An Interview with a Freelance Photographer, Jason Alan Layne

Posted By hazelbasil on May 24, 2011 | 0 comments

I met Jason through my husband Andy, about a year ago. Somehow they met through their mutual like of a band (Coalesce), spawned on by what I like to call “t-shirt attraction”. Basically you see someone’s t-shirt and you feel compelled to compliment or comment on it. I can’t recall who approached first, between those two. I’m sure they have their own versions.
Anyway, back to how I know him…we kept running into Jason at various Tin Roof events or running around town and learned that he was a freelance photographer AND graphic designer. By then my competitive curiosity was piqued, and eventually friendship was formed. He is a contributing photographer to the Charleston Scene and some of his works, like “{DE}construct“, have been displayed at local galleries, such as ImagingArts.

He graciously agreed to be my guest/interview for this month.

Below are the same d.a.m.n. questions I ask each d.a.m.n. interviewee, as well as some of his work. Enjoy!

What is your creative background [education/self-taught]?

i started in the photography field when i was about 15, taking pictures of everything/anything and was also on the yearbook staff in high school. i went to college to study photography/photojournalism and learned the techniques of developing my film and prints in the darkroom. a few years ago, i went back to school and studied digital photography and graphic design and received an associates in commercial graphic design.

Does where you live inspire you? If so, how?

honestly, not really. but, i do get inspired when i travel.

When did you notice that you had an inkling of creative leanings?

probably since i was about 4 or 5. my mom taught me how to draw and i’ve been hooked on art ever since, using all different types of medium. growing up, i always wanted to be a cinemaphotographer, but just stuck with photography and emulate the way my favorite movies were shot. director gus van sant’s “drugstore cowboy” and “my own private idaho” had a huge impact on me, as well as david lynch’s “the elephant man” and “eraserhead”. as for graphic design, i grew up on cd packaging art as a teenager. when i would get a new cd, i would digest it from beginning to end: the typography, the photographers, who did the layout, the designers, what kind of paper was used, etc. i was always curious who the band would pick to design everything for each album.

How do you stay inspired/creative?

when i think of an idea, i jot it down in my notebook and always come back to it later on. if there is a concert coming to town, i’ll design a poster for the band/artist, just to keep on top of things…i recently did a poster for moogfest, a three day electronic music festival in asheville. the poster was selected as one of the 12 finalists in a contest, so i was really excited about that. it’s an amazing feeling to have your art on display in front of thousands of people passing by. 🙂

Do you have a creative ritual? If so, what is it?

no, not really…but, i do tend to listen to a lot of ambient music when i go on photo shoots and do graphic design work. it tends to make me work more fluidly.

What are 5 books that have inspired you/continue to inspire you?

SNAPS by ellen von unwerth
the end of print by david carson
the americans by robert frank
mapplethorpe by robert mapplethorpe
by larry clark

What are 4 films that cause you to be creative?

12 monkeys by terry gilliam
cidade de deus
by fernando meirelles
eraserhead by david lynch
drugstore cowboy
by gus van sant

Three colors that represent you and why:

black, white and red. easy to work with.

What other artists [current/past] inspire you?

current: rob sheridan, the designers republic, david carson, carsten nicolai
past: m.c. escher, el lissitzky, kevin westenberg, francis bacon

Do you have any art/design tips for aspiring artists/creatives?

buy a notebook or a journal! any time you have an idea, jot it down…or even sketch a thumbnail. you’ll be glad you didn’t forget the details.

What creative project[s] is/are next on your creative calendar?

contributing photographs in the charleston scene, random designs for shows and events in charleston and contributing art/photographs for local shops/galleries/events.

Closing thoughts and links to share?
…support your local scene; support your local artists. or look for the “pixel” logo by typing in jason alan layne in search.

Thanks again to Jason for your “d.a.m.n.” time and tips!