is a photographer and visual artist specializing in conceptual imagery and photomanipulation. His work is inextricably linked with the way he sees the world and himself part of it. He likes to show the ideal in the ordinary. He strives to create calm images with a sense of rigor and order in terms of visual representation. His work intentionally rarely shows a face as he wants the viewer to understand that there could be anyone behind the image so that each viewer percieves it differently and that is what Sergey find most interesting and exciting about photography.
Dear Sergey, to start this interview, please introduce yourself and tell us about you, your hobbies or other jobs/projects you are involved in!
I have accumulated a very large number of secondary projects that need to be realized. They have been piling up for a very long time, it's eating me up, so I devote all my time to it. There are a few commercial projects. In addition, I'm releasing my book, a photo album, which also needs to be done and typeset. In the fall, probably already out. Unfortunately, I can't trust this to anyone but myself. It will be a photo album with selected works that I have shot over the years. I'm counting on about a hundred photos.
Can you tell us how you began your path into photography?
I have been interested in photography since I was 9 when my father handed me a camera – an old FED-5. By the way, later this influenced the choice of my creative pseudonym.
My father showed me the basic concepts, gave me a light meter and that's it.
In general, I can say that I have photographed all my life, starting from childhood.
What drew you, as an artist, toward the surreal style of imagery that you capture?
I only started calling my work surreal when other people started calling it surreal. Before that, I was just doing what I liked. I tried my hand at different genres, but I quickly lost interest. I'm not interested in just shooting portraits of landscapes, of course, there are people who like that, but not me.
Surrealism was something I gradually turned into. I think I can express myself more through it. Besides, it's just fun for me.
I find most of the pictures boring. And I hope you can look through the darkness of some of my images and see the humor in them because I think some of my pictures are pretty darn fun.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
I don't have one. There is only my personality and my vision. After all, art is always about you. It's ugly in a good sense of the word, wild, ugly. And I want to convey a picture as I see it with my own eyes. For me, every photo is a thought that I want to share with my viewer.
Where do you look for or who do you look to for inspiration when creating new images?
I am not in favor of inspiration. For me, it's always work and study. Always. I read I watch, I analyze. An image takes a while to form and mature, it's like a person being born. I go to museums, I visit exhibitions, I have to learn not just to look but to see. There are classics and there is contemporary art, and to understand the latter you have to study history. Before you create something of your own, you have to collect visual baggage from which you can build.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I think the mood and the story are much more important than the technical perfection of the picture.
I still shoot with my old Pentax. To tell the truth, a technically perfect shot often loses its artistic appeal.
What is your creative process? Take our readers through how you go from concept to final result.
I've already said part of it above. My images may seem very simple, but in fact, they take up to several months of planning and preparation before the world sees them. It always starts with a lot of frustration. Then I panic because I haven't been creative lately and I'm wasting my life. I'll sit on social media for a few hours or maybe take a walk. I take a long time to research and think about the project I want to create. Then I sketch out my ideas of how the image will translate from my vision into reality. Before photographing, I look for a location, pick out clothing, props, etc.
If I have to manipulate anything, I shoot all the details on location so I can later combine them digitally. Post-production plays an important role in giving my work a more surreal atmosphere. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to create a single image. I'll be happy with my new work for a few days, but then comes the disappointment again and it starts all over again.
What gear and software do you use to process your work?
Nowadays, I increasingly use only a camera and a tripod to take pictures. Very rarely do I use a flash or reflector, more and more I want natural light. I edit only in Photoshop, I'm a longtime follower of this program.
What would you recommend practicing for someone wanting to become a concept artist?
It's always a question of getting in touch with yourself. You have to ask yourself more often: "How is it for me?" Do not do what someone tells you to do, but what you really want to do. Before I know what I want to be, I have to know if I like tea or coffee. So you have to start with something simple. It's important to form your own statement, the instrument is already secondary.
At first, you can set yourself some micro-tasks: notice the beautiful shadows, the combination of colors around, and the different characters. It's cool if you can find your own joy in this. I do it on my own, I like noticing it all. I think it pumps up your out-of-the-box thinking, your vision of composition, and even improves your mood, because you start to see beauty even in ordinary things.
What is something you wish you would have known before you started your career as a concept artist?
I never thought about it, I think everything takes its course and comes at the right time.
Who are your favorite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
A lot of my work is inspired by the photographer Rodney Smith and the painter Rene Magritte. His photography has greatly influenced and influenced my work. Also, Noé Sendas and Francesca Woodman left their imprint in my mind. Of course, there are a lot of contemporary photographers and artists that I watch, but I don't see the point in listing them all.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography and can you share with us your future plans or projects you would like to be involved in?
Of course, I would like to have my work in museums. However, I am well aware that it is a long way and I have not even begun to shoot something that might be of interest to "museum people". But, I am in no hurry, now I have come to a point that many call a creative crisis, but I believe it is a certain spiral when you know: this is no longer enough, you are no longer interested, and you have to look for new ways to realize. I look for some options, experiment, and develop further. Life is about self-actualization.
How has social media played a role in your photography?
Defining. The fact is that I became known through social media, which is the main platform for me to showcase my work. If you want to break in and be a photographer today, you have to use social media, and your personality will influence how you promote yourself. People don't buy photos because they think they're great; they buy because there's a person associated with those photos and the story behind them.
Now, since we have almost reached the end of this interview, I would kindly ask you to tell us how you discovered 1x and what do you think about it as a home base for your work?
I was invited to 1X by . I gladly accepted his offer. I didn't know much about this platform before, but now I consider it one of the best platforms to show my work and further develop it.
The creative potential of 1X is amazing. It's a constantly updated source of great images with endless inspiration and a variety of styles. Sites like 1X are very helpful in developing a photographer and making your work better known.
Wicher Bos CREW
I admire this level of creativity very much! Like Luc said pure Poetry….
Congratulation Sergey, I like your style ... pure poetry :-)
Hans Martin Doelz CREW
Very interesting interview ! And a fine collection of images. And a statement that I would like to underline: "People don't buy photos because they think they're great; they buy because there's a person associated with those photos and the story behind them." Many thanks to Sergey and also to Yvette for conducting this fine interview.