Today we’d like to introduce you to Rikki Young.
Rikki, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My mom bought me my first camera when I was 13 years old and I became fascinated with how such a simple looking device was actually so intricate with its many modes and functionalities. I paid little attention to these nuances at first though, merely wanting to take pictures as a way of preserving memories. Then when I was 14 I developed a great interest for videography. It was incredible to me how cuts of video could create the illusion of a linear timeline despite being filmed on different occasions. So from there I focused on videography and that became my passion throughout high school. It actually wasn’t until recently that I had truly developed a passion for photography. Towards my spring quarter of 2018 in the University of California Irvine I was looking for an alternative form of income and there was a market for graduation photographers. I hopped on that opportunity and within a span of 2 months probably took over 10,000 photos and edited upwards of 1,000 photos. It was during this process that I began to realize just how much I enjoyed photography as an art as opposed to just a way of collecting memories as I had viewed it before. I’ve been taking many more photos ever since and have definitely seen myself grow as a photographer. I hope to start my own photography business someday and am excited to continue to improve by taking as many photos as I can until then.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. At the moment, I’m sort of just creating art for the sake of art. No deep meaning, no inspirational stories, still trying to figure out what I want my art to be. If I were to attempt to explain what my art is now though, I suppose I would say that my work is currently attempting to simply showcase the beauty of people and the beauty of nature. I’m heavily inspired by colors and light. I like to work with lots of light and colors that art incredibly vibrant. I’ve drawn inspiration primarily from @brandonwoelfel and @bryanadamc. Those two have been my favorite photographers on Instagram ever since I found their accounts. They inspired me to feel comfortable creating pictures with surreal colors. When I first began editing I would feel guilty straying from realistic portrayals of my actual photos. After seeing their works though I began to love the idea of surrealism. So now my photo edits are far from the original RAW files and I’ve accepted that “true” representations of environment or a person are actually for more difficult to portray than I originally thought. Everybody has their own truth, their own subjective experience of the moment that pictures are taken and sometimes surreal colors can invoke a more truthful representation of an experience for me than a realistic edit can.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I believe we live in such a great time for art. Through the popularity of Instagram and other social media platforms, there has become a surplus of inspiration for new art to form and develop. There are so many talented artists in the world getting incredible exposure through these platforms and it’s just amazing to see communities of artists continue to build and inspire one another each and every day. Cities can continue to encourage art by allowing people to continue displaying showcases and by hosting art exhibits. Just continuously allowing for artists to receive exposure is crucial in inspiring more people to become comfortable in exploring their own artistic desire. Featuring local artists as VoyageLA has done is spectacular as well and I’m glad to see art from my communities through your page that I would have not seen otherwise.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see my work on Instagram @rikkiyouuung. I’m currently working on a website, but that may not be up for some time. I’ll be studying abroad for the fall quarter so I’m hoping to have it up in early 2019. People can support my work by critiquing it. I’d love to learn what people enjoy about my photos and what they think I can improve upon. I’m very open to constructive criticism so I think that would be the best way to support my work.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rikkiyouuung/