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Spotlight On: Greta Deboer

Greta is a photographer, visual artist, and communications major studying in her first year at PSU.

Q: Who are your favorite photographers?

A: I don’t think I have a favorite photographer…. I find more inspiration for my photography from artists in general and less from photographers specifically. I think I am afraid of copying other photographers and that if I look too closely at their work I might fall into a bad pattern of repeating their work. I do love photography of course and I look at a lot of photography, I just hesitate pointing out one photographer as my favorite. I find a lot of inspiration from painters, and even inspiration from people I follow through Instagram, I think there really are so many amazing artists on that platform. My favorite artists right now are Sister Corita Kent, Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, Mónica Hernández and Samera Paz (Paz is a photographer). I am inspired by many, many artists and I can’t contain them all to one list. [@monicagreatgal and @samerapaz on Instagram].

Q: How does your daily life influence your art?

A: I think art is present in everything we do, from how we present ourselves, who we are as people and what we do to make the world different. I try to create a space where I can be truly artistic, where I am surrounded by things that inspire me. I have a lot of plants in my space and work at a plant shop, I am very inspired by the consistent and diverse beauty plants hold and how straightforward they are in their representation of growth and change. Growth is very inspiring to me, the relationships we have to other living things and the questions we are able to ask about who we are and what we are doing is something I think about quite often, which inevitably inspires my art.

Q: Is it important that your art feels alive and in conversation with you?

A: I think it is very important for your art to be alive! Not literally alive in the media or subject but alive in the sense that it consists of something that inspires you and makes you want to ask questions and have conversations. If my art is not something that is able to grow, change or adapt with me I don’t believe I would be proud enough of it or even able to call it art. I don’t think art is something that is ever finished, we are always able to be curious about it and if the art does not elicit any curiosity then it is not alive. I think that life in art is very important.

Q: What do you expect of yourself as an artist?

A: I want my art to reflect my own curiosity on growth and being, hopefully as I create art I am able to articulate those ideas into my photographs and challenge my own ideas and creativity.

Q: How do you go about transforming an idea into a finished project?

A: I think I try not to hold too many expectations when I am creating my images. I use film more often than digital for my photos so it involves a lot of patience when creating art. I want my photos to lead the way for my creativity, I don’t want to fall into a narrow path of perfectionism (which is easy for me and presents a constant struggle). When I get an idea I want to be present and observant when making photographs, especially when making portraits. I want my idea to guide the pathway of the art but I want the subject to lead the tone of the final photo.

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