29.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Interview with Ian Durkin

iandurkin-drawingonthepast

 

This drawing above is a submission to our Drawing On The Past project, by filmmaker/photographer Ian Durkin. He wrote:

“50 years ago my dad along with his four brothers and my grandfather began fixing up a run down farm in Vermont. By the time I was alive, the vermin had long moved out and what was left was a magical home filled with old treasures. I grew up there alongside 15 cousins and six dogs, building forts and jumps all day. Just getting outside, exploring the woods and fishing and stuff. It ruled. It was also there, at Foxford Farm, that I first felt compelled to start documenting things with video and photo because we were doing things that I thought were so fun and so cool that I wanted to be able to re-visit it always and remember.”

 

Interview with Ian Durkin

 

Jeff Hamada: I’m writing to you from my Vancouver apartment, I’m listening to “What’s The Altitude” by Cut Chemist. Can you describe where you are right now?

Ian Durkin: It’s 10:53 PM and my window fan is my prized possession on this hot Brooklyn night. I received the Lewis “L’amour” album in the mail today, which I’m listening to in my apartment. I’ve been trying to track down a copy for years now and to my delight, a re-release arrived unscathed at my doorstep by way of Washington.

 

 

JH: What kinda last name is Durkin anyway?

ID: It’s the kind of last name that without fail becomes one’s only name. Perhaps it rolls off the tongue easier than “Ian”, but every time I meet someone, it seems that my first name gets dropped fast. I believe that it’s an Irish name.

JH: The same thing happens to me with my last name actually! What’s your favourite thing about living in New York?

ID: I’ve made some great friends in New York, which is my favorite part. There’s also always something interesting to do, which is amazing, but also tricky when you’re trying to buckle down and get work done.

JH: Is working at Vimeo as cool as it is in my mind? In my mind, it is the best.

ID: It’s pretty great. I’ve been there for over three years now and I’ve yet to be bummed to head into work in the morning. You need to come visit sometime and I’ll show you around!

JH: I’d love that! How often are you even at home? You strike me as someone always heading out on some wild adventure; how long till you move to a cabin in the wilderness?

ID: I’m at home a fair amount. I do like to get out and go on trips, but hanging in New York is super fun as well. I don’t think I’ll be living here forever though, so that cabin in the wilderness, or just a smaller town is always on my mind if there is a means to get there and a way to make it sustainable.

 

 

JH: I haven’t really skated at all since I annihilated my ankle on a rail (full disclosure: the smallest rail in the entire universe) many years ago. I still snowboard and stuff but there’s something about even watching skateboarding that makes me want to make things. There’s like a primal energy to it; I love watching skate videos while I work or draw. Can you talk a little bit about what skateboarding means to you.

ID: I’ve annihilated my ankle on smalls rails too. Really classic move. Skateboarding to me is just a fun thing to do with friends before and after work. It’s also an excellent vehicle to take you to odd parts of the city that most wouldn’t find cool and to meet new people.

JH: This is a triple question: What’s your favourite film, your favourite skate video, and a bad movie that everyone makes fun of you for loving?

ID: I have a lot of favorites. “Beginners” just popped into my mind. I liked that one a bunch. I really loved the “No complies, Wallrides and Shuvits” Polar web video that Pontus Alv made a few years ago. I return to that often. And I grew up watching a lot of Disney Channel original movies. So if we were flipping through the channels and “Motocrossed”, “Jonny Tsunami” or “Brink” were playing, I’d be pretty jazzed.

JH: I love “Beginners”, it’s the only movie I’ve ever watched twice back to back on an airplane (maybe partially because I’m in love with Melanie Laurent). I also posted that Polar video on Booooooom, it’s so good! Okay, what song do you want played at your funeral?

ID: Anything with a live horn band. Horns are so joyous, and I think it would be a nice touch for the occasion. I suppose I should befriend some horn players to make sure this happens.

 

 

JH: I like to end interviews by asking what’s something you wanna do by the end of the year, and what’s something you wanna do by the end of your life?

ID: By the end of the year, I hope to put out at least a couple more short videos that I’m proud of as well as take a lot more photographs. By the end of my life, I hope to own land and a house. The idea of having a home to work on and grow a family in is really appealing to me.

 

iandurkin.com

 

 

28.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Caroline Krajenbrink

carolinekrajenbrink

Another submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Caroline Krajenbrink for submitting.

She writes: “The two people in the drawing are Kristin and Melle. These two friends of mine are the most crazy, creative and intelligent people I know. The place in the drawing is an old abandoned building at the campus of Universiteit van Twente. We broke into it and wandered around during evening. I love how adventurous my friends are. They add something nice to my life and make it so much better.

Unfortunately Kristin got back to America two weeks ago. She was an exchange student here at the art academy I also attend. I will visit her one day and have some adventures in America.”

I’ve been hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. 3 lucky people will also receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project you have one week left to get your submission in! Read the instructions are below!

 

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22.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Interview with Laura Austin

laura-austin

 

My friends at Herschel Supply and I launched an art project last month called “Drawing On The Past”. We want you to draw a person, place, or thing, that’s had a positive impact on your life. It’s open to anyone to join, so do it! As a little extra incentive we’ll be giving away Herschel products to some random lucky people just for submitting to the project! Get the full instructions HERE.

This drawing above is a submission to our project by photographer Laura Austin. Remember, I’m more interested in the story than your drawing abilities.

She wrote: “Travel has helped mold me into who I am today and will continue to shape who I am in the future. From strengthening my father-daughter bond when I was a little girl, to incluencing my career decisions now, and continuing to make me a more open-minded human being… the idea of travel and the experiences I have taken away from those adventures have had a huge impact on my life.”

 

laura-austin1

 

Interview with Laura Austin

Jeff Hamada: Where was the last place you travelled to, where are you now, and where are you headed next?

Laura Austin: The last place I travelled to by car, Palm Springs for the 4th of July, a typical getaway for us Los Angeles folk. By plane, the little island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts to visit family a few weeks ago. I am currently back at my place in Los Angeles for the moment. Next I will be going on a mini road trip through some California mountains for a photo shoot I am doing. I don’t have any big trips planned at the moment.

JH: Do you find it hard to be home? I feel like you’d be always antsy to leave.

LA: After growing up in small mountain towns my whole life and now currently living in Los Angeles, I do crave for open spaces and outside-city adventure often. I wouldn’t say I’m too antsy to leave because I have crafted my life into having the satisfaction of knowing I can leave when I want. I’m traveling on a pretty regular basis, however I value my time at home to reconnect, re-energize, and reorganize.

JH: What is it about photography that you love so much?

LA: There is so much about photography that I find gratification in. My career background was in graphic design, then journalism, and now photography has become a perfect marriage of my appreciation of aesthetics I took away from design, and the story telling I loved about journalism. But most of all photography has become a vehicle to travel to and really appreciate so many places, as well as meet so many amazing new people.

JH: Describe the best photo you ever took.

LA: I can’t say I have a favorite image yet, and hopefully never will; that way I will always remain hungry.

 

laura-austin2

 

JH: When was the last time you saw a great photo op but put your camera down and experienced the moment without looking through the viewfinder?

LA: Over time I have learned to do this more often. When I started out I always had a camera glued to my face, which was probably necessary at the time. The last time I avoided going for the camera was cruising around Nantucket in a boat during sunset while everything turned orange and rays of light were bursting through the low-lying clouds. I opted to avoid the camera and just lay back and watch. Some moments are better enjoyed that way.

JH: Who is inspiring you these days?

LA: My parents for creating lives for themselves out of their passions. Amanda Jasnowski for color. Jeremy & Claire Weiss for work ethic and doing it as a married couple. My boyfriend Jared Eberhardt for confidence. All the young, talented, and hungry for lighting a fire under my ass. This list could go on forever.

JH: You’re young and you’ve been able to take things you love to do and turn them into a job; do you feel like you’re already living your dream? What’s missing?

LA: Yes and no. I am living the dream I had for myself years ago, but my aspirations are continuously changing. That’s what keeps me going, the satisfaction of reaching your goals, but always wanting to do more. At the moment I’m working on finding a large space in downtown LA to use as a live/work space which will hopefully inspire more creativity, that’s what’s missing short-term at the moment.

JH: If you had to give up either traveling, snowboarding, or photography which would it be?

LA: My answer to this will probably bum some of my peers out. I’ve had some of the most amazing times of my life snowboarding, but it is the one I would give up since I’ve already dedicated a large chuck of my life to it. I know there is so much more I have to experience through travel and photography and I wouldn’t want to cut myself short there.

JH: What’s the best piece of advice someone else has given you?

LA: Happiness matters most.

JH: I’ve been finishing interviews by asking what’s something you want do by the end of the year, and what’s something you want do by the end of your life?

LA: End of year – create and live in my own creative space. End of life – have no regrets.

 

Laura Austin on Instagram

Laura Austin’s Website

 

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Deadline for submissions is August 4th. Full project instructions HERE.

16.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Interview with Artist Mandy Tsung

mandytsung-drawingonthepast

My friends at Herschel Supply and I launched an art project a few weeks ago called “Drawing On The Past”. We want you to draw a person, place, or thing, that’s had a positive impact on your life. It’s open to anyone to join, so do it! As a little extra incentive we’ll be giving away Herschel products to some random lucky people just for submitting to the project! Get the full instructions HERE.

This drawing above is a submission to our project by Vancouver-based artist, Mandy Tsung. If you’re in town she will be painting at SNAG tonight.

She wrote: “Russell Alton changed my life. He moved to be with me in Vancouver shortly after we became a couple 5 years ago and, since then, I’ve become a better person. Because of him, I’m more socially conscious and politically minded, more outspoken about my beliefs, more confident in myself. Our life together seems nearly effortless as we both follow our dreams of making a life out of our art. He reminds me to be less serious and helps me to enjoy every day.”

Interview with Mandy Tsung

Jeff Hamada: I read that you were born in Banff and then grew up in Calgary, does Vancouver feel like home now?

Mandy Tsung: Vancouver has been more of a home than anywhere else in that I feel like I fit in here. The people here and the community of artists have been very welcoming. Having spent the majority of my life in Calgary, I was always dreaming about escaping, for a variety of reasons. Whereas Vancouver is always a pleasure to come back to.

JH: What’s your favourite part about living in Vancouver?

MS: I love Vancouver because it’s so lush and green all year round. I can go out and enjoy nature whenever I want. Living here has enabled me to live more frugally because simple pleasures are everywhere.

JH: That’s my favourite part too; I think I’ll always need to live in a city where I can get outside and into nature really easily. Do you have any pets?

MS: I don’t own any pets myself, but I foster cats. It’s really wonderful to watch an animal gain trust in you and to help it socialize so that it can be a good pet to someone else. I definitely get attached to every cat but I think it’s important to learn how to let them go. It helps me to appreciate the time I have with them and not take them for granted.

JH: If you could go back in time, to when you were just fresh out of school, and give advice to yourself what would it be?

MS: I guess I would tell myself to enjoy a few years of unadulterated freedom and not worry too much about getting into a career. I spent a lot of time after school trying to find a “thing” that would make me money – fashion design, wearable crafts, kaleidoscopes, etc. My family are all entrepreneurs so that mindset came naturally. In the end, it was when I wasn’t thinking about how to monetize my skills that I found my calling. I was recovering from knee surgery and began doing big figurative drawings. I was so enthralled with them that I couldn’t stop, and that was when I knew I’d found it.

JH: What people or things are inspiring you these days? Can you talk a little bit about one or two specific things, and how they’re directly or indirectly influencing your work?

MS: I’ve been feeling the need to grow lately, so I went to some demos at Opus by Cori Creed and Justin Ogilvie. Getting to watch them working was incredibly beneficial, more so than just reading about techniques and looking at art online. Things really clicked right after I watched them.

JH: When I was younger I never used to draw real things because I didn’t like it when people told me that wasn’t how they were supposed to look. Do you ever feel any extra pressure when you’re painting a portrait of a real person as opposed to a mythical creature?

MS: I think I use realism as a safety net. I have a hard time being objective about my work, so if it at least looks realistic I can hold into that, otherwise I don’t know what is good or bad. As I’ve begun to move away from realism by using unusual colours and animals, it has been very freeing and I spend much less time worrying about getting things to look “perfect”.

JH: Do you make sculptures anymore?

MS: I do sculpt now and then. It’s not traditional sculpture, but I’ve been working on a ball-jointed doll for a long time and a lot of ideas that I have revolve around it. I’ve had ideas to incorporate sculpture into my paintings as well but my home studio doesn’t allow for power tools or anything too big. It’s hard to find time when painting is paying the bills and the limited income means I can’t be frivolous with materials.

JH: Has making a living off of the thing you love taken any of the fun out of it? How do you keep a balance?

MS: I would be making art regardless of whether it made me any money, and a big part of creating, for me, is showing other people – it’s how I communicate. I keep it from feeling like a job by always giving myself room to experiment and learn. It’s vital that my work doesn’t become an enactment of a routine. As soon as I feel like my paintings are becoming mechanical; like I am simply a robot, I switch things up. Sometimes I worry that my work looks inconsistent or unfocused because of this, but I’d rather feel passionate about what I’m doing every day.

JH: I can really identify with that. It’s a lot harder to develop a recognizable style if you keep changing things up, but it’s easy to get bored doing the same thing over and over. I think a person can slowly trap themselves in a style and one day realize it’s not actually fun anymore. I usually end interviews by asking what’s something you wanna do by the end of the year, and what’s something you wanna do by the end of your life?

MS: By the end of the year I would like to have a show/work schedule nailed down so I can move to Berlin in the next few years! By the end of my life I’d like be able to say that I made a real difference in the world, however that may come about. Perhaps that I’ve influenced public policy on the environment, or gender equality, or racial politics. Something like that.

Mandy Tsung on Tumblr

Mandy Tsung on Instagram

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

15.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Mallory Lucille Rose

mallory-lucille1

Here’s another great submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Mallory Lucille Rose!

She writes: “There’s a large age gap between my sisters and I; this print is the bedding from their childhood, and then of course, mine. I’ve always seen my sisters in a golden light – wanting to be more grown up and cool like them. When I moved to San Francisco (grew up), I borrowed this bedding from our parents. I’ve always been a “nostalgic hoarder” for my family and this print reminds me of home, being a child, and wanting to grow up too fast. It more specifically reminds me that I am still a child and the desire to be ‘cool’ like my sisters is the reality I’m living! Life’s funny that way.”

 

Mallory Lucille Rose on Tumblr

Mallory Lucille Rose on Instagram

 
 
I’ve been hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. 3 lucky people will also receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

 

Read More

13.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Eben Haines

eben-for-Booooooom

Here’s another terrific submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Eben Haines!

He writes: “It’s hard to write something like this without sounding overly sentimental or hackneyed but my younger brother has always been a model for me. Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia when he was six, by twenty he maintains a fluency in three foreign languages and can read and write in several others. I doubt he knows, but his resiliency and determination have fed my efforts since we were kids, and his support and inspiration have been a driving force in forming the artist I am today.

 

Eben Haines’ Website

Eben Haines on Instagram

 
 
All this month I will be hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. I’ll be picking a couple more this week. 3 lucky people will receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

 

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10.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Maria Nguyen

maria-nguyen

Here’s another gorgeous submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Maria Nguyen! I featured her work (see here) after she submitted back in April.

She writes: “This is Linh Nguyen, my sister. Growing up with Linh was not the easiest thing in the world because of her illness. She would constantly follow me around and did everything I did. I constantly got annoyed but looking back I realized her willingness to learn and explore was like no other. I am still trying to learn how to be like her every day. Thanks to her I see the tremendous value of human life and the importance of not taking people for granted.”

 

Maria Nguyen’s Website

Maria Nguyen on Instagram

Maria Nguyen on Tumblr

 
 
All this month I will be hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. I’ll be picking a couple more this week. 3 lucky people will receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

Read More