Interview and Photography Showcase with Chris McVeigh
As I promised at The Stunning Work of Chris McVeigh post, here I'm featuring an interview and also a photography showcase to show you a bit more about Chris and his art. As I mentioned before, I really liked his work and creativity, so I'm pretty sure you will also like to know more about this artist.
As at the first post we focused on Chris's "toy photos", at this one we will focus on his beautiful and colorful photography. I really liked his perspective, his way of picturing scenes... He captures regular things with a whole different vision that you will be able to check out with the selection we've put together here, along with the interview!!
So, enjoy the images and the interview! :)
When did you discover your artistic vein?
I think I've always been creative. This is probably a result of my grandmother's careful nurturing; she encouraged me to draw and paint at a very early age. As I grew up I took on more complicated projects that included sprawling Lego cities and elaborate dioramas for my Star Wars figures. And in my senior year of high school I produced a weekly newsletter using a very, very early page layout application on my Apple IIgs.
How did you start working with design e photography?
As I mentioned above, I started using page layout applications relatively early (i.e., 1989) and my interest in design flowed from that experience. My first contracted job came in 1990, when I produced a calendar for the local School Board. This led to the creation of posters, signage and price lists for my campus computer store when I was at university (I was *NEVER* satisfied with Times Roman or Helvetica!) The story of how I went from creating signs for a computer store to contributing artwork for Microsoft ad campaigns is long and complicated, so I'll be succinct: In 1991 I created another paper newsletter, this time about Apple. I gave it away at the store I worked at, and a number of people suggested I put the newsletter into a digital format and distribute it online. This garnered the attention of a number of key people and segued into many different jobs: web designer, contributing editor, illustrator, and even animator. At some point, a close contact started working at the ad agency MRM Gould (now part of McCann Erickson). He brought me on board for several small projects, and I apparently did a good enough job that they would come back to me again and again. You can see some of the projects I worked on at http://www.powerpig.ca. I got a very, very late start with photography—just two years ago! I never thought I had any capacity to be a photographer and so never pursued it. However, at the encouraging of a friend (the same friend who got me started with the ad agency), I bought a digital SLR on March of 2007. It didn't take long before I realized that I could apply the same principles of design to photography, and moreover, photography was also a much faster and more forgiving process.
How did you improve your work and technique?
Trial and error, persistence and just a dash of obsessive-compulsiveness. I'm never satisfied with anything, so I keep pushing myself to do better. I'm entirely self-taught when it comes to both design, photography and even applications like Photoshop; I've found this the best way to wrap your head about technologies.
I know that you are also a technical writer, tell us more about that.
I've always had a capacity to write as well as illustrate, stemming as far back as grade school. My first independent effort was the newsletter I produced for my high school, called BHS This Week. My next major project was an Apple-focused e-zine (this is in the days before the Internet) called MacSense. Eventually I moved to macHOME (now defunct), which I contributed to in some capacity for almost eight years. I've not done much technical writing since that time, aside from writing iPhone app reviews for MacLife.com.
What do you like most on your job? And what would you say you don't like about it?
I love that I get to work from home, and that I can work as much or as little as I like. I also love that I can work without someone looking over my shoulder all the time. That said, I'm very goal driven and I feel an incredible sense of satisfaction when I've completed a major project or produced a well-received photo.
What are the softwares and hardwares you use to produce your art? What would you like to have in the perfect equipment or software to produce your work?
At the moment, I use a new 24" iMac with 4GB RAM/640HD. As far as photography goes, my workflow includes iPhoto for photo management and Adobe Photoshop CS4 for editing. (I have avoided Aperture/Lightroom simply because I almost always end up processing my pictures in Photoshop.) On the design side of things, I still use and love Freehand MX. (I will move to Illustrator CS4 at some point, kicking and screaming no doubt!) Other applications in my workflow include Fireworks, Flash, and of course, Photoshop. I think I pretty much have everything I need to produce my work, though I am waiting for a perfect display technology to come along. My eyes are sensitive enough that I can easily see minor variations in luminosity, contrast and color temperature across most modern displays. Hopefully, OLED (when it is finally mass-produced in reasonable sizes) will be able to overcome these flaws.
What is your main inspiration source?
I am not sure I can single out one central source of inspiration. I just find great satisfaction in being creative, especially if my creativity can also entertain a crowd. I think it helps that I don't take myself too seriously.
Which are your goals and future plans for your career?
I'm hoping I can capitalize on the momentum I have with my toy and chipmunk pics and become more involved with commercial photography. Overall, I just want to enjoy myself, and if I can do that and get paid for it, all the better!
Once again, thanks for the interview Chris. And to finalize, do you have any advises to the upcoming artists?
Thank you Gisele. My advise would be: do what you love and the money will follow. Old cliché, I know, but it's absolutely true. :D