This interview is the third installment of our collaborative series with Fuck Yeah! Women Artists to highlight some of our favorite young and upcoming female artists. I recently came across London-based graphic designer and photographer Michelle's online portfolio and was super impressed with her analog photographs, so I was really excited when she agreed to let us feature some of it here. You can follow her on her blog and see some more of her travel photos on her flickr.
Can you give us a little background about yourself and your work?
I studied graphic design and various art-related subjects at college for around five years and ended up in web design by accident. At college, I'd try my best to avoid using computers to create projects and preferred to get my hands dirty. I found that after long days staring at the computer, I felt less inclined to do anything creative in my spare time. I'd been interested in photography for a while and a friend of mine always joked that I was "a good photographer, with a terrible camera". I by no means consider myself a "photographer" and I'm certainly not "professional", but I enjoy capturing moments and preserving them to share with the world - which is why I tend to use photography as a creative outlet.
What type of things (artists, films, fashion, real life) inspire you?
Since my early teens, I've been heavily inspired by Soviet-era photography and design. My Nanna gave me a book of photographs taken in the USSR, Ein Leben Tag in der Sowjetunion, and I would look over the photographs for hours. I use Tumblr to share photographs taken mostly in Russia and other Eastern European countries. My favourite photographers are Jury Rupin, Shepard Sherbell, Gerd Ludwig and Dean Conger. Closer to home; I find London inspiring. Especially on grey, rainy days. I have a ridiculous amount of photographs of London landmarks blurred behind raindrops on windows.
Do you have a favorite design project or photograph that you've worked on/taken?
I'm quite fond of my collection of photographs of London in the rain, but my favourites are the photographs I took using my Diana+ camera when I visited Ukraine. It's the closest I have to the images by the photographers which inspire me. Work-wise, I've been involved with many projects that I found interesting, but the nature of the work (internet marketing for music and film releases) makes me feel like I'm doing nothing more than cutting up and re-arranging someone else's work, so I can't take credit for any of it. I hope to spend more time this year working on original creations.
What direction do you see your work going in the future? and do you have any upcoming projects planned?
I have a vague idea for a future project, but it would require a lot of planning (and training!) My greatest passion at the moment is bears and their welfare, so I'd like to take part in a charity trek across the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. The trek itinerary promises to see bears in the wild, visit Bran (Dracula's) Castle and one of Romania's bear sanctuaries. The idea would be to release a book of photographs and include illustrations of bears. I've been collecting the most wonderful ones I stumble upon on Pinterest. There's a waiting list of hundreds of bears that require sanctuary space and I like to think it would be successful enough to make a difference.Thanks, Michelle!