VOICE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
Interview with Voice artist Davey Jones
Davey Jones is a multifaceted LGBTQ award-winning Artist. He began his journey into the arts at age 6 when he was enrolled in theatre and spent the next 15 years creating sets, costumes, and student directing shows all while maintaining lead roles and winning awards for his acting at a state and national level. At 24 he turned his focus from the performing arts to start his journey into the visual arts. Davey’s photography was quickly noticed by prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community and has worked with fashion designers such as BCALLA and TV Host Brooke Lynn Hytes from ‘Canadas Drag Race’. In 2018 he became the national title holder for TV production at the Skill USA National Competition, the world's largest skill-based completion. His work also garnished him 11 ADDY awards for photography, videography, and graphic design from The American Advertising Awards. His work can be seen in things like Project Runway, Forbes, Fashion Week Online, New York Fashion Week, CNN, Ebony, and Extra. He is currently working with NFTs and has had moderate success with the largest growing site for upcoming NFT artists around the world, Voice.com. His work has been featured on the site's homepage numerous times and you can see his NFTs there. Check them out!
Can you describe that "moment" (experience, emotion,) when you knew that photography was something you just had to do?
Even from a young age, I was drawn to the visual arts. Theatre, Film, Photography...if it was art I was there for it. So it was never a doubt that I wouldn’t end up there. I had always played with a digital camera as a kid and started using Photoshop at age 13. So being around cameras and photo programs just came second nature to me by the time I had become an adult. But I didn’t start shooting at the level I am now until 7 years ago. I had come off working as a PA on a TV Series called ‘Salem’ and working for a fashion designer, Enid Almanza. Seeing the production side of film and that side of fashion photography made me realize that I wanted to be behind the camera. So I dove head first into shooting both photos and video. Then it became completely solidified when I went back to school for Graphic Design, Photography & Video. Almost anything involving the visual arts comes to me very naturally and It also helps me express myself more than I can in any other way. There was no better feeling than realizing I had found something that I truly loved doing…creating.
What are some favorite things about being a photographer? What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
My favorite thing about photography is the ability to create worlds and emotions outside of our own. Being able to control what goes into my lens gives me a sense of center in a chaotic world. But what I’ve struggled with the most is burning myself out. After I monetized my craft it began to lose its luster and I went into a 1.5-year burnout. All I could do was step away from it and reevaluate why I was doing it. Was I doing it to make money or was I doing it to make art? Once I realized it was more important to express myself and be true to who I was and make beautiful things, the burnout left almost immediately.
How did famous photographers influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
Pop surrealism and fashion photography are something I’ve always been drawn to. David LaChapelle, Steven Klein, and Annie Leibovitz were probably my biggest influences growing up. I loved the bright colors or the muted tones and how the images sometimes looked very surreal. Their work conveys messages and speaks for itself and that’s what I want my work to do.
How did you develop your style?
My style was learned through a combination of my cynical views on life, my obsession with pop culture, and experiences I have shared with others. I played with high-concept imagery a lot and that gave me a lot of creative freedom to use colors and dramatic lighting and learn a good balance between “my style” and technique.
What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Hands-down Fashion and Beauty Editorials. I love creating themes and stories to go into my shoots. The production that goes into creating those types of shoots is my favorite part of the creative process. Taking an idea or overall vision and executing it, sometimes even flawlessly, gives me a sense of pride in my work that I normally wouldn’t feel with a shoot that had no planning involved.
What is it that you want to say with your photographs?
That beauty is in everything and everyone…and it's okay to be a little broken. Society wants us to believe that perfection is achievable and that we have to adhere to a certain standard if we want to be “professional or admired”. The truth is it's all fake. We convince ourselves from a young age that we HAVE to color inside the lines. But the lines are only there as a guide. What one person sees isn’t the same thing that someone else may see. One of my favorite things is to hear how people interpret my work from their view. Some people love my work while others hate it, It rarely falls in between. As long as people feel something, anything. It’s valid.
If you could take your art in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead. What new thing would you try?
Failure and rejection have always been present in my life. If I let fear hold me back from doing what I wanted I wouldn’t be creating art, let alone opening my mouth. Am I scared of where my life may go? Sure! Who isn’t? But those 2 things are crucial to the creative process, not just for art but for life in general. Remember, 90% of success is failure.
What is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken?
That's very difficult for me to answer. I’d have to say my favorite photo I’ve ever taken would have to be one of the very first images I took when I got my Canon 5d, an image of my mother. She’s been the strongest support system I’ve ever had. From coming out to making reckless career moves. She’s always been there for me.
Some photographers say that they see the world differently and that they have a different perspective on life. What is your perspective on the world and life?
It’s not over until it’s over. Nothing in life lasts forever…feelings, opportunities, people… even love, come and go. Photography and art have taught me to accept the things I can’t change and how to find happiness in the darkest of places and savor as many feelings as I can. How we view things in our minds is very similar to how we view things like art. Memories are like art. Four people could all share the same experience but each one will remember it differently. Either blocking out certain parts that hurt or amplifying parts that felt good. People do the same with art.
What is your newest project?
Currently, I’m working on my first “official” NFT collection of 8 pieces that revolve around sustainability from an environmental standpoint. Using photography, video, and original music, I’m creating pieces that use contrasting images of nature and the negative effect humans can have on it. Environmental issues hit very close to home for me. I was a victim of hurricanes multiple times in my life. I lost my entire home in 2021 to Hurricane Laura and not just me but the entire city of Lake Charles almost. Very few ppl were lucky to not have had any damage done. So seeing the intensity of things like hurricanes, forest fires, and droughts increasing. It is very important to me.