We are happy to present the latest in our series of artist interviews here on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone. This week, Jose Chavarry, a frequent, and much appreciated, contributor to the Pixels site..
KB: Jose, please tell us a little about yourself – where you live, if you hail from Earth, anything like that. Whatever you feel like sharing that isn’t covered in the questions below.
JC: I hail from Santa Clarita, California, which is about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. The city was the inspiration for the town in “Edward Scissor Hands” which pretty much sums up what it’s like. I’m 33, a father to a beautiful little girl, and a huge Celtics fan.
KB: How long have you been shooting pictures with your iPhone?
JC: I purchased my first iPhone in 2007. I’ve been taking pictures ever since.
KB: How often do you work on your art?
JC: Everyday. If I’m not taking pictures, then I’m usually processing them.
KB: When did you get serious about it, and what was the turning point for you?
JC: I originally purchased the phone when my daughter was born to document her growth and share pictures with family and friends. It wasn’t until I started playing with a few of the photo apps that I realized the creative potential of my phone. The images I took began to come alive. It was (and still is) exciting.
KB: What do you like to shoot? When? How does your whole creative process work? And how has it evolved?
JC: Everything. If I see something that grabs my attention I take a picture of it. Sometimes the lighting is horrible, or for whatever reason I may not be as close to my subject as I would like, and there are even times I can’t even see what I’m shooting because of the glare on the display screen, but I do my best just to trust my instincts and hope for the best when I process.
My favorite style of shooting is street photography. I get so excited when I see somebody tha t inspires a photo. New York City is a walking museum with so many works of art gracing our sidewalks! I’m not big on using too many applications, and I rarely crop or straighten- maybe one out of 300.
KB: Do you work in any other creative mediums, i.e., painting, music, writing, etc.?
JC: I have my MFA in Theatre. I’ve been Acting for almost 15 years and have recently started to direct.
KB: Do you spend time online looking at the work of other iphontographic artists?
JC: Everyday. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how often I visit Pixels to check out what other artists are doing. I’m constantly blown away by the images I see.
KB: Do you study other art forms?
JC: Aside from Theatre, I haven’t had any formal training in any other art forms, but i have always had a love for music, art and films.
KB: Have you done a lot of traditional photography? If so, are you still using your camera as well as your iPhone?
JC: If so, are you still using your camera as well as your iPhone? I could be wrong, but I don’t remember ever owning a traditional camera. For now I can’t imagine shooting with anything else than my iPhone.
KB: Who are some artists – in any medium – you admire or have influenced you?
JC: There are so so many people who I admire and am influenced by that it would be impossible to list. I have, however, as a result of this website,recently discovered the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson. His work and life have really been an inspiration.
There are many, many artists from various museums and galleries who have moved and inspired me. There is nothing as glorious as being in the same vicinity of an artist and his or her work.
KB: What is your basic app kit, or Camera Bag, as Marty Yawnick calls it. How has your use of apps evolved over time?
JC: In my case it feels more like an app storage unit. Some of my current favorites are Camera+, Plastic Bullet, Lo-Mob, Iris photo suite, Pic Grunger, Pictureshow, and a fairly new app, which has brought much joy to my life, Blur-Fx. I’m generally using a combination of these to process my images. There are times when I may only use one, but that’s rare.
KB: Are there any apps you don’t like?
JC: If I don’t like something I don’t use it.
KB: Are there any specific improvements you would like to see made to existing apps?
JC: I would like to see the DXP app support full resolution. I really love the app, but never use it anymore for this reason.
KB: Are there any apps you would like to see developed/invented?
JC: I’m pretty content with what’s out there.
KB: When you feel you have reached a creative stalemate, and believe your work is not cutting it anymore, do you have any tricks for breaking out of artist’s block?
JC: Looking at other peoples work helps me a lot. My fail-safe is hanging out with my daughter and taking pictures. Seeing how she discovers and interacts with the world is what got me inspired to take pictures in the first place.
KB: What features would you like to see implemented at the Pixels: The Art of the iPhone website?
JC: I know the website will be changing, but I really love how it is now. Being able to include a link to artists other work would be a nice edition. When I see an image I’m blown away with, I immediately want to see what else they’ve done.
KB: A last word perhaps?
JC: Just a great big thanks to you and your support of this art form. Also, a big thank you to other fellow iPhoneographers and friends for their encouragement.
KB: Thank you, Jose.
You can see Jose’s striking contributions to Pixels: The Art Of The iPhone by clicking here.