We all need inspiration sometimes, don’t we? So this got me thinking about who or what inspired me to create photographic images and I came to the conclusion that I had had a number of influences over the years, from photographers to artists to musicians. So here are some of my biggest creative inspirations…
Art: Frida Kahlo, painter (Mexico)
Frida Kahlo has been a huge inspiration of mine since my university days when I studied her work. Her paintings are autobiographical and poignant, recording some of the struggles she went through in her life… I love the honesty in all her work.
Photography: Steve McCurry
One of my favourite portrait photographers, Steve McCurry is able to capture the essence of a person in a way that very few other photographers can. I love his photo books and often flick through them for ideas.
Music: Heavy Metal
Heavy metal gave me the courage to be different. I got into it in my late teens and have never looked back… I like the rebellious image and the passion in the music that you rarely find in most popular music (although I do think you find something similar with opera though). I often listen to music for inspiration… in fact I listen to music EVERY day. My favourite bands? Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Linkin Park to name but a few…
Literature: Federico García Lorca (Spain) and Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)
These are my two favourite authors of all time. Lorca’s Romancero Gitano poems are beautifully written and his plays paint a vivid picture of rural Andalusian life and the role of women in society.
I love Magical Realism (Magic Realism is a predominantly Latin American genre that is characterised by the inclusion – as if it were completely normal – of fantastic or mythical elements into what would otherwise be realistic fiction). And García Márquez is definitely one of its biggest stars. If you haven’t read it, check out 100 Years of Solitude (Cien Anos de Soledad in Spanish), one of the greatest works of Latin American literature, in my opinion.
Region: Latin America
I did a degree in Hispanic Studies (and a Masters in Latin American Studies) and spent my year out in Mexico and Brazil (with a very brief trip into Argentina), which had a massive impact on my life… This remains my favourite part of the world to visit – I love the food, the music, the literature, the history, the culture and the way of life (everything basically!)!
Who or what are your influences, either creatively or otherwise? Let me know in the comments…