“Just go do the art that you love. Regardless if you get recognized, paid, or whatever you think you want for your art, first and foremost just do it for you.”
Joseph Fryer is an engineer in profession, and an artist at heart. He currently lives and works in New York City with his wife Mia (who also runs her own blog) and has done so since April of last year. He runs an Instagram which features his photography. Joseph describes himself as, “a coffee enthusiast, a bit of a fitness junkie, and constantly assuring everyone I am not a hipster no matter how much my behaviour might suggest otherwise”. Read on to find out more about Joseph and his work here. You can also watch his Vimeo video recapping his trip to Iceland last November. In his opinion it is the most beautiful country on earth.
Your Instagram says you are an engineer in profession and an artist at heart. Tell us about your love of art and how you manage to balance a profession and a hobby.
I think my love of Art really started with music when I was child. My mom is a classically trained pianist, so I grew up around extremely talented musicians. One case in particular was a cellist that my mom would perform with named Laurien Laufman. I would sit and listen to them practice for hours transfixed by the music which they played. My love of photography really came about from my maternal Grandfather. When I was growing up, he and my grandmother were traveling all over the world (side note they’ve been to all 7 continents twice, and yes that include Antarctica) and he would take these huge panoramas and stitch them together by hand. He would hang them on his walls in his house and I would love looking at them. He actually gave me my first camera at the ripe old age of three. So technically he’s the one that started it all for me. In fact he also got me into Videography. He has been shooting video since video was commercially available. He has videos from 1950’s London, Taipei, Tokyo, and other major city’s around the world.
Alright, sorry got a little side tracked there, how do I balance it. Its tough you know. You really have to dedicate the time to it. It takes a lot of time and energy to really create something you’re proud of. While having a full time job, I’ve realized that I can really only focus on one form of artistic expression at a time. I love to write, I love to compose music, I love to take photos and make videos but right now my focus is photography and videography. I set aside time each week to go out and shoot, obviously I’m always looking for a shot, and if I see one, I always grab it on my phone but I’ve found that having intent, and making it a scheduled part of my life helps me balance it with all the other stuff life has to offer.
Who has helped you along your journey?
Well, during my little side-track I mentioned two influential people in my life. I think the most important person for my recent resurgence into photography is my lovely wife Mia. I was actually the person who got her into photography, but little did I know she would soon surpass my abilities and push me to get better. She has a great eye for detail and aesthetics, and she has definitely helped me grow in my craft.
What inspires you?
As cheesy at it sounds, whatever I find engaging or beautiful or striking for one reason or another. It could be a ted talk, or another artist’s work, or even just the way the light looks sometimes.
What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
I would say my biggest challenge is time. Knowing what to sacrifice where to make time for my forays into artistic expression.
What message are you trying to share with your work?
At the moment I don’t have a particular message, I just want to continue to improve at my craft and share what I capture. I do however have a few ideas for projects which I hope to do. Don’t want to give away too much just yet though.
How did you learn to deal with criticism?
As my wife will tell you, historically I don’t take criticism all that well in my personal life. However in my work life I am completely fine with it and look at, as something I can improve on. The challenge for me has been to marry the two attitudes. Since what I do is personal I can’t have it completely detatched from my emotions like I do at work, but at the same time its not like someone is talking about my personality or character flaw. That being said its stil a work in progress.
Why do you love art?
I love life, and I really think that’s why I love art. Again sounds cheesy but in all seriousness, I love art that makes me feel something, whether its awe and wonder, amusement, joy, sadness, or even disdain. One of my favourite musical artists goes by the name Jonsi, and his music really captures what I love about art. Its so expressive and you can feel a whole different range of emotions when you listen to his music.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Just do it. Haha seriously I am so full of clichés its not even funny, but in many of my Instagram posts I use the # justgoshoot. It really captures my thought process. Just go do the art that you love. Regardless if you get recognized, paid, or whatever you think you want for your art, first and foremost just do it for you.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back?
The same advice I just gave above actually, I think I wasted a lot of time not shooting or practicing and I wish I had been more proactive.
What are you most excited for in the future?
Doing more videography. I have a few ideas pinging around in my head that I would love to get into video. I got some new video gear, which I’m super excited about. Beyond just art though, I’m excited to see where my life takes me the next couple of years. I actually just moved to NYC last April, so this whole year has been one of discovery and trying new things.