In Episode 3 of Facing Creativity with Brooke Shaden, the Sony Artisan meets with experimental photographer and artist Jen Sulak (@pinklightimages) for an important discussion followed by a compelling photo shoot. Watch as the two discuss confronting fear and show us that no matter where you are in your journey, the battle to confidently living life on your terms always brings doubt.
Experimental photographer and artist Jen Sulak and Sony Artisan Brooke Shaden discuss how the battle to confidently living life on your terms always brings doubt.
“I was the kind of person who moved from school to school,” explains Sulak. “I was the person who was always the new kid in class so I was always being made fun of. And I was like well, now that I’ve grown up, I’m like I don’t want people to feel that way. I want people to know that it’s OK to be themselves.”
Through her art, Sulak tries to create connection and inclusivity to help give others permission to be comfortable in their own world. Shaden discusses this passion of Sulak’s and how her drive comes from her own experiences feeling excluded. “I have felt in many ways, let’s say the arts community, I’ve felt a little too weird for them,” Sulak says. “There’s a refinement or an expectation of a refinement of images and I choose to not live in that world.” While choosing to not live within the typical boundaries of art can be a very freeing feeling, Sulak explains that it can also be difficult to not fit the mold.
The two also dive into Sulak’s creative process for her own photo shoot. Sulak decides that in order to show how we can face fears, she’s going to create a self portrait image. Using a reflective dress and projections, Sulak wants to create something unique. “The concept that I’m going for is an intangible concept,” she explains. “Fear, we can’t always touch it. But I feel like this is a good representation of how fear could look as an intangible present.”
Using the Sony Alpha 7R IV and the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens, the two utilize a small space to create the self-portrait. Sulak decides to project a fear-inducing image on the wall and stands in front of it so it displays across her as the subject. While the final image could be seen as gross, the two discuss how that’s really the point.
“We’re embracing the fact that art doesn’t have to be beautiful to be good,” explains Shaden. “It’s about looking at something deeper and questioning why do I not like this thing or why do I feel like this is frightening me? And that’s what we have to do with fear too. We just have to look at ourselves and say, ‘What is holding me back? What is stopping me from being who I am?’”
Sulak adds, “And until I discovered photography in general as an art form, I didn’t know how to get in contact with those things inside of me. So I feel like art has always been there as a friend to be a guide. Over the last 8-10 years or so I’ve really discovered that my purpose really is, not only just connecting with other people, but connecting with myself and finding an inner freedom that I didn’t think I needed until now.”
In Episode 1 of Facing Creativity With Brooke Shaden, the Sony Artisan sits down with radiologist, nature photographer and Alpha Collective member Sapna Reddy to talk about photography, duality & managing multiple passions.
In Episode 2 of Facing Creativity With Brooke Shaden, the Sony Artisan is joined by Bryan Clavel, also known as Privilege, a fine art photographer and performer who uses photography to put queer stories at the forefront of the narrative.
Stay tuned to the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel for more.