I'm always on the look-out for artists! I strive to find the ones just starting out in the industry so maybe they will inspire others beginning their career to follow in their footsteps. My goal is to have artists bounce ideas and learn from each other by listening to their advice. And, eventually, my hope is that these beginner artists will achieve their goal in being successful. So, therefore, I figured Greg De Stefano could offer our new and upcoming artists some advice to take with them in their career.
My name is Greg De Stefano and I am a new media / integrated media photographer in Los Angeles. I try to combine traditional photographic practice with modern digital techniques to make imagery that looks real, but isn't. I also try to keep my work grounded and approachable, without too much embellishment. Clarity of concept and content is my focus.
How did you get into art?
As dumb as it sounds, through Photoshop. I started messing around when I was... 8 years old? And keep in mind that was 1992 and Photoshop 1.0, a far cry from what we have now. I just did random stuff like draw and trace pictures, or cut things out and mash them together. I have been a computer nerd since I was born, I even have a picture of me at 2 years old typing away at the keyboard of an Apple II. Though honestly, my real artist journey started in my high school photography class.
That is where I learned to slow down my thoughts and to create something that was truly mine. I spent those high school years going as deep into photography as I could at the time, learning 35mm, medium format, large format, alternative processes, scanning of film, printing in the darkroom, printing digitally, and the list goes on. The funny thing is that digital photography has sort of made those processes obsolete but I feel like knowing them and having learned them first, gives me a grounding in the traditional that a lot of other digital artists do not.
What is it about art that you love?
All of it! I just want to drink it all up. I love going to plays and operas and just sitting there an absorbing the visual and auditory smorgasbord, or putting on a good pair of headphones and getting lost in some new mix or album. I think more specifically, good art is self-expression, and good art gives us a glimpse into someone else's soul. Making art and presenting it to the world is like serving up your soul and what it means to be you on a platter. And while I love to show people my platter of artistic treats, I equally love to sample those same treats from others. I don't think you can be a good or even great artist if you don't appreciate the art and culture made by others.
How did you become so passionate about art and why?
Well, I think I am in the same boat that a lot of artists are, in the sense that we don't know why we are so passionate, we just are. Art is as its base a form of self-expression, so in that sense, it seems natural to be passionate about it. But there is an underlying drive that artists have vs most other people. We don't simple want to express ourselves, we HAVE to express ourselves. It is like a weird life or death thing. I can always tell if I am in a good or bad place in life based on whether or not I have been able to be creative recently. As I am a commercial artist, a good portion of my time is dedicated to making art for others, and not necessarily in a fashion that expresses my own inner will. But the fact that even when working for others and making their artistic dreams manifest, my own brain is running a mile a minute on how do make my own work, tells tales. To answer it a bit more simply, I think we are just born into this. Some people are great at doing a sport because their environment and nature leant them to that, my upbringing a chemical mix made me an artist.
As I am a commercial artist, a good portion of my time is dedicated to making art for others, and not necessarily in a fashion that expresses my own inner will. But the fact that even when working for others and making their artistic dreams manifest, my own brain is running a mile a minute on how do make my own work, tells tales. To answer it a bit more simply, I think we are just born into this. Some people are great at doing a sport because their environment and nature leant them to that, my upbringing a chemical mix made me an artist.
To find out more about Greg de Stefano, please check out his portfolio here.