A First Hand Account of work by Photographer Kevin Landes
Posted on 25th September 2017 by Austin Gould

1) When and where was this body of work created?

It was created in Los Angeles California. It wasn’t shot for a specific client. I originally shot some watches with the hands for my commercial portfolio. I had been feeling drained by the commercialized nature that I tend to shoot, and needed a small fun artsy project to get lost in.

2) It's interesting how these images portray common human hand gestures. What inspired this project?

When you have a conversation with someone, watch the hands and gestures. It’s a hidden language, unless you're deaf and or dumb.

3) What was your initial approach to this subject matter? Was there anything unique in your preparation?

I didn’t want to use human hands. I wanted something somewhat robotic. This led to limitations with movement due to the lack of dexterity. The idea has evolved over the course of a few years. I shot them and couldn’t find the right narrative. I kept revisiting, refining the selections, putting it down, and one day it just clicked. My preparation has a lot of planning; a lot happens in my head and I need to write it down more often. I did a lot of research on gestures, and sign language.

4) To help the up and coming professional understand how you went about this, can you explain your creative process and the technical aspects behind creating these images?

The creative process, man, that's a hard one to nail down. It can be triggered by anything really. I wish I could pin it down, but you should do what you want. If people engage, fantastic, keep going. Don’t do what's expected, it took me a while to get this. Don’t try and explain your art, but do if you must. The photography industry is already full of the same shit; don’t worry about the likes online, it's just noise. Show your work to as many people as possible in the REAL world, not the one made of 1’s and 0’s.

5) What is the conceptual relevance of this work? Is there a certain style that you were going for that relates to the objective of the campaign?

To be honest, there was no objective at first. It started as an Idea to create something I felt was fun, entertaining, and cool. It grew from just gestures to narratives. If I were to print all the hands out and ask you to tell a story, this is how this project has evolved. I'd love to see these in a gallery printed 30”x40” or 60”x40”. I want a section that gives the audience a chance to interact, to tell their story organizing prints on a wall. I want the viewer to be a part of the narrative. In the end, every gesture will have a different meaning to the viewer.

6) If you had one piece of advice for emerging or aspiring creative professionals what would it be?

One ha ha, that’s impossible!

Make sure you body of work is cohesive. Make sure it's of as high quality as you can make it, and make sure it's personal. Show your work to actual physical human beings; this can't be stressed enough. Study the masters, old and new. Think of how many people are on instagram, how many posts you miss, how much you skip when mindlessly scrolling through feed after feed; it's numbing.

With the realization that the internet is an amazing tool, but your work will get lost, and probably not seen, makes it unreliable. Print your work, every monitor is profiled and different. This drives me crazy seeing my work not displayed properly and knowing that there is nothing I can do. Know your limitations aka file size and crops. A print is definitive, it's the end all be all. People will judge you based on the print and take you much more seriously. Don’t show your work on your phone if you can, it's small and unimpressive. Ipads are great for quick commercial applications when you travel, but never for fine art.

Everyone's journey is different, which makes it special. Don’t judge yourself based on comparing your successes and failures to those of your peers. Everything takes time, and happens in its own time. Stay true to yourself, fall, get back up, and fall again!

7) Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you Dripbook!

Our pleasure kevin!

Check out more of Kevin's work in his Dripbook Portfolios .

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