creations in a clear, concise and understandable sentence. What do you call them?

a)My photographs present a very specific worldview via colour, composition and emotional connection.

q) What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?

a)Film. Video. I’d love to collaborate with the right person or work on a book too.

q) What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?

a)I prefer daylight so anytime between sunrise and sunset works for me. The environment and personality/energy of people involved is important as well. I really dislike those giant photo studios that have lots of shoots going on simultaneously. They remind me of the junior high school cafeteria.

q) What are your artistic influences?...and …generally who or what influences you the most?

a)I am inspired by people who have their own voice and who have the confidence to blaze a path of their own. At the moment, I am inspired by David Armstrong. I love his use of natural light and the fact that he shoots at home. I’ve been familiar with his work since college but I didn’t realize that he shoots out of his Brooklyn brownstone. I read about his working style and home in a NYT article a number of years ago. It was inspiring because that is how I’ve been working/prefer to work as well. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to buy a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone too.

q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?

a)At the moment: Uta Barth. Trisha Donnelly. Javier Vallonrat. Veronique Branquinho. David Armstrong. Sophie Calle. Olafur Eliasson. M/M Paris. Francis Bacon. Dan Flavin. Donald Judd.

q) What is your next project? Exhibition? Collaboration?

a)My next project is an image book and lookbook for Inhabit, a NYC based knitwear company. I may also be participating in a group show called “Double X: Women Representing Women.” It will be at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

q)What are your plans for the future?

a)More pictures! I’d also like to spend more time in Europe.

q) Are there some web sites that You would like to recommend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?

a)I don’t know of any websites that fit the criteria but maybe a google search of the above artists? I do like and the M/M Paris website.

q) What sort of music do you listen to?

a)For a long time, I listened to only electronica. Now I’ve been broadening my horizons to include lots of other types of music. My most recent music purchase was Feist and a friend just gave me a CD of remixes of The Cure. I really love both of them.

q) Do you collect anything? If so what?

a)I try not to collect anything I’m a minimalist at heart. However, I would love to have a library full of books once I have the right space and budget. I wouldn’t mind collecting beautiful old houses either.

q) What do you do for fun?

a)Sleep, read, go to the movies, cook, practice yoga, swim at the beach and hang out with friends.

q) Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)I suppose my advice really depends on what the individual wants out of life – I know some people prefer to make $$ with mediocre work rather than starve with an original vision. For those individuals, I recommend partying/sleeping with the right people (supermodels, fashion editors, creative directors, art directors and agents are the best) while ripping off real artists as the fast track to success. Having the right connections is generally more important than actual talent. For those people who are actually interested in photography, I’d recommend being true to yourself and finding your own vision. It is the harder path but I think it is the more rewarding one.

q) Your contacts…

Elizabeth Young
212 358 5232


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