Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sean Mundy, and I’m a photographer and digital artist. I would say that my work leans towards conceptual or fine art photography.
What is your favorite medium?
Although along with being a photographer and digital artist, I’m also a musician and producer, but photography as a whole comes easiest to me and is my preferred medium. I find it easier to be methodical and productive when it comes to creating photos, whereas with music it isn’t as linear of a process and often takes a lot of re-working to make certain songs.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from nearly every kind of art (film, music, painting, etc) and often practice compiling elements from works (the perspective a photo was shot at, for example) and mixing them together, and then filling in the final concept or general idea with something that I consider worth creating. There are of course moments where ideas do just “come” to me, but I do not think waiting for pure inspiration to strike is the most productive way to be creative, so I build ideas slowly over time to make sure I have plenty of material to shoot as soon as I’m done a project.
What is your creative process?
Typically I come up with ideas before I attempt to create them. I’ll draw them out roughly to make some kind of reference and plan out all the necessary steps to create the final image. Before I attempt creating the image, I usually let my ideas “simmer” for a while, and come back to them later in time (days, weeks, sometimes months) to try to look at the ideas more objectively and see if I’m still interested in creating them.
Is there a specific theme/message/emotion you aim to evoke?
I don’t think a specific theme or message overall that I aim to evoke, it typically varies from work to work or series to series. There are certain themes that run through my work , like Isolation, or Collectivism (in my Hollow series, in particular), but I think equally important for me is to set up a tense scene, but deliver it in an almost neutral un-dramatizied way.
What motivates you to continue to create?
At the end of the day, creating is one of the few things that I’m really passionate about, and despite my output slowing down once in a while, I know I will always continue to do it. Putting ideas or works into the world and having people be able to react to, interpret, enjoy, or hate, is a pretty amazing thing, and if there is a possibility that someone might feel the same way about my work that I feel about someone else’s, then that’s all the more motivation for me.
When you encounter creative blocks, what do you do to overcome them?
I rarely have creative blocks since as I mentioned earlier I almost always have ideas that I can attempt to shoot as I’m coming up with more ideas than I can usually shoot at a given time, but there are times when I try to actively come up with new ideas but have difficulty. I find the best way to think objectively about ideas is to get out of your typical visual routine and look at things that you don’t normally look at, whether it’s a few new films in a style you don’t usually watch, or a medium of art that you don’t often see enough of.
What are your thoughts on the future of art?
I think over time art will continue to become less controlled by the art establishment/academia, and that artists that are self taught or have no interest in pursuing careers in or through the gallery system will be able to reach levels of success that typically were only possible within those worlds. Thanks to the Internet, people can make successful careers with their art independently, and it’s a pretty amazing thing in my opinion. In terms of content, I honestly have no idea; trends come and go, and for all we know a huge new movement or style in art is just about to happen.
What is something you have had to learn on your own that you would like to pass on to the next Creative?
To take what you do seriously and work with urgency. Even if you doubt your ideas or work, make serious attempts to create instead of being stagnant and overthinking everything. The worst case scenario is that you will not succeed in your vision of your art, but through the process of attempting you will no doubt learn something new and find yourself more informed about how to go about making that particular piece, or your practice overall.