Name: Chris Sirney
Field: Photography (artist)
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
I would like to start off by saying a thank to Velvet Sea for doing this with me. I’m from Southern California and I live in Costa Mesa. I’m a professional cruiser and a part time artist with my main focus being photography. I also do a little photo assisting when that comes up to support my creative side. If you know anyone that may want to work with me, hit me up. The plan, though, is to soon be a full time photographer/artist, who is always cruising.
Nice! We came across your work on Instagram, do you use it as a tool to get your work out there to a broader audience to get noticed?
For the longest time I was fully against social networking because it consumes some peoples life in a negative way, I feel. But it is a tool and a very good way to get new exposure for your work. To answer your question, yes that is why I started using Instagram. I did the whole tumblr thing but that wasn’t nearly as successful for reaching out to new people as Instagram has been for me. I could go on forever about the pros and cons of social networking but not right now.
Who or what gives you inspiration?
The majority of my inspiration comes from contemporary artists. Go to any museum’s contemporary section and you will probably be inspired also. The photographer that I think had the most influence on my work is Robert Frank, he is the man as far as I am concerned. I look to mother nature a lot for inspiration too. I don’t think that’s very visible in the majority of my work but she is extremely inspiring from many perspectives. One of those I thoroughly enjoy is the design of plants, flowers and the use of repetition.
You’ve got a very distinct style, fusing art with photography. Can you describe the way you work? The process?
I always think of art and photography being the same but with so much uncreative work out there it really isn’t. When I am approaching anything creative that I am working on, I start with a lot of pre-planing. It always begins with a spark in my mind, then I will expand from that original idea and it usual stays in my brain for a while. Then when I can afford to start testing the idea out, I am able to start working out all the kinks. Because, rarely for me does it work the first few dozen times, as I had thought it would. When I am working on more of an art driven project I like to try doing the same thing, but in different ways. Like different types of paint or different films and different cameras etc. A Lot of the time I can achieve a similar looks from a few different processes. I try and do as much as I can by hand also.
And what about your instruments? Can you give us a rundown of what you work with?
My main cameras are Nikon F4S & F5, those are my work horses and what I use to shoot surfing. I have a wide range of point and shoot film cameras I use a lot. Nothing too expensive, or out of the ordinary… Yet. I use my computer more then I would like but it is the 21st century I guess.
It looks like you’ve got a fair crew of talented individuals at your disposal, are most of the subjects of your work your friends?
Yeah they are all my friends. I am not good when it comes to being social or reaching out to new people to work with. So if it wasn’t for my friends I would probably be a painter or something else. So if you rip or are interesting looking, email me.
It’s also a very diverse group of people, people from groups that I can’t imagine fitting together. In one portrait on your Instagram I noticed SHADED, a minimal techno artist, and in another, Alex Knost a stylized, indie focused longboarder. Can you shed a bit of light here? It’s a very open minded body of work and I’m intrigued to hear how all these people fit.
That’s actually a funny question for me, I never thought about it that way because they are all my friends. But yeah, I consider myself pretty lucky to have a diverse group of people around me. I would have to say that Skyler (Shaded) is probably the most far out there though, compared to what else is going on. For the most part, everyone I photograph lives within a pretty close radius of each other. Costa Mesa/Newport actually has a cool little scene, with an emphasis on little.
Who are some of your favorite subjects?
Anyone with unique style and will let me photograph them. Hot chicks hahahahaha.
Do you group your works into a specific theme? Or are they produced in more of an individual way?
Yeah I do but on a pretty basic scale though. It would be commercial and fine art. You could probably break it down further then that, but I don’t really at the moment.