I first ran across Laura Kicey's photographs while putting together an Etsy Treasury to help promote TMCPhoto . As a fellow photographer I reveled in her composition and the eerie beauty of her subject matter. In short I covet her art and drool over her work.
Based just outside of Philadelphia, Laura has shown in a number of regional galleries and has also been featured in a number of national publications. Outside of helveticaneue, her Etsy Shop, you can follow her on helveticaneu's photostream on flickr, read her photo blog, seen but not heard and take a more in depth look at her work on her main website, redhed photo graphic.
What got you started?
Well 31 years ago, mom looked at dad with that twinkle in her eye... 10 months and one C-section later. TA-DA. I *started*
Since I was a wee little thing, I was a drawing maniac. Mostly birds, later, in high school, life drawing. I redirected forces in college towards graphic design work but continued drawing. I had never really any great interest in photography and had in fact resisted taking classes in photography until I absolutely had to in my second year of college. I dropped it for several years after college and one of my design clients introduced me to flickr, and thereupon my new obsession with photography began. Again.
Who has influenced your work the most?
Oh my there's been so many people influencing me in all sorts of wild and colorful fashions. As a community, the people I have met through flickr have been tremendously supportive not to mention the rich creative environment that I have been growing in and with, non-stop for now four years.
As far as specific artists whose work moves me I am very much enamored with the work of Arno Rafael Minkkinen - his full body integration with the environment and portraits of other people is so fascinating and unique.
The past year I have been doing a lot more self-initiated fashion shoots, which started as helping my friend Sarah Beaver build her wardrobe styling portfolio, which I ended up quite enjoying and we've been doing more and more collaborations. We both bring a lot of ideas and enthusiasm to every project and its been really exciting to keep building on that energy.
My ongoing construct series has been vastly influenced by my loving boyfriend and fellow photographer Michael Alan Goldberg . One of our favorite activities is driving for hours to the point of getting lost and found repeatedly in the most derelict neighborhoods we can find, so I can collect photographic material for my project. He is willing to go to great lengths for me to get a shot, playing getaway driver and bodyguard, while fearlessly heading down those alleys I'm not always sure I want to go down.
What is your favourite tool, art supply, material to work with and why?
I need only three things to function artistically: light, my camera (usually a Canon EOS 5D with a few lenses and sometimes my MiniDigi Rollei AF 5.0), and my laptop. I used black and white film and a big tank of an ancient Pentax back in college before digital cameras existed even in their most low tech form (coughdinosaurcough). Using film and getting access to a darkroom became basically too expensive and too much of a hassle. Now I have basically all I need to run my business and make my art sitting on one table, totally portable, no fuss. I don't get super worked up about having all the newest gadgets, I have what I need, ultra utilitarian.
What life or art lesson have you learned that has shaped your work?
My health has been kind of crummy the past two years and it has forced me to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself whenever I can. The construct project specifically was born of this period when I couldn't go out and shoot as much as I liked to, so I used reject photos of architecture I had taken years prior plus some other new material worked in to create these increasingly more elaborate composites. I built my escape. I've always just made the work that moved me, not trying to hitch onto what was stylish at the moment or follow directly in anyone's footsteps. If you are passionate about what you are making and you let it show, people will get that, and feel it I think. It's been working for me so far!
If you were an animal what animal would you be?
A pangolin. They look prehistoric yet they're still running around being fruitful in their fantastically awkward suit of armor. Pangolins seem like should be imaginary, but they're not! I relate to that on some level. They are also cute despite their being all spikes and razor sharp edges. And they're a great shade of rust.
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