A Step Forward with ANDREW B MYERS



“I hope that the world becomes a more curious place in general. I think we have the ability to learn so much about anyone and anything. I really want us to take advantage of this.”


THE STORY


Curiosity and playfulness are often associated with a child-like perspective, alongside with the ability to learn from anyone and anything. However, what is once considered as a pure instinct, often fades away as we become older. In this conversation with New York based Director and Photographer Andrew B Myers, we “tinker and experiment” with the idea of the world becoming a more curious place, while touching base on the practical aspects of being a Creative in this process.



“I began taking pictures as a teenager but I mostly come from a drawing background. I studied art and photography at university and developed a particular sensibility at that time, and began putting my work online during the era when the photo blog was one of the more relevant places to see new work.” - explains the Canadian born Creative. After graduating, Myers started out with smaller editorial works. However, in a matter of time, he was able to work with people from all over due to that internet presence. “I was mostly making this kind of minimal work with pastel colors. I think being asked to do it over and over really made me want to make different kinds of things, hence moving into video in recent years and playing around with different ways to maintain a personal design sensibility.” Myers' video work is easily recognizable from the powerful use of proportions and structures, in combination with his mind-bending ways of visual storytelling. “I’m really most fond of making video work, I find the variables there in time based media, including sound design, allow for a kind of playfulness and weirdness I’ve always wanted.”



THE Qu & A


What are 3 relevant problems that you wish to solve through your work?


I will answer this more broadly. I think I’m always trying to figure out how to make sense of juxtaposed material. How to make some kind of order out of chaos. I really like making something hectic into something calming. I think this is a personal need within my own life that seeps into my work. I tend to find the world to be a cacophonous, scary place (which is odd considering I choose to live in a large city like New York). I really like the idea of creating something peaceful within that world. Not in an escapist way, but in more of a child-like one. My concerns regarding the future tend to involve technology and how humans misuse it (as we have throughout history). I worry we aren’t capable of catching up to ourselves, and that technology develops faster than our ability to handle it.



What are 3 values that you wish to nurture through your work?


I really like tinkering and experimenting. I think of it as playing in a sandbox and developing ideas. The essence of my work is this, the ability to slowly play and tinker. I think of these as values in some ways as they’re all about curiosity, obsession, and finding my own peace by getting to indulge in this. I hope that the world becomes a more curious place in general. We have the ability to learn so much about anyone and anything at this moment in history. I really want us to take advantage of this.



What is the downside of being a Creative that no one talks about?


I think needing money is a downside people certainly DO talk about, but I don’t hear people talk about how making money influences the creative process. If you’re in the particular position to be able to make money from your passion or hobby, I worry it’s something one thinks about when they make personal work. Will it sell? Will it be seen by the right people? Anyone starting out doesn’t have these concerns in the same way. They haven’t made money yet so they don’t expect to. It’s a very creatively pure place to be.



How does creativity help in challenging times to stay GROUNDED?


As someone who isn’t always grounded, I find that question difficult to answer! I suppose it gives us something to distract ourselves with, but also a way to channel anything from frustration to delight. When the world is in chaos, maybe it’s nice to produce something, it doesn’t have to be big, complete, or polished, but to construct anything at all is usually a step forward. Building something will always be better than taking something away.




THE MONOLOGUE

Short Reflection by Andrew B Myers


I’ve been in the city now for the duration of the pandemic. On top of the immense tragedy that unfolded here during the early months of the experience, the once vibrant city shut down, and a lot of what makes it special (socializing, museums, events) was gone. Frustration was part of that first year. I still haven’t seen my family across the border, nothing work related was panning out, and there was this cabin fever of being in a giant city with little to do. This pales in comparison to most of the issues we’ve faced during this time, but on a personal level, I think I’ve just learned not to worry quite as much about myself. I think it’s important to care about things that matter, and to understand what I can contribute to the critical issues facing the world like equality and the environment. But me and my image? I can’t be worried so much about how I measure, how I perform, and how I’m perceived. This is remarkably freeing. The boiled down essentials are that I want to make things, and that I want to try to be a good person. I think the past two years have really shifted my perspective towards this realization.


This interview contributes to a new media format, where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. By exploring alternatives to narrative journalism, GAHSP starts unconventional conversations, emphasizing values and problems that shape our lives collectively.


Written and Edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of Andrew B Myers