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Meet Dale Campo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dale Campo.

Dale, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve always been an imaginative kid, and I never outgrew asking questions all the time. I was the kid who’d show up to class with a scale model of buildings and paintings for class assignments that involved artistic options. My desire to make things with my hands was always driven by resourcefulness in fine art–I made these scrap metal sculptures as gifts for friends because that’s all we had in the backyard shed, and the pursuit to do more with fewer things always informed my creative process.

Drawing led to painting, then sculpture and kinetic sculptures. Movement and motivation always fascinated me, and I only ever got a smart phone in early high school. By high school, phone videos and my imagination led me to animation and filmmaking on a small scale–YouTube videos and a documentary feature film project. The camera became one of many tools that I love to use during my artistic exploration.

Through it all, I’ve never put down any one artistic medium. I’ve still got film projects, mechanical contraptions, a board game, photography, and mixed media projects always in the works. Everything is fair game!

Can you give our readers some background on your work?
Most of my recent work has been in mixed media, photography, and filmmaking. I’ve got a bunch of containers of tools, material scraps, and art supplies in my room, and I float between them depending on the week. My favorite work is the kind that turns simple things into curious, thoughtful final products. I believe that any kid can make something profound with limited resources.

I remember when I was in middle school, the Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology partnered with the Talented Arts program at my school. I got a kick out of making palm-sized scrap metal animal sculptures, and I wanted to go big. So, I broke a blender, clock, 100+ coke cans, scissors, whatever I could find. I made a full-scale great horned owl sculpture that had interactive light components. The people at Cornell loved it so much that they paid me to ship it to them! I thought it was crazy, how this pile of crappy metal parts found a way to fly.

My chief goal is to incite wonder in people’s lives. There’s so much to explore in life, so much happiness to spread! I love to make people feel like better versions of themselves. That’s one idea that easier to work on in photography and filmmaking. People want permission to relax. And often enough, they want to be challenged in some way. So, I feel the need to be clever and to transform something small into something bigger. There’s always a way to improve something. And there’s always something to learn! The best ideas are the ones that try to do something new. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face, I’ve done my part.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
The best thing I can say about networking is that artists don’t need to connect with just artists. If you ever ask people how they arrived at their profession, they’ll often map out a path for you that’s wildly unpredictable. At the very least, I’ve met and learned of filmmakers who started as architects, photographers, and people in English and business programs. Learning your craft comes from an intersection of a lot of different life experiences.
If you’re at the grocery store, talk to the cashier! If you’re waiting at a bus stop or restaurant, say hello to the people waiting with you! There’s a whole world of people with stories, and you’ll become all the more richer when you share a moment with those people, however simple it seems. You’ll end up finding that “artist” means a lot of things. What’s valuable is learning how a person can become their best self. To me, that’s some kind of artistry. Learn more about people, and you’ll learn more about yourself. When you do that, you don’t often feel too lonely.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My artist’s website is www.dalecampo.com and my Instagram is @dale_campo. The best way to support me is to share my work with your friends! I’m always open to collaborating with fresh thinkers, and I always love to have a thought-provoking conversation. I’m also eager to take more photos of people! If you like my photography, message me and we can work together!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
LMU SFTV

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