Boring Sidney Hats is a new photo set by Ric Colgan shot for Miroir Magazine “Surreal” edition, published on the November 2012. All hats are designed and created by Belle of Boring Sidney Hats and Headdresses.
Models: Ethereal Rose, Tyra the Irish Wolfhound, Jess Chantel
Hair and Makeup: LC Hair and Makeup
Exclusive interview with Ric Colgan by Miroir Magazine
Q: Tell me something about your history as a photographer. Did you have a formal school education or are you self taught?
A: Nothing very formal – photography classes in 7th/8th grade is about it. Everything else is trial-and-error and refining my own goals and skills, but I’ve always had a camera throughout my life – sometimes it sits on a shelf, sometimes I can’t set it down for months.
Q: We’re interested to hear about your basic inspirations that drive your creative energies.
A: I guess the “basic” inspiration is that I’m a visual person. it seems that almost all of my interests are graphically/visually inclined, and then it tends to relate to someone or something. I think that, in this, I work backwards.
Q: What were the circumstances that planted that first creative spark in you, and how is that tied to your current inspirations?
A: I think it must have started on long (boring) family road-trips. Drawing on scratch paper and playing with legos has become photography, and Computer graphics/programming.
Q: Do you have others in your family with creative energies?
A: I think everyone has something going on – but there’s usually a camera around – call it “self defense.” I got sick of other people always taking my picture – so I got a camera and started shooting back.
Q: Was there a particular person in your past that nurtured your creative instincts, like an artist, or a teacher, or mentor of some kind?
A: I’ve been very lucky – everyone has always been patient and supportive, pretty much unilaterally.
Q: Where is the source of your creative inspiration, initially, and how has it been nurtured throughout your creative endeavors?
A: I have no idea how to quantify this – ideas just pop into my head – usually in a rush and at odd times…
Q: Where does your creative process begin?
A: I don’t know – see above…
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: In the shower? it varies depending on so many things – sometimes it’s a visual, or a song, or a person, or a color…
Q: How do you feel that creating your “art” is a part of your lifestyle, and life’s plan for you?
A: It’s something that I enjoy, and it keeps me off the streets and out of bars – or away from the 7-11. It’s escape, like riding a motorcycle. For me, it’s an elemental place my head/soul can go to get away from work/job/etc.
Q: How has your creative nature influenced your personal relationships?
A: I think it amuses my wife? And I’ve met some truly amazing and talented people, but often I think that this question works the other way more specifically – the relationships shape my creativity.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: Sleep, eat, walk, work, lather, rinse, repeat. That’s why I like to get out and shoot.
Q: Do you have personal partnerships with others connected to your creative sense? Can you speak a bit about that dynamic?
A: I have (and have had) several very good friends with whom I enjoy being creative. Most of my personal “favorite” works are related to the story behind the shot, or the person in the shot even as much as they are “technically” good – they are frozen moments in time.
Q: Say something about the decision making process in your approach to what you do.
A: I wing it. No decisions. (I’m not giving away my trade secrets here!!! 🙂 Mostly it’s about the energy – from the people, in the idea, in the concept, the feel, and the mood – like music that changes and evolves, and it’s my “job” to read all that and make something of it.
Q: Do you ever want to get away from it all? What do you do for release, and to shake out the cobwebs of energy spent?
A: More recently it’s just a state of malaise – of general “meh” with the status-quo. I don’t really want to get away, I want to stand things on edge and shake them up. Getting the right people/ideas to do that is the challenge.
Q: How important, in your art, is the message? As in, imbedding a literal purposeful message into your artistic aesthetics?
A: None whatsoever. Part of the mystery of “ART” is NOT to force an idea/message. To me, the greatest part of “ART” is to let you come up with a message. I can show you a moment, but the story is yours (the viewer’s) to create.
Q: How do you feel living in your city/ town/ country, affects your creative energies or influence your work?
A: Hmmm… Probably the most challenging part of everything I do is location. I love where I live – ask anyone who’s been here – it’s a slice of heaven. But it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it’s the wrong dynamic/culture for what I really like to shoot.
Q: How do you feel the “cultural landscape” of your city/ town/ country affects your work?
A: I would say that (like above) the area where I live has almost NO influence – I take almost nothing from this area into my work other than the available locations for outdoor shooting.
Q: What do you think of art as activism?
A: Define “ART” and “Activism.” I think that there is a huge difference between people trying to push their ideas via “art,” and the creation of “art” that embodies a concept. To me, to have REAL impact, the image must be honest – almost photojournalistic, historical documentation, otherwise, I question the goals of the people presenting the concept…
Q: What is the power of your medium, and message, for you?
A: I’d be honestly surprised if people really understood this, but it’s that moment when I see the picture and it’s qualitative effect touches me. It doesn’t need to be “pretty,” but when it all “clicks,” and the image touches my soul, that’s it. No message – just seeing the moment, like a perfect sunrise – moments captured “perfectly” forever in my eye, or in my camera.
Q: If you do collaborative projects with others, can you speak about how this interaction with fellow collaborators works for you?
A: The best times are what I like to call “redneck shoots,” akin to the old joke where one redneck looks at the other and says “hold my beer I’m gonna try something” (except without the beer), pushing limits and trading ideas without bounds to see what might work. I’ll shoot collaboratively till the day I die – just for that fun.
Q: Can you say something about your use of storytelling, and its role in your work (if this applies)?
A: I think more of it is creating something where the story is YOURS to tell – the wonder of “what happened” or “why is that person doing that,” is more my style.
Q: How important is the audience in the personal drive you have to create?
A: VERY Important! Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, and I’ll go on creating ’til I die, but if I can’t share it, what good is it?
Q: How does personal intuition play a part in your life’s work?
A: My intuition or “gut” is pivotal (and not always correct, unfortunately). I’ve never been overly “technical.” For example, I wasn’t big on exact timing in the dark room, but did things more by “feel” (or sight?). I’m more organic on that level. I don’t have specific light setups or metering – I don’t want to be that repetitive – I like to keep evolving.
Q: What would you hope to accomplish in the next few years?
A: Good question – another one that I’m not sure I know the answer to – and if I did, I might not tell you (gotta keep SOME secrets!) 🙂
Q: As a unique voice in the larger artistic community, how does that effect your goals?
A: Ha! Am I a unique voice in a community? (Is that good or bad?) I don’t think it has any effect on my goals. My goals are more about ME doing things better, creating more/better imagery than I did before – refining and exploring.
Q: What is core to your personal mission?
A: The people who create with me. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.
Q: Do you have upcoming projects that you’re inspired with?
A: Another attempt to steal my secrets! No, nothing on the books just yet, but that will probable change 15 times by the time I finish these questions…
Q: What is your idea of success?
A: The WOW. That “click” when I see an image I created that makes my heart stop/click/melt/freeze… I think to myself “I could quit now and be happy…. Nope, I want more like this!”
Q: What makes you happiest?
A: My Wife. Being healthy/alive – also puppies and eagles (birds of prey) and marine animals… and a GOOD bacon-cheeseburger!
Q: What is your moment of perfection?
A: No idea – I’m never perfect.
Q: Where do you go when you need that fire inside you stoked?
A: It changes: Motorcycle rides, drives, sitting with my wife, walks, movies, music, books, magazines. I find though, that if I go looking for it, it’s not there. It’s when I stop looking that it finds me.
Q: What, to you, is art?
A: I used to have a pen (think “Flair” ) – that said “Art is what you can get away with.”
I think “art” is what you make of it, and what it makes of you. It’s whatever you like, or more importantly, anything that MOVES you or touches your soul.
Q: What’s the best part of being who you are right now?
A: I’m older and wiser that I was, and still stupid enough and young enough not to know better.
Q: What do you do in your ‘other life’?
A: I do that computer stuff. Programming, consulting, design, architect/evangelist, graphics, websites, etc.
Q: What is the next answer you have for us that we’ve all been waiting to ask?
A: “What’s the address that we should send your free hassleblad camera kit to?” That’s the question I want… 🙂
It’s not about “what the next question is.” It’s just great that there IS a next question. The communication and sharing of ideas and thoughts on “art” should continue and grow. That is the important thing.