I first met Mia at Shadowness at least a year ago from this posting as a Moderator and Staff Support member of this Art Community. She was somewhat rawer and less defined in her Photography, but like every great artist of subtle brilliance, Mia is becoming exponentially more highly skilled in her present chosen field of enjoyment. She has not only a natural eye for imagery, but also a well chosen variety of interests both within and outside of Photography, which keeps her offerings interesting and intriguing as the layers of the artist's creative heart are slowly revealed.
Please meet Mia Photographer and Traditional Artist, Mia Vanderson
Mia Vanderson "Stoergeraeusch"
On your Shadowness Profile you indicated nearly a year ago that, overall, you are a complete layman. A layperson or layman is a person who is not an expert in a given field of knowledge, and yet you progressively show with new uploads that your skill with imagery is improving in great strides. Is this “layman” assessment still true in your own eyes?
I have to build a story around this: A friend of our family came over, and he summoned me to try out his super expensive objective, gave me a lecture about everything you can do with this objective, this camera, and I thought, “Cool”, and started with trial by error.
To be honest: I've learned how to use shutter dissolve and exposure time properly just a few weeks ago. I have only the standard-objective (lens) for my camera, and my Photoshop skills are negligible. So yes, I would still consider myself a layman. And no, I don’t find any of this embarrassing. End of the story: I asked the friend what he likes best to photograph and the answer was, “Landscapes and such things”. I wanted to bite in his face. Equipment and theoretical knowledge will never be more valuable than passion and a splash of talent for me.
Do you expect to have a career in Art after school is complete? If so, what path have you mapped out for your approach to break into Photography when school is over?
That’s a tough question. Art was, and will ever be, the benchmark of my life.
I started tattooing 1½ years ago and I’m making my A-Levels (inter alia) in Art, so of course I would love to start a career, and I hope I’m good enough to do so, in the future. At the moment I’m aiming for an apprenticeship in the medical area, to have something like a “safety net” in case I lose my shutter-finger or my right hand.
What indications did you first have that you wanted to be in Photography? What grabbed your interest?
My father bought himself a digital-camera, and I took it to make photos, that is how it started. A few years later, I joined Deviant Art after a friend of mine told me about it, still using a (now my own) digital-camera. The SLR is in my possession since summer 2011, after my friend decided I could use it better than he could. It was he who told me shortly after he had just seen a few of my photos and that I’m talented and should continue. That gave me the confidence to get deeper in this subject matter. Of course the feedback I got from other people contributed to the process too, as my main goal, generally, is to affect people’s feelings and maybe even encourage them to take another look at certain things.
Does your Traditional Art get as much attention from you as your Photography?
In the world outside the internet, yes, even more than my photography, because I'd rather show people my paintings/sculptures than my photos. I think the reason why my Traditional Art isn’t as “popular” as my photography is that it’s nothing people generally admire, I don’t do photo-realistic drawings, or dip myself into paint and roll over a huge canvas (but maybe that could be a new project). My Traditional Art is mostly Tattoo-related, something I wanted to try and I want to improve at.
Some Photographers will specialize in things like, "Portraits", "Architecture", or "Landscapes", etc. Your work shows a flair for trying different things. Are you still finding your specialty, or are you instead, interested in continued variety in your work?
I think to continue with a concept for a period of time can be interesting, but I could never ever level my lens at the same things day for day. I really don’t want to specify, I need variety in my life and my art, otherwise I’d feel that I’m stuck. One constantly recurring motif is the human being, which implies variety itself.
Do you have the camera and equipment you want, or are you still working towards those? What equipment do you use currently?
I’m using a Nikon D40x, sometimes a (Saba) stand and Photoshop CS5 for editing. I’m thinking about a new camera lens, but haven’t decided which to choose, yet. In the near future I will build my own “studio-equipment” like a diffusor, reverberator and a setup for different backgrounds. I built up something like a relationship with my camera, so it won’t be replaced until it is broken.
Image quality comes with practice, to be sure. But is having a Photographer's eye a natural "gift", in your opinion, or does it require development? Can it be taught in school?
I don’t think you can teach someone how to see like a photograph in some random event/arrangement, but I think over time it can evolve if you are persistent. There are definitely people, whose Photographer’s eye is on a high standard naturally, and there are people who do photography for years and haven't accomplished more than a “standard” shoot.
You are a bit of a revolutionary and express things using
portrayals that could make some people a little squeamish. How far
would you push the envelope, or in other words, how far do you think
is wise for an artist do so, and to what end? Would you give us your
interpretation of "Korsett"?
“Limit” is an elastic term/ it’s very distinct, indifferent if from the Artist’s or from the beholder’s view.
Speaking of things like “Korsett”, I can say that, even if I really pierced needles through my skin (and that hurt of course), it was for the end result, not for the pain - and that’s my personal crunchpoint. I think there are more subtle and better ways to express a feeling of inner pain or so, than cutting yourself and take a photo of it…. that’s no real Art for me.
My biggest “fear” regarding this is to be labeled as someone, who I’m not. I like Body Modification and all things that have to do with it, but that’s just a tiny, obviously superficial part of who I am. It doesn’t define me.
My interpretation.. well, I like the way Play Piercings (that’s the correct term for it) look, and the term indicates what they are for. Otherwise, they are an expression of inner strength for me, not being intimidated by physical pain is a kind of Art for me. The title is because you name a Play Piercing decorated with a ribbon “Play Piercing Corset”.
(I have to add, that I find your interpretation very interesting, I didn’t think anyone would come up with something like this)
What do you think people can learn from you?
I might be a bad role model since I prefer rather to learn things by doing, and often failing. But maybe that’s the message: Try to do things more intuitively and view your mistakes as an opportunity. Everybody can fail and give up - the trick is to keep going and to have a kind of skip-jack mentality.