Art Over Function

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter or any social media site, you may have seen me post the hashtag "#ArtOverFunction." I usually tag all the photos I take with it, and I'm going to explain why.

When I began to realize my interest in photography, I was about 11. I had won a competition for a logo and name contest, and the prize was a solid $500 for both of them. I purchased a small video camera off of eBay, and it didn't last very long. Then at about age 13 I asked for a camera for Christmas and I got this tiny basic pink digital camera from a family friend, and I loved it. It lasted me through summer camp and for maybe a few months ago, but that was the end of that.

I liked the idea of being able to look at your past self through videos and photos; I liked the idea of being able to capture a memory. My parents recorded a lot of videos of me and my big brother, and took many pictures. When we moved to Liberia, then moved back, we left most of that stuff behind. I think we may have one video that we still have, Christmas of 98'. I say all of this because I feel like that is one of the reasons I value these forms of visual memorabilia. After high school, I purchased my first DSLR camera, not just for pictures, but to record videos and such also.

As I took photos and began posting them on the internet, I had many friends and acquaintances ask about getting their pictures taken or recording videos together, which I absolutely adore. But as I began taking pictures for people, I felt like I was doing them a disservice; I wasn't taking these photos to specifically be used for things, I was taking them as a form of self expression. I know that I do not have the newest electronics, or the most education when it comes to photography, nor do I produce professional work that reflects that. But I feel like these pictures catch things that would otherwise be forgotten: moments, smiles, colors, ideas, emotions. That's when I came up with the #ArtOverFunction phrase.

Although some of my pictures can be used for things like promos, headshots, holiday pictures, that is not their primary purpose. AKA Although they are functional for other things, they are art first. Hence "Art Over Function." I honestly just feel like that is such a great explanation of my work, not only photography and videos, but also my painting. I feel like it removes the restriction of guidelines on what and how things have to be. It takes away the rules for me, which gives me more freedom to create without the burden of comparing myself to others.

Sometimes its okay for things to be just art. Sometimes its okay to just be an artist

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