JD: I think I’d call my work moody, dream-pop. I tend to think in musical terms when it comes to my photography.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
JD: Primarily filmmakers and painters, with some Italo-disco thrown in for good measure. It all gets meshed in my brain somewhere.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
JD: When it comes to my landscape and night work, it’s pretty off the cuff. I just keep my camera with me and when I’m feeling a place, I just start shooting. I’m not a great planner for locations but I’m working on it. Most of my work is shot on foot while I’m walking and exploring a new place or neighborhood.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
JD: A gut feeling, that the familiar can feel mystical at times.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
JD: I’m a freelance interactive designer for a living, so I’m always squeezing my photo work in between my other work. The screen time burns me out to be honest, so I take breaks. I’m either obsessively in post doing color editing or I’m just driving around or walking places, looking for new inspiration.
JD: If I’m doing portrait work I’ll put a bit more planning into what I want, but I always choose an environment where I can be impulsive. It’s always how I get my best shots. I like having loose guidelines, then breaking them all if you need to. When I’m shooting street and nightscapes, it’s all impulsive. Just gotta find that special light.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
JD: Never be afraid to walk away, popularity is not a path to respect, and work on your technical skills. You can always be better and learn new things.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
JF: It’s what makes your work yours. It’s your own mark. Own it.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
JD: Saying aloud you’re an artist.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
JD: Saying aloud you’re an artist.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
JD: I get a lot of amazing inspiration and encouragement from my Instagram community. It’s a game changer for photographers to be apart of a global visual conversation. I’m also always going back to work I love, getting new books, and re-watching old films and returning to paintings I’ve fallen in love with.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
JD: Technology has been inseparable from art. Since the camera was invented, it’s been one of the most technological advanced machines in existence so, there’s no escape. It’s just a decision of what version of tech you want to work with. Analog, digital, whatever – it’s your palette.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
JD: I think having an art brain gives you a world view that is pretty open to possibilities and general weirdness, while on the other hand I really admire science brains, because they can see and and imagine things we artists never thought about.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
JD: Love traveling, just need those unlimited funds to do it more. I was lucky to spend a lot of time in Spain for a period of life. Madrid always has my heart.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
JD: I’ve been obsessing over the work of Gene Wolfe lately.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
JD: Get better, make more.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
JD: I think art chooses you. Being an artist is about the journey of self-acceptance and discovering your voice.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
JD: ‘Star Roving’ by Slowdive
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
JD: It’s gotta feel a little weird and special.