When it comes to style they’re are few photographers that catch my eyes, abrilliantdummy has to be one them.
Through the use of color and very minimal subject matter in a frame there’s an intensity that tells the most detailed of stories. Question is who is abrilliantdummy is you search through the artist’s feed you may be left with more questions than answers.[hr gap=””]
- Who is abrilliantdummy? You keep yourself pretty anonymous as far as social media is concerned?
a Brilliant Dummy is….. a left and right brain person! The nickname itself comes from having a background in Math & Computer Science, but also being a web/graphic designer too. I put my geek days behind me as of late to nurture the creative side, but I can pull out my pocket protectors at any given second :).
I keep my identity under wraps online, simply because I’m a private person in general. I probably would have slipped up a long time ago and posted my identity, but people notice it so much I just keep it going even more now. Lol, I don’t want my work to be about me though. It’s about my ideas. The people who want and need to know me have real access to me. I’m super old-fashioned when it comes to meeting/communicating with people. See me offline so I know it’s real lol.
- What sparked your interest in photography? What serves your inspiration?
What really sparked my interest was not being able to afford good photographers to shoot lookbooks for my clothing line. Lol, the first few shoots we worked with photographers, they didn’t have much direction or ideas when we were shooting so I would have to step in to direct our shoots. After a while I was just like, you know what, since I’m directing these shoots I might as well shoot them too and save money. I started shooting pictures with my phone when I would travel or hang out with my friends and fast-forward two years, it’s taken off beyond what I ever imagined.
My biggest inspirations in my photography are my nieces, nephews and my friends. I can’t walk in my nieces and nephews house without them asking when’s the next time were going to shoot. Lol. They keep the brightness and color in me alive. My friends are only cool when they do the stunts I tell them to. They cry, but they’re happy with the photos in the end….lol
- How does your work represent you as a person? And what’s your favorite picture currently?
My work is very minimal and simple- like me. The simplicity and wittiness is all a reflection of who I am behind the camera. I always try to single out my subjects in each photo, because in many ways I feel set apart, myself. When I first started to include my fam and friends in my photos. I would try to hide their faces to keep their identities anonymous too lol.
My favorite picture is a photo I snapped of one of my homies against a black wall and a crown drawn over his head with the lyrics “Acting in ways that shows you’re chosen” from a song called “Entitlement” by Beautiful Eulogy. It’s funny because I took that photo months ago but for some reason every time I open my Instagram app on my phone it opens to that photo in my feed. I think it’s a reminder to me that I have been chosen already so there’s no need for extra “performance.” I think that’s one thing that we all seek for whether we want to admit it or not. We’re all looking to be chosen by someone/something, but when you know that God has chosen you, you just act…think…live differently.
- One thing that stands out to me is your use of color? Where’d that come from?
I have no idea where the color came from, honestly. Lol A few weeks ago I went back early into my feed to see where my turning point was and I couldn’t pin point it. Subconsciously, I think I use a lot of color in my photos because one it catches my eyes, and two I’m such a behind the scenes and quiet person that the color allows me to finally be loud and speak up. In a way I get to say all the things I want to say, but afraid to say through the color in my photos. The colors are so bold and confident, and those are attributes that I personally want more of.
- What do want to achieve from photography? What are your goals?
I only have 1 goal in my life and that’s to finish my race. I would be lying to you if I told you these lists of goals I’ve set for myself to accomplish, particularly with my photography, because at the moment, I don’t. I never set out to be anyone’s photographer or creative inspiration; I just simply liked taking pictures when I went outside. I’m a creator at heart so today I may express an idea through photography and tomorrow I may express it through making a really good looking fruit salad in the shape of an angry bird head! I never know what’s next until I’m lead there. That’s just how my life flows.
One thing I will say about my work as I take this journey is that I hope to spark pure imaginations in photographers again, especially for African American photographers. We all don’t have to be photojournalist. No knock to those who are photojournalist, but some of us just have great imaginations and ideas that need to come to life without essays attached to it.
- Now to step away from photography for a second, tell me something people would never guess about you?
I don’t think people would guess I have a degree in Math & Computer Science and that I was a computer programmer for about 5 years before pursuing a career in design. I’ve been creative all my life, but I just started actually creating about 4 years ago. Lol
And once and for all …….drum roll…..I am not a man. I don’t know who started the rumor, but to set the record straight- I’m a female, so people can stop calling me ‘bro’ now J LOL
- Besides photography, are there other things you dapple in creatively?
I love making music. I tried my hand at production two years ago, but abruptly stopped to pursue photography and fashion design (and because my brother took all his equipment when he moved to LA lol). I miss making music though. I hear melodies in my head all the time, so to be able to bring that to life is pretty sweet to me. I also own a clothing line with my college friend, Ashlee, named Crumbled Thoughts, which launched in 2011.
8.Who are your favorite musical artists?
Whew this is going to be tough… Anita Baker, Chase Flow, Sango, Beautiful Eulogy Johnathan McReynolds, Robert Glasper and Kendrick Lamar to name a few……oh and KENNY G! (Yes, I love Kenny G so much lol.)
- Name one person dead or alive who like to have a conversation? Why?
Hmm…I would love to have a conversation with Marvin Gaye. There are 3 things for sure I know God wrote on this earth and that’s The Bible, The 10 Commandments…and the What’s Going On album! Lol I think he’s the only person who can take the same melody, and make 10 different distinct songs. I would just want to ask him if he ever second-guessed himself in making that album.
- Any words of wisdom to share with creatives who look up to you?
Once your passion becomes a job, you’ll want to quit. I’m sure there’s at least 1 person right now working at Disney World that wants to quit ! Lol. The key is to never allow your passion/purpose to be diluted to a job. I hear a lot of creatives say they just want to be paid for doing what they love or be paid for their art, but the truth is once money becomes your reward and not the art itself and how it serves others, you’ll begin to devalue your art. You’ll start taking on projects or working with people that don’t really respect your art or your visions and because they are the ones paying you they can now have a say in your craft and alter it to fit their needs. Play your part no matter what. If money comes, then great, but if it doesn’t come, keep playing your part. True creatives, create whether they are rewarded or not.
First I want to thank abrillintdummy for sharing her work with me and allowing be to dig a bit into to the person behind it. It’s great to see even during the time of social media some artists still keep the air of mysteriousness about themselves and can separate themselves from their online counterparts. Real art has no attachment to the notoriety that it can bring rather it just exists purely from love, and I believe this is what draws me into her work.