A Conversation with ArtHerd: Creating a Community Through Creativity

ArtHerd is a photographer and art director who produces thought-provoking pieces by collaborating with other artists. We sat down with them to discuss why they think community and collaboration is such an important part of the creative process.

What is the process you use to turn conversations with creatives into a piece of work that you produce?

When I first thought about creating ArtHerd other than being part of my name, I really envisioned creating a community(a Herd) of collaborators, creating a platform not only highlighting my own collaboration with the artist, but their own work also.

With all the projects I work on I like to work instinctively. When I say that, I mean that I really just go with my gut. It really depends on the artist, as to what starting point I ́ll begin with.

Sometimes I will simply look at a person or their work and I’m able to start thinking up a narrative for the project. I really enjoy working this way, as it can often be like creating an alter ego and it’s really interesting to see the Artist ́s response to a character or story that is inspired by them.

Other times, an artist might come to me with a project they’re working on. Or something they’ve already completed, for example, a piece of music or a painting and I ́ll use it as a starting point in imagining the colours, mood and tone of the final images. It’s quite a dreamy process.

In most cases, I don’t really spend too much time focused on in depth conversation, we just begin exploring an idea and see where we end up.

I’m very involved in all elements of producing the project, especially when it comes to the Creative and Artistic Direction, as costume, set and dramaturgy are of great interest to me. Especially in terms of storytelling. Although I ́d like to keep expanding and collaborate with a wider spectrum of creatives (for example, set designers, stylists, make up artists).

Life in Plastic collaboration with Jolene Jade

How did you get into this line of work? Where did your personal creative journey start?

My background is actually in the Performing Arts, which explains the theatrical style of my work. I originally trained to be a Professional Contemporary Dance Artist and over the years, worked on various different projects as well as choreographing a few of my own works.

I ́ve always loved creating characters and telling stories, during the years that I was training I never really had time to explore Photography. But it was always an interest of mine. After graduating I moved abroad for some time, this was when I began to explore imagery, capturing scenes as I travelled around. With a strong emphasis on creating emotive images. Images that hopefully really took you some place else.

After a few years of not choreographing or dancing I really began to feel a longing for this type of narrating; inventing characters and worlds.

I decided to start by asking around if anyone needed photos taking, and then it occurred to me, what a great way to get back into the Arts, then to work with artists. And that’s when I starting working directly with dancers, actors, musicians etc. And now I juggle my business with working in a Photography studio.

Who is your main creative inspiration?

I wouldn’t say that I have one main creative inspiration. I’m definitely inspired by other makers, I take inspiration from so many other mediums, music, paintings, dance, movies. I’m a big fan of the glamour and showmanship of old Hollywood musicals, the set design, the costumes, the movement!

ArtHerd collaboration with dance artists Paul Guenot, Valentia Azzati and Milagros Salguiero

What motivates you the most to create?

My motivation really stems from an incessant urge to create. It’s really that feeling of liberation of creating something that hasn’t ever previously existed. A big part of why I create is escapism. I ́ve really got the attitude that creating is a form of therapy, both for the maker and the audience. A small moment of absolute enjoyment. I also have to say that the process is the best bit, getting to work with someone else and figuring out all the little pieces.

How do you hope to develop your craft in the future?

My hopes for the future are to work on ArtHerd full-time and on a bigger scale. Continuing to collaborate directly with the artists. Almost like a mini Photography/Production house. I ́d really love to work with artists from all over the world. Supporting them to share their work. Whether it be a new EP, a dance performance, a play or simply just to collaborate. I also don’t want to shut myself off , I ́d like to work with anyone who feels drawn to this type of work.

Thanks so much for speaking with us ArtHerd! You can find ArtHerd on Instagram here

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