Hump Day Hot Seat: Ali Smith

photo
© Ali Smith

Today is a bit of a Wednesday Rewind too! You might remember NYC-based photographer, Ali Smith, when she was previously featured on .stART here. in Fresh Friday Finds and a Hump Day Hot Seat in 2013. Find out what she’s been up to lately as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada once more here. Be sure to check out Ali Smith’s MOMMA LOVE photo book and follow her on Twitter and Instagram too!

1. Who are you?

That is deep, my friend. Still not sure. Thus far, I am a photographer. Musician. I stand around 5’9″. I have started moisturizing because I’m noticing fine lines. I’m happy to be a mom and a wife.

2. What do you do?

Take pictures and try to make a statement.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I started as a touring,  recording musician.  I took pictures of everything and everyone around me which involved a lot of craziness and black clothing. After years of touring, I craved more female connection because touring and playing music is largely about vans, sweat and men everywhere. Once I decided I wanted more female connections in my life, I reached out to artists who’d inspired me- Alice Walker, Exene Cervenka, Sandra Bernhard, Mary Karr, 35 in total- photographed and interviewed them, and that became my first book, Laws of the Bandit Queens.

4. How long have you been at it?

I’ve been at it since college and since I was touring, so early 20’s, but I haven’t had to do any other type of work besides photography for 15 years or so.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

That I was never a drug addict ( my least favorite public myth about me from my music days). In fact, I never did any drugs. Not preaching, just setting the record straight.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

Donna Ferrato, Amy Arbus, Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, William Egglesteen, Paolo Roversi, Alec Soth, Joshua Bright, Bob Carey, Cig Harvey, Cristina De Middel, and Jennifer McClure.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

I recently saw some paintings from students who were really into and adept at photo realism. After years of being surrounded by high concept and modern art, I was taken aback at how incredible realism can be in painting. How stunning. Right now, I’m into that. But I appreciate all manner of art, as long as I feel I’m not being conned by someone with a budget and no ideas. Ideas are queen.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Talk to me in ten years when my son is 14, and I have time for hobbies again. That said, I like to get crafty with my bad self and make all sorts of things- chocolate, soft toys, models of volcanoes that work.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Whiskey is my favorite vice. Also crap TV.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

Forge ahead. Like a Sherpa. Up that hill. With breaks built in to catch your breath. (the breaks are a new idea for me, but definitely smart)

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

I do. Anything that has the letter “r” in its name. I like my husband to cook.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Thank GOD that hasn’t happened often at all, but now that you’ve made me say it out loud, it will. THANKS A LOT, BERNADETTE! But really, honestly, it has only happened when I have compromised too much and let peoples’ worry and micromanaging win out. Then the product turns out lame. 

13. Truth or Dare? Elaborate.

Truth. Because I am not the type to run naked to the mailbox and back on a dare.

14. What is your most prized possession?

Can my child be a possession? If not, then my husband.

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