After looking through Alicia Savage’s photographs, I felt like I was brought into a quiet and calm dream world. With her use of different environments, colors and scenarios, it wasn’t hard for me to stop and stare for a moment. As Savage’s face was covered in each of the photographs, (whether hidden within her hair or under a cotton candy cloud), I was able to really notice and value the details. What seemed like a natural situation at first, as she stood in the woods or sat on her bed, quickly became a different image entirely. Reality was skewed just a little bit by the minimal and obvious details.
Photographer Alicia Savage is making a name for herself in this mighty interesting world. Since asking her to do this interview a few months ago, she’s had gallery openings, workshops and traveling endeavors. Needless to say, I am happy to welcome Alicia Savage into this interviewing series.
Connie: Along with working in the studio and working on your self-portrait photography projects, you also teach photography workshops in Boston. What has teaching taught you?
Alicia: Teaching has taught me how incredibly important and valuable it is to share what you know. It’s always a test of my abilities, and a friendly reminder of what I don’t know and how much I can learn from my students. What I love most about teaching is that it is always a collaborative environment.
You’ve traveled to Italy, Spain, Canada, Maine and many other places, however, you’ve stated that your favorite place is at a lake house. Is this still true and can you explain why?
This is true. 6AM at my lake house when the lake is like glass and all you can hear are the subtle sounds of the water and trees awaking – is by far my favorite place anywhere. It’s an experience and comfort that has existed in my memories as long as I can remember, and a place that continues to provide me so much calmness. I have had the chance to travel to some beautiful places, but as I continue to visit new places, it has made me realize how unique my home and particularly my spot on the lake is– and how important of a place it is to me. I have a feeling that no matter where I travel to through out my lifetime that will always remain the same.
On your Alicia Savage Photography Facebook Page, you mention often that BU CDIA (Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts) supported and encouraged you while you were studying photography there. Do you think Boston or Massachusetts, in general, is supportive to up-and-coming artists such as yourself?
BU CDIA has been a huge source of support for me and has resulted in so many incredible friendships. As an emerging artist I have always experienced a supportive environment here in Boston, but I can also say that as a Boston artist you need to reach out to those connections and put yourself and your work out there to have that experience. The Art scene most definitely exists in Boston, but its not always in plain view.
As an artist part of this generation that heavily depends on technology, how do you think this affects the art of photography and the appreciation for it?
Developments in technology will always bring new challenges, but it also brings new opportunities during those transitions. We live in a day when you can essentially publish yourself and express who you are without the means of an agency or publisher. Everyone that carries an iPhone or camera is a photographer, and why shouldn’t they be. I think it’s awesome that everyone has the opportunity to explore the medium in some form, and are not be limited by equipment, cost, or career choice. Technology and the convenience of the iPhone camera has definitely changed the demand of some products/services with in the industry, but as a profession I feel it will always be defined by the intention of ones voice/vision and the ability of consistency with in the medium. I feel that will always be valued and appreciated.
After having received an art degree at Northeastern and then receiving a certificate in photography at Boston University, do you think it’s wise for someone who is just starting out in this art to attend school or get trained?
This is a difficult one to answer as we all come from different levels of experience. Some have invested in their artistic abilities since they were children, while others, such as myself, may not have discovered their interest until they were older. Obtaining an education and having the opportunity to be surrounded, inspired, and challenged by those like-minded, I think is always essential and beneficial – but those opportunities don’t only exist with in a classroom. As an artist, and as in any profession, it’s your work ethic and personal dedication that will determine your growth and success. Regardless of your choice to be self-taught or preference of the structure of an academic environment – create your own projects that will never be graded and ask for critiques on photographs that may never be seen. For me I found attending BU CDIA extremely beneficial, but know that your passion and determination needs to exceed any expectations that you feel an academic program will provide you.
Who or what inspires you?
For the past two years my work has been very self-reflective and I have had the opportunity to take some time to travel and explore on my own. I find that I am always most inspired by those I meet while traveling and my surroundings. More specifically, the area of Nova Scotia where my Grandmother grew-up, hence why much of my work is based there.
Alicia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and taking the time in doing this interview. You bring up some interesting thoughts and great perspectives on the ways in which one can learn and practice their craft.
For more information on Alicia and her next adventure, visit her Facebook page.