Q: Tell us about your art and what inspired you to produce imagery about futuristic, science fiction or fantasy themes.
A: Much of my art is inspired by my constant need to visually escape reality, so I use a lot of futuristic elements that don’t exist to infiltrate the images I create. I’m constantly fascinated by technology, it’s relationship with us, and how to use it in alternative ways.
Q: Is there anyone who has strongly influenced your style or direction in art? Or is there any artist past or present who inspires your art in any way whom you wish to mention?
A: I’ve always had a great respect for Steven Klien. He produces strong images that I am constantly in awe of. Sometimes I get bogged down by a lot of photographers who do pretty work, and I respect his ability to push boundaries.
Q: Are you formally trained or self-taught? Tell us about your path as an artist.
A: I’m self-taught in photography and art, but I hold degrees in technical design. I kind of always knew I wanted to be an artist in some capacity, since I was 5, so my journey has been a continuous transition from traditional mediums to eventually understanding cameras and software. I think it gives me more of a unique approach though, so I’m fortunate to have learned on my own, and I’m constantly using my traditional painting techniques in my digital images, so no skill is ever wasted.
Q: Tell us a little about your preferred medium and technique, do you have any favorite products or applications?
A: I love photography, but technique-wise I often look at the digital image as an actual canvas, and then in post-production I’ll create the world I want with a foundation in painting. I’m a huge advocate of Photoshop, and I feel like it gives me almost everything I need for stills. Photography has also accidentally brought about my love for directing, so as I gradually transition into that phase of my life, I’ll be attempting to translate my 2D applications to video, which will be a challenge and an adventure.
Q: In a few words, what would be the perfect future, if you could imagine it into reality what are your hopes, dreams, or expectations for the world?
A: The perfect future to me would be one where the primary focus is respecting the planet and creating conducive living situations for all humans. One of the biggest challenges is in fact, survival and to create a habitat with minimal stress induced struggle and maximum ability for everyone to support themselves and have a home, that’s what I want to see. As far as myself and my perfect reality, I just want to be able to travel, create meaningful art across all mediums, and not have to worry about money. Seems simple but as most artists know, it’s a challenge!
Q: In practical terms, as things are going, do you see the future of human kind as a Utopia or Dystopia? Do you have hope for the survival of the planet? Please give us a brief explanation.
A: As much as I want a Utopia, I think we’re not doing a very good job at creating one. I see the planet surviving in my lifetime, but if we don’t start taking care of it, it’s probably going to be half on fire and plagued with natural disasters even more so, not to sound depressing! It’s kind of like when someone hits their most rock-bottom state, and then they think ok, if I don’t save myself, I’m probably not going to make it.“ and that’s what I think our whole planet will need to go through to wake up. Who knows, maybe the aliens will beam down and shake things up!
Q: Do you see yourself as a forward thinker, and if so what solutions would you propose for saving the world? Or do you feel it needs saving?
A: I feel like I’m constantly thinking forward within my work and overall life, but if I
had to save the world, jeeesh, that I’d have to think about! Right now, the world feels super angsty. Artists such as myself literally use art to escape or translate the deep emotions we carry based on our reality, so if anything I think we could all use some emotional stress relief. Can you imagine waking up and not worrying about bills and debt, and feeling alone or scared or inadequate? Being a planet that is so plagued with instability and extremes in wealth is a serious problem, and the more equal we are as a race of humans, the more I think we can work to better the future.
Q: If you could change any trend that has had an impact on our planet, what would it be and why would you change it, what do you feel it would change and how would it help?
If people could watch where they throw their trash, that would be a beautiful thing! As someone who is secretly obsessed with marine biology, I’m horrified by how much is dumped in our oceans.
Q: As an artist do you feel you have a voice which could influence or change your audiences view of world events? Do you feel it is a responsibility of an artist to bring awareness to certain issues?
A: I do feel like I have a responsibility to make an impact. It’s tough to fathom taking on a world issue though. For me personally, my current goal is to give a strong female voice to women in horror, who want to direct in that arena. That, in itself, is a beast to tackle. So for me, the issue of equality of opportunity in male-based industries is my corner of the world to impact.
Q: If you could go back in time fifty years, what would you tell the world to do differently and why?
A: I’d try to instill more respect for women early on, in life and in all industries. It’s still weird that in 2019, as a woman, I still have to fight hard for equal opportunity. I wish I could have been an advocate for women’s rights so that we wouldn’t even question equality now.
Ashley Joncas’s website: enigmestudio.com