Here's the transcript:
Have you ever stopped to think about all that the camera does for us? Where would we be without those wonderful contraptions capturing our memories on a thin strip of film or on those tiny memory cards? They give us the ability to see into the past and to share feelings and experiences of our friends and family. Jeremy Kennedy, of CameraLuv.com and CameraLuv on Etsy, gets it. He really, really, gets it. I had the chance to talk to him about his craft and how he has taken his love affair with cameras to another level.
So, tell us a little bit about yourself, Jeremy, and how Cameraluv got its start?
I've always been interested in art since a very early age. During my high school I started to explore photography and darkroom techniques with the help of a great art teacher, Vivian Komando. I used to take tons of pictures of my friends while we skateboarded, wake boarded and surfed. I loved seeing how the images would turn out after we got home from riding, etc...
I think the summer after my first year of college we visited my grandma's home in Nebraska and in her basement I found one of my dad's old cameras from when he was a kid. A Sabre 620 in seafoam green and I was like, 'This is such a cool camera' and I couldn't believe she still had it. It was probably made around 1954.
After finding that one I found an old Imperial camera that was my uncle's from around the same time. This is where Cameraluv was birthed because I left from that visit with about 8-10 cameras, the oldest was my grandmother's mother's from the 20s.
That is so cool. So, how many cameras do you have today?
Haven't counted in a little while, but I'm thinking more than 130.
And, do you have a favorite? Or, would that be like naming your favorite child?
The first eight from my collection can be found here (shown above). I really like my dad's Sabre. It's so cool. I'm a big fan of the old Polaroids and cameras with billows, etc.
Very cool. So on your etsy store you seem to utilize quite a few mediums... do you have a favorite medium?
I like painting cameras probably best. I tend to simplify them a bit in my drawing style and then color them a little bit unconventionally. Like making them red or teal or yellow. I try to stick to those colors mostly so that there's a bit of a consistant vibe across the mediums. Being a designer I wanted to create a cohesive brand that I can build onto and make whatever I want.
Yeah, you definitely have a distinct 'feel' to all your pieces.
So, since the initial basement dive, in what or where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from my collection mostly. By that I mean those are the subjects that make it into my art.
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be around when these cameras were first made, or what it would be like to be in the advertisements, etc. So a year or so ago I recreated a whole bunch of ads and put cameraluv into them. This became the whole backdrop of an installation I did in Tampa (first image above).
I created the whole background black and white to allow the bright paintings to jump off. I actually even put my wife into a few of the ads as a surprise.
And, what keeps you motivated to design and create new pieces?
I make the most art around the time of the shows I'm in, but I'm always thinking about making stuff. I have a notebook of ideas I've yet to draw or paint. Sometimes I can't sleep or I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and I'll put it in the book.
Overall, how would you describe your style?
The style is very graphic/pop oriented. Simplified forms and brighter colors...
Would you say it has evolved since you started?
There's a consistency about it, but I'm evolving in the things I am attempting to put cameras on, I don't think how I've rendered the cameras has changed too much since the beginning. I really like mixing mediums, but I've been a little bit held back by my workspace so I think that has been a bit of an influence on my clean and precise renderings etc.
Do you have plans to try new mediums in the future? Any chance we can get the inside scoop to what's next on Cameraluv?
I've wanted to experiment with some block printing methods and work on more paintings. I enjoyed putting art on skateboards last month so I'll probably do some more of those, too. I'm continually inspired by the cameras because they are beautifully designed objects that have a direct connection to us capturing and immortalizing memories. That's what makes me so crazy about them. They just make me smile.
That's why I've chosen to collect them and create with them because they connect us to what we love most.