I love Mike Simi’s work and, when I approached him, all I could think about was how good that shot of his sock puppet is on his web site – -the one where someone is being eaten by his artwork. After he agreed to do the shoot, I had the hardest time concepting what I was going to do with the image – I could not get that image out of my head! I really wanted to shoot outdoors to get away from that look and feel but it had been pouring rain here in Seattle. I saw this pinata unicorn on our counter back lit by the rain and I knew I wanted to use it – but only if I could find the perfect alleyway and no rain but a somewhat interesting sky. Voila! All the pieces came together and this image was born.
While I was in Vancouver, I also had the opportunity to photograph Hine Mizushima, an amazing puppet stop-motion animation video artist, illustrator, and crafter. This is one of those cases were I went into the shoot with a pretty strong idea in my head but when I saw this corner in her kitchen and saw the colors she was wearing, I scrapped all that and went with a simple and clean portrait. I love the slight Mona Lisa smile on her face and the honey bears of course! And, if you’re feeling a little blue, you need to check out one of her videos for They Might Be Giants (like this one here) — you can’t help but smile when you watch it!
This past weekend, I ventured north of the border to Vancouver, British Columbia to photograph the amazing artist, illustrator, painter, and all around super nice guy Mark Atomos Pilon. He cheerfully opened his doors to myself and my family, our kids played, we made some photographs. I borrowed the astronaut helmet from one of my daughter’s little friends (thanks Oliver, Michael, and Lisa!) and thankfully Mark provided the ray gun!
This is the artist 179 (a.k.a. Angelina Villalobos). I love her murals, the first one of hers I had seen was the gigantic one she worked on here in Belltown. I love the way her animals weave and bob — I thought it would be fun to make 179 a whimsical creature as well! She was excited to do it so my 4-year old daughter and myself were off to have fun with paper mache! Today, we set about to shoot — we did two set-ups: one in front of one of her murals on lower Queen Anne and the other over in Golden Gardens. I wanted to get away from the stereotype of street artists being photographed in front of some of their murals. I love the ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ aesthetic of the woodsy image but also love the set-up in the more urban image. What are your thoughts?
Artist and poster designer Nat Damm.