The Mentor Program here on Shadowness have several mentors (and students!) up for grabs who delve into different areas, mediums and have different kinds of experiences. This interview series which will come out every Monday (instead of Monday Feel Good) will let you know a bit more about each mentor on the list.
If you find an interviewed mentor interesting, don't hesitate to send them a private message and if they say yes contact me so I know who's mentoring who! You can of course sign up as a mentor and/or student in search of a mentor, on the list, by sending a private message to /Caja
My name is Eric Hamilton. I’m a 23 year old recent Penn State grad who majored in Film/Video, while minoring in World Literature, and for the time being living in downtown State College, PA. I’ve been a member of Shadowness for who knows how long, and followed Shadowness since /7Shadows ' early years of Shadowness. It’s actually a big reason I became interested in Photoshop and Graphic Design. This eventually lead me to my current exploits in film and photography.
What does ART mean to you?
While everyone has their ideas of good and bad art, preferences of style, content and medium, art means expression and the transmission of ideas, ones that make you think, and more importantly, make you feel. It’s what the human connection is all about really.
What is your art form? And how long have you delved in this?
First, because of my many avenues of artistic interest, I’ll attempt to keep these short.
Photoshop: I’ve done an array of work in PS involving web design or other realms of graphic-related design since I was in the 6th grade, so roughly...I guess it’s been a whopping 12 years, give or take a few days and months. I work mainly doing more vector-based illustration with a healthy understanding of typography. This also extends into my photography background.
Film: Pretty self-explanatory. Roughly about 5-6 years delving into the world of cinema as far as production goes.
Photography: Not exactly sure when I started, but it was a few years before I became involved in film. So I would say about 7-8 years ago. Anything from portrait to sports, to fashion and photo manipulation. This has greatly improved with my understanding of film, and vise versa.
Drawing: I’ve drawn my whole life and I’m not even sure I can remember if someone taught or made me begin drawing, but after that, there was no stopping me. Though I don’t draw much any longer, though I’d like to, my knowledge is strictly self-taught so I may not use the “correct” terminology but can explain things just the same.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that prompted your choice of art form?
I mentioned Shadowness (so, really /7Shadows specifically), but other factors was being an only child. I would draw a lot because I was shy, and when I noticed people thought I was good at drawing, the positive reinforcement from my mother and father really helped to keep me drawing throughout my life. I was inspired by my classmates when I was younger because “drawing fever” took over and all of the other males seemed to get competitive over drawing. This made me want to do better. Friendships over drawing formed, strengthening my interest. Having gone to a Methodist church and having to routinely be acalight prompted me to draw often in church on notecards in pews. You could say church made me want to escape through drawing. Really, drawing was a pleasing escape from things. Eventually with my fascination of Dragonball Z, I began to be really influenced and kind of obsessed with drawing Goku and many others from the show, and this carried on for years until my studies took over most of my time. Everything around me influenced my drawing and for me to draw in my opinion. The same kind of process occurred with what evolved into Photoshop, photography, and film. Music has always been a forceful factor as well.
How would you describe your art to someone who haven't seen it?
I honestly can’t say. Even after thinking about it, I feel as if I can’t say because my work isn’t like that of a painter or something that can be described or referenced easily. I’m still learning, as every good artist will tell you. Ultimately I can say that I like to change someone’s perspective, and show things in a unique light that I feel is my own.
Have you had education in art or are you self-taught?
Both. Allow me to explain:
Drawing I learned by means of simply drawing a lot. I have tons of drawing in textbook notebooks and it was simply from drawing different styles that I believe I learned what I know today. Photoshop I learned through the early versions of Shadowness, as wells tutorials. The rest I learned through experimenting.
I was taught the technical side of filmmaking, but for the most part my dabbles in photography really taught me filmmaking but just from trial and error and watching lots of movies. I took two levels of photography classes to see if there was much more to learn. I can’t say a learned nothing, but mainly what I learned was through projects and experimenting.
Who and/or what inspire you?
Here’s a small list of the main little things that make me want to create:
What is the greatest lesson in art that you've learned?
You can never please everybody.
What can you teach others?
Photoshop, Filmmaking, Drawing, Photography
What tips can you offer to better oneself in his or her art?
Take what you learn from other with a grain of salt and to be open to positive and negative criticism. The negative stuff is the best, even if you don’t want to hear it. You’ll sometimes come up with new ideas even if you don’t agree with an opinion. Use your interests to make something out of nothing. And “less is more”.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
If anyone ever has a question, you can contact me on Shadowness, or by e-mail (e.roc.steady @ gmail.com). I’m open to collaboration, critiques, etc. I’ll be sure to help the best I can.