What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
I have a crew of artists that I traveled and lived with for 10 years, they are my family. Artists of all disciplines, we painted each other's album covers, shot each others videos, played at each others openings. Stick with your crew. Come up together.
How did you discover your creativity?
Never knew a world without it. I don't think it's a choice.
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
Stepping into a world with no connections. When I first showed up in NYC I was "straight off the boat" as they say. I'd been bumming around eastern europe for the summer (quite literally) and when I stepped off the plane at JFK a friend offered me their couch because I had nowhere else to go. I didn't really have any idea about the fashion industry or even how the art world worked, I just knew that I had been taking pictures for years and wanted to do something with them. So I started publishing small collections of my work and leaving it all over the city, in bookstores, coffee shops. I would find peoples mailing addresses and just send them packet of my work. My idea was, no one was looking for me, I had to put my work in front of as many people as possible.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
In the art world a collector named Michael Alago found one of my first self published books in a book store in brooklyn and got in touch with me, he would later go on to introduced me to my first gallery and art dealer, Peter Hay Halpert. In fashion, a guy named Jay Carroll found one of my polaroid books at Opening Ceremonies in Manhattan and hired me to shoot the iconic menswear brand Rogues Gallery, it just kept building from there.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
http://apronandbag.com/products/carpet-bag-7I started a side business/project a few years ago where I collect and deal antique persian and navajo rugs, I make these bags with friends of mine at a company called Stanley & Sons. I have one of these that is my current go to.
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
Find your voice, your unique vision of the world is what's going to make this interesting and differentiate you from the rest. Don't try to emulate of push a style that isn't your own.No one is looking for you, the world isn't "waiting" for you. You have to put your work out and get it out there.Know why you're in this, have no illusions about the world you are stepping into. Figure out what you really want and then head towards it.
What are some of your favorite places/books/blogs/websites for inspiration?
www.wordsforyoungmen.tumblr.comthat's #1 on the web for meI look at a lot of painting, I kind of hate looking at photography for inspriration (but if it has to be photography it's Dennis Hopper & Allen Ginsberg's photography). I studied the Hudson River painters in my free time which I think contributes to my Landscape work. To me tumblr is an incredible resource for visual inspiration.
What would be your DREAM ASSIGNMENT?
National Geographic. Anywhere. Everywhere is the goal.
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
Everyone around me, we don't do this on our own. My wife, folks singer Melaena Cadiz is a huge part of my creative process. Photographer Mandy Lamb has been travelling and shooting with me since the beginning. Chris Black of Done to Death Projects is one of my favorite people to work with.
What would be your last supper?
A very rare steak
What would be your Networking Do's & Don'ts?
Huh, I would immediately say just Don't because the idea of networking rubs me the wrong way, probably because it's generally done wrong. Just be yourself, you can't fake it. Be honest and true and it'll carry through everything you do.
Full Name: Mikael Kennedy
Profession: Photographer and occasional rug dealer
Industry: Fashion, advertising & art
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