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Meet Chris Swainston

Chris Swainston onset with Original Penguin” Shot By: Matt Kanz


Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Swainston.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My story starts with skateboarding and growing up in Utah. When I found skateboarding it lead me into a whole new community of people and friends. Photography naturally came from skateboarding. Every day my friends and I were in the streets filming and shooting photos. For years I chased skate photography as a profession until I got involved with fashion and commercial work. That all started with New York Fashion Week, covering shows for Milk Studios New York. Until then I hadn’t ever looked at photography in that way. Now, I love working on beauty and fashion projects with a big team. Sometimes it takes a small village to produce your vision and other times all I need is one light and the truth but, one thing is for sure it is so rewarding and constantly pushes my creativity.

Please tell us about your art.
Personally I’m a very social person and I love a good adventure to an unknown destination down un unknown road. I have a hard time staying in one lane. These characteristic about myself translates into my work. If it’s a portrait situation I want to get to know the person and aim to capture a story or convey some kind of emotion through the image. If it’s a beauty or a fashion story I look to explore outside of the obvious. I ask myself what can I do differently or what can I show that’s different. Sometimes it’s done with composition other times with creative lighting. Forever experiment and explore.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
From an economic stand point success could be defined by cash in hand from work sold or a job hired for. But, I think the measurement of success first starts with the artist themselves. You have to believe in yourself and your ideas before anyone else can believe in you. This isn’t a straight and narrow path, of course. There is a creative process and evolution to the work before it becomes a final product but once you push your work out to the public and standing behind it with passion and confidence then that is a measurement success. After that, success could be defined by your audience reaction or how well a client receives it, but that can become such an arbitrary judgment specific to an individual’s opinion that it might not be worth weighing on the scale of success.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
At the moment I don’t have an exhibition scheduled. For current posts and day to days, People can follow me on insta, @Swainstagram and my website I also have a studio, Blackheart Studios, with cofounder Nicole Prokes. Outside of photoshoots we often curate art shows and special events for people to come see.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographs By: Chris Swainston
Artist portrait by: Matt Kanz

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