In my 20’s living in NYC with several roommates I/we developed an interest in photography. I bought a Canon SLR and a large zoom lens and we shot black & white. We converted our apartment kitchen to a darkroom!
What style of art do you use most?
I mainly create fine art nature photography. And abstract photo images.
My life purpose is to help others, to help others improve their life. I implement this through my blog, my books and my fine art photography which is colorful and adds a pop of uplifting color to any wall and can be seen and enjoyed and immediately lifts one’s spirits, every day, forever.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
Yes, I have developed a very good eye and now use 3 editing apps to create the final image. And thanks to digital photography I now do color photos. lol
What medium do you use?
Fine art photography.
What made you choose that medium?
I converted my talent from 20+ years of designer high fashion photography to fine art photography.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
Mostly from life. I see an object and can visualize it as a fine art photograph. I do not know the final result until after editing et al. Sometimes it turns out to be a masterpiece and I am thrilled. Sometimes it turns out to be “acceptable” and I am satisfied. And sometimes it ends up in the trash and I am disappointed. I never know until I finish the entire process of shooting and editing. That is the nature of photographic fine art.
How long does it normally take you to complete a piece?
It normally takes me 3-4 hours to complete a batch of photos. I go out, find things to photograph, shoot some photos, come back home, edit the photos and, if acceptable (or a masterpiece) upload it to my account at Fine Art America. Sometimes all my photos are good, sometimes only one is good enough to keep and sometimes no photos are acceptable re my standards. I now have over 1,700 fine art photos in my FAA portfolio. It took me over 3 years to create the photos, for an average creation rate of more than one a day.
Do you enjoy the creation of the piece or the finishing more?
I very much enjoy the thrill of finding something to creatively photograph. The subject could be anything, a thing of nature, something made by humans, the possibilities are endless.
Do you work in a studio?
I do my fine art photography in the great outdoors. In Los Angeles, which also has many urban wilderness areas. After a shooting session I then take my camera home, upload the raw photos to my laptop pc, use 3 editing programs, and upload my chosen photos to FAA.
Which other artist, dead or alive, would you love to meet?
Ansel Adams, a pioneer in nature photography. Ansel Adams said, “You don’t take a photo, you make it.” He was right.
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
I do not have just one favorite among my 1,700 works of art. I have a dozen or so favorites.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Sometimes an hour. Sometimes 3-4 hours, Sometimes days. It depends on how many photos I take.
How well do you take criticism?
Criticism? My biggest and toughest critic is … me.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
Luckily, I have not had a creative blockage. When I feel one coming on, I simply go out, open my eyes and find something interesting to photograph. It works!
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
When I have gone through my 20 steps of editing I am done, finished. That doesn’t mean I like the end result, it just means I am finished.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
I prefer the modern online market by a third party who does all the enlarging, printing and shipping and payment acceptance. It’s very efficient, is a worldwide marketplace, and gives me the time and ability to focus on creating my art.
What are you currently working on?
I am waiting for the several days of rain to end so I can once again easily find something to shoot outdoors, preferably something dry.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on simply continuing to create fine art photographs. I may invest in a new $1,000+ camera. Maybe take some day or overnight trips to widen my source of subjects, to discover new and different things to photograph. Photographically speaking, in my opinion, the world is a huge wonderful ever-changing place, with unlimited things to see and photograph.
I am of two minds. One is my realistic real life analytical mind. The other is my creative side, my art mind. The two co-exist very well and I can switch quickly and easily.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist? What advice would you give new artists?
As I am self-taught the best advice given to me was “Start taking pictures. Learn as you go.” That is the same advice I give to beginners. In fact, I wrote and offer a free book, “Fine Art Photography; how to get started”. It’s available as a free pdf via my website CoolColorPhotos.com
Do you think the internet has altered the way artists can get known? If so, is it easier or not?
Before the internet, and social media, artists could basically only sell their art via galleries and dealers and art shows. Now, anyone can create their art and offer it for sale worldwide via online sources. Has the internet made infringement easier etc? I do not worry about my art being infringed and it is not economically feasible to officially copyright each one.
Have you done any courses to help you?
I am 100% self-taught. In pretty much all areas of my life. In today’s online world you can find out how to do almost anything you want/need to know. Except sometimes the instructions are so complicated and technical that I cannot understand it or do it. I make a joke about that: “Only a techie, or an 11-year-old, knows how to do it.”
What do you do to market your work?
I cannot seem to navigate social media, it just doesn’t work for me. My experience is that none of the major social media seems to work as instructed. Too complicated and too technical. At least that’s my experience. I tried. I would have to hire an ongoing marketing person or a techie or an 11-year-old (with parental permission) to properly and continually market my art online. That is something I would consider, if/when I win the lottery.
So I do not use social networking much in my daily life. My art is a solitary art and I like it that way. I maintain my website, CoolColorPhotos.com, and my online portfolio on Fine Art America.
Are you available for work (commissions)?
I do not think that, in most cases, commercial work or commissioned work would be a good idea for me and my fine art photography. That’s a reflection of my personality. I like to be independent and in control.
I am a Taurus. I am VERY smart. I am not a fancy person. I like comfort. And quality .And good proper customer service via telephone, which is a rarity these days. I am thankful and grateful for being alive and able to basically function.
Have you got hobbies?
Yes, I do have hobbies. I write life improvement books (andrew-lawrence.blogspot.com), I write a blog, (Stu Pitt Stuff) and consider my fine art photography a hobby, until I make at least $250,000 (or more) a year as an artist.
Do you have a significant other? Are they supportive?
Yes, we are together more than 30 years. As we don’t choose to have children we did not marry. Instead, we share her women’s designer high fashion business, I do the photography. She is very supportive of my fine art photography, as long as I make myself available to shoot her designer fashions.
What do your family think about what you do?
I really don’t have much family. In the past and throughout my life my family was supportive in all my endeavours, as the endeavours were lawful and moral.
What do you dream about when asleep?
It could be anything. I did notice that some of my best ideas come while I am asleep. And when showering. And when taking my daily walk.
Where are you based?
I was raised in Upstate New York, spent 20 years in New York City, and have lived in Los Angeles for decades. The weather here is fabulous! Nearly 300 sunny days a year. With low humidity.