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Art & Life with R. Scott Elgram

Today we’d like to introduce you to R. Scott Elgram

Scott, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Northern California but grew up in Southern California. As a kid, my parents ran a string of photo labs in the area and abroad but I never picked up a camera. I guess the timing just wasn’t right.

As I grew up I developed a passion for music, joined in a couple of bands, did some tours and contributed to an album or two. After that had run its course I turned to something I knew I was good at…computers. The next twelve years of my life were spent as a software engineer working the nine-to-five grind with everyone else. Then, at the whim of a dear friend, I discovered yoga and started to feel the pull of the universe toward something different.

A year later I met an amazing woman who handed me a camera and said “Take a picture”. There was confusion and apprehension but when that shutter clicked everything became clear and I knew what needed to be done.

As an Eagle Scout I am an avid outdoorsman, conservationist and general lover of nature. There is beauty in this world everywhere I look. With a camera in my hand I try to capture that beauty every chance I get and share it with the world.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am primarily a landscape photographer based in Rancho Santa Margarita CA but my passion for photography and the power of a photograph extends beyond just a beautiful pristine landscape. As an Eagle Scout and avid lover of nature I try to capture photographs that show people the beauty in nature and make them want to get out and experience it for themselves. I try not to define my work by telling people what they should take away from it, but rather, I want to create images that pull at people and make them think about the beauty that is out there in the world and hopefully inspire them to seek out, explore and experience the serine natural beauty of nature in person. With any luck, what they see and experience will make them think about what they could do to preserve what they saw for future generations. The enemy of ignorance is knowledge and experience are the greatest teacher there is.

While Landscapes and nature are my main focus I try to admire and capture beauty everywhere. With my camera in hand I try to capture all the beauty I see in this world. And while this may seem contradictory at first, this also includes man made things, like a beautiful city-scape at sunset or the lights of a city skyline at night.

Even though so much of today’s metropolitan landscapes encroach on nature and so much has been lost I want to combat the traditional man versus nature mentality and the thinking that man must overcome nature that seems so prevalent in the human condition. We can be in this world without fighting against it and bending it to our will. We all came from a place of harmony with nature thousands of years ago; we can get that back even with all our paved roads and towering skyscrapers.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I believe conditions are what you make them. I can’t speak too much to working as an artist professionally or even making a living off of one’s art. I’ve been fortunate and privileged enough to not have to make my living off of my art, though I am trying my hardest to change things so I can. But, as artists we have the privilege of being able to do our art in any condition we feel like. And getting all that work out there is as easy as it has ever been.

But if you want to make a living off of it you better be prepared to hustle. For a lot of artists, it’s a struggle, life in general can be a struggle, art is a finicky thing when it comes to making a living off of it. I’ve known, met and read about many artists that struggled financially throughout their careers. I believe even the great Ansel Adams struggled with it most of his life as a photographer. But, I think that speaks to the power of art and the strength of the artist. Despite all the struggle people still do it…and we love doing it!

To help artists thrive I think cities need to encourage artists and encourage more art. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a city building but I don’t recall seeing a whole lot of art let alone art from local artists around. Just imagine if the city commissioned or purchased a photograph or painting from a whole collection of rotating local artists. City buildings would become a pulse of the art and culture of the very city they run. I think that sounds pretty cool.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Some of my work makes it to my website, where I have prints for sale. But I encourage people to engage me and my work through social media. I am very active with my photography on Instagram and somewhat on Facebook.

Additionally, I will be exhibiting and selling at the Iron Triangle Brewery in the Arts District of Down Town Los Angeles on May 16, 2018

You can get tickets here:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo of R. Scott Elgram by Sarah Burall

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