Art Inspiration is a series that features talented individuals who create incredible works of art on a regular basis. It aims to acknowledge local talent and recognize their inspirations that drive them to express themselves and make remarkably heart-warming, soul-satisfying masterpieces.
This month, I chose to feature Gail, an artist who has an overflowing passion in photography. A common friend introduced us while Gail was looking for someone to shoot. The day came when we decided to have a photoshoot of my OOTD and her then upcoming exhibit: Nominal. I was completely enthralled by her talent and personality that she instantly became one of my favorite photographers. I’m super excited to finally feature her as a local passionate artist with an extraordinary eye for photography.
Name: Gail Geriane
Profession/Specialization: Fashion and Portrait photographer
Years of experience: 7 years
School: UEP / UVNS
Tell me about you and your art
My name is Gail and I do portrait and fashion photography–which I like to think is centred on the unique ethnic beauty of my subjects, my models. It sounds totally ambiguous but to put it simply, I try to show how fragile our standards for beauty can be through my photos–by pointing my camera to all kinds of faces, revealing the different kinds of beauty I see in all of them. I try to maximize what limited resources I have and try to make something extraordinary out of it. One would think finding women to model for me can be tough because I don’t move in a circle where I can easily talk a pro into doing a shoot with me, but that has never stopped me from doing my craft. I don’t work with a lot of professional models, so I try my best to make models out of anyone. What I often do is just call up a few of my friends and do an impromptu shoot with them. Sometimes, I would even just talk to a stranger whose face would stand out in public. Fortunately, I get positive responses from said strangers most of the time. I have to say, making someone feel good about themselves through my photos is one of the things I love best in doing photography.
When and how did your artistic journey start?
I discovered a whole world of fashion, photography, and all sorts of sub-cultural art forms in 2008 when I first joined Tumblr. I was so enamoured by all the blogs I was following that I eventually decided to put up my own photography blog, just for fun. I started from the basics, of course, with stills–plants, shoes, anything that interested me. I photographed everything and anything, and it easily became a routine. My best friend shared this interest with me and as an artist herself, she convinced me to pursue this. I joined photojournalism contests, workshops, and even photography clubs. I remember one of my photog friends saying, “When you delve more into photography, you’ll develop a love for certain field/s.” I was already interested in fashion and all that, being a wee-bit girly, so finding a niche in the field wasn’t hard for me. With the help of my best friend, I started planning and producing my own shoots. I haven’t stopped since then.
What/Who keeps you inspired?
I hate to say something so cliché but my main inspiration is my passion. It’s unbelievable how far your love for something can take you. And it’s an absolutely amazing feeling when people tell me how I make them feel beautiful and great about themselves. I’ve never been the typical beauty and growing up, I’ve been called ‘exotic’ a lot (I’m not even going to get into that). But as I often say, anyone can be beautiful. Sometimes, it just takes a while to see it. Me, I try to take every angle to see that, literally. I don’t care about messy hair or uneven skin tone. There is always beauty in such awkward imperfections.
What is your mantra?
“Take every risk. Drop every fear.” Found this on Google one time and it stuck since then.
This was a recent photoshoot with CFB. Then again, one of my favorites! ^_^
What is a usual day for you?
My day usually consists of a lot of taking photos. I’m on Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Yes, it sounds awfully busy to keep every single one of these accounts updated but it also doubles as work for me as it involves a lot of editing and developing my brand as an artist. But of course, I’d have to be physically up and about to have something to update about. So if I’m not posting about couch-potatoeing at home and watching a lot of funny videos about people doing stupid things, or staring at the ceiling and wander lusting over my hometown, Samar, I’m out with my friends having the time of my life.
Describe your creative space.
I don’t exactly know what a ‘creative space’ means. But I know I can work anywhere and I mean it. Airport, café, home, school, anywhere. Just as long as I have my essentials with me (camera, laptop, iPad), I’m good to go.
How do you get back to your creative zone when you hit creative block?
Everyone who knows me knows how edgy I can get when I hit a creative block. I get so panicky, It’s funny! To calm myself down, I do what everyone does. Eat and then sleep! Haha. If I’m up for it, I’d scroll over web pages worth of art inspirations. Sometimes, I would just chill with indie music. And when I’m in Samar, I’d just go to the beach and voila, I’m back to my creative self again.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I am a big fan of metal and rock music. I secretly dreamt of being a rockstar when I was in high school. Quick story: Once, in high school, while some classmates and I were having fun playing around with my papa’s musical instruments, we got so into what we were doing that we considered starting an all-girl band. But that surge of excitement got cut short by an angry complaint from our neighbor who was trying to lull her baby to sleep. Apparently, we were just making ‘noise’. Sorry girls, just had to share that one. Good times!
Is there another creative pursuit you wish to pursue?
Visual design. I tried it back in art school but my hands just won’t cooperate. I guess I’m just not the illustrator type, just going to have to leave it to the pros.
This was the first photoshoot I had with Gail (as mentioned above) and is one of my favorite shoots so far.
What advice can you give to aspiring artists?
Don’t stop doing whatever it is you love most! I know, I know. Another cliché. But if it’s working for me and the millions of other successful people out there who made what I am saying right here a cliché, it mustn’t be such a worthless advice, right? Pursuing something in line with the arts always involves risk, but how nice can life get if it’s just sugar and no spice? Risking something now than saying what-ifs tomorrow is enough reason for me. I, myself, have sacrificed a lot to get to where I am now. I quit my job so I can pursue photography full-time. And I’m still so far to where I intend to be! Everyone has their own share of setbacks but if there’s a will, there’s a way. You just have to keep going.
Also, stay humble! Nothing beats humility.
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