Photographer R. K. Young (a.k.a. Becky) is a professional photographer and artist (and a dear friend) who lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Becky is our latest artist to participate in the From the Front Porch Interviews–a series of interviews with creative people–most of whom are working fulltime doing other things, yet somehow also (miraculously) manage to find time to do their art. As many of you know firsthand, this is not an easy task!

Artist and Photographer R. K. Young

Photographer and Artist R. K. Young

A Special Note: If you are one of my local readers, Becky has a photography exhibit running right now at the Transylvania Community Arts Council in Brevard. It’s called “In the Belly of the Clouds,” and it’s a pretty amazing show, so I hope you’ll stop by. The exhibit runs until December 18th! (more details in the P.S.)

Here is one of my favorites from the exhibit. I wish you could see it in person because the details in this photograph are exquisite.

Vireo by photographer R. K. Young

Vireo by photographer R. K. Young

Also, a Special Giveaway:

Becky will be giving away a print from the exhibit “In the Belly of the Clouds.” [Artist’s discretion] for the best answer to the question:

“Why is photography still valued as an art, with a camera in everyone’s hand?”

Answer in the comment section. Don’t miss this opportunity for one of Becky’s amazing prints! Also, feel free to ask her any questions you might have.

Please welcome R. K. Young to the Front Porch Interview:

Becky, tell us about your creative process. It can include things like: when are you the most or least creative? As well as, what inspires you and perhaps why does it inspire you?

My process is “enforced.” It has been a long time since I had chunks of time in which I could “explore” being creative. I respond to deadlines and goal setting. So, to get myself working, I set something up which require that I complete something that someone else needs from me. Sick, right? I promise a friend to have a piece for a show. I tell a few people that I will have work on “x” date. I write a grant that specifies that I will stage an exhibition. Then, when the grant fails to materialize, I’m stuck having to do a show, anyway!

 

In terms of the conceptualizing of the work, however… mornings in the shower are essential. I swear that if I took a day off of showering, I’d probably not have a single idea that day. I think it’s because I can’t do anything else in there BUT get clean, and that all happens essentially on autopilot. So it ends up being time to cogitate and chew on whatever random thought runs between my ears. This is where the conceptualization for the Series that I produce (the Altar Series, the Meditation Series) takes place. Where I connect what I want to shoot with what I want to communicate. This is where the Vision for a direction takes place. The rest, for me, is just execution.

Share a favorite quote:

“The small man. . . Builds cages for everyone He Knows. While the sage, Who has to duck his head When the moon is low, Keeps dropping keys all night long For the Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners.” — Hafiz

What creative project are you working on now or do you hope to work on?

Right now I am wrapping up an exhibit (In the Belly of the Clouds) and preparing to work on a book of the same name. The book will be composed of both photography and essays on topics that interest me and are related to living in this moist place I call the “Cloud Belly,” Transylvania County.

Share a photo of something you find beautiful:

Pussy Willow blossoms, after the initial fuzzy stage, when they are getting to the irresistible-to-bees stage. So many beautiful, sacred details.

Photographer R. K. Young

by Photographer R. K. Young

Name one or more of your favorite books. What do you love about it/them? If they changed your life in any way tell us why.

Good Lord—so many good ones! But it is really no contest—the essays of Barbara Kingsolver have been especially revelatory. In the tome Small Wonders, there is an essay titled A Fist In the Eye of God. In the fourteen pages of this brilliant essay, Kingsolver lays out the greatest argument for the sanctity of evolution and the natural world that is likely to ever be written. Those of you out there who haven’t read this—well, you simply must. It is beautiful.

Name one or more of your favorite films and tell us what you love about them.

WALLŸE – for having no dialogue, and still communicating a great story.

Is there somewhere you’ve traveled that has influenced your creative life? If so, tell us about it.

Spain. A foreign-study trip during college gave me the opportunity to be immersed not just in a culture, but in a world of artists. The Museo del Prado gave me, for four weeks, a place to study the work of Velasquez, Goya and others, but particularly these two. Many Spanish painters defy clear classification, and the methods in which they communicate within the context of their work are extremely compelling. Look at Goya’s official court portraits—especially The Family of Charles IV—and you can be shocked at the level of scorn communicated. But then compare those royal portraits with The 2nd of May or The 3rd of May, and you will see an artist’s soul laid bare. It is his honesty that made Goya most memorable.

Name one or more of your favorite songs or pieces of music and tell us what you love about them.

The third movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. He plays his bass line like a drum, but lets it soar. Crank that puppy up and I challenge you to not “direct” in your living room.

What were you like as a child?

Pretty easy going. I wandered a lot, mostly in woods. Always came home for dinner, though!

From James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio 

  • What is your favorite word term?    “brain fart.”
  • What is your least favorite word? “blessed.” It’s common usage implies that others aren’t.
  • What sound or noise do you love?  Cat purring.
  • What sound or noise do you hate? Cat barfing at 4:00am.
  • What is your favorite curse word?  Must be “shit” because that’s the one that keeps popping out of my mouth!

What are you grateful for? (Today and/or in general.)

Gay Marriage. My partner. My sister. House cats. Good Friends, Mountains, clouds and rivers, peanut butter, wine and Snicker bars. Pollinators! Probably a few other things, as well. 🙂

R. K. Young is an award winning photographer and artist who works and writes in the company of cats, bumblebees and white squirrels in Transylvania County, North Carolina.

Don’t Forget the Special Giveaway:

Becky will be giving away a print from the exhibit “In the Belly of the Clouds.” [Artist’s discretion] for the best answer to the question:

“Why is photography still valued as an art, with a camera in everyone’s hand?”

Answer in the comment section. Don’t miss this opportunity for one of R. K. Young’s amazing prints! Also, feel free to ask her any questions you might have or simply thank her for taking the time to share a little about her life as a photographer.

You can contact her here: www.humnature.com

Twitter: @nativebackyard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/becky.young.182

More photographs:

Centerpiece by photographer R. K. Young

Centerpiece by photographer R. K. Young

 

Meditation Point by photographer R. K. Young

Meditation Point by photographer R. K. Young

 

P.S. Local Exhibit information: Friday, December 18th will be the final day of the Transylvania Community Arts Council exhibit “In the Belly of the Clouds.” This exhibit features the work of photographer R. K. Young, paintings by plein air painter Julie Bowland and wood turner Peter Mockridge. The exhibit is one of many open for the final Gallery Walk of 2015—the Artists’ Reception is from 5:00 to 8:00pm.  Come meet the artists! 

http://tcarts.org/event/the-artwork-of-becky-young-julie-bowland-peter-bateman-mockridge/

P.P.S.

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