I’m happy to be featuring an artist with whom I have collaborated with for almost an entire year now! The 33-year old multi-talented female artist goes by the pseudonym TOTSPUPS which encapsulates high quality photography, art direction, and web development. TOTSPUPS is located in West Los Angeles, California. If you’re in the LA area- look her up!
Q1. At what point in your life did you know you’d be an artist? I spent more time coloring then anything else as a child. I was so distracted noticing colors, shapes, and lines that I refused to learn to read as a child. I thought words were so boring when you can stare at art. I wanted to be an artist but didn’t make that big decision until the end of sophomore year at USC when I decide to become a professional photographer and enrolled in Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.
Q2. Do you have another talent/passion/hobby? Where do I start? I think most artists are sensitive to many things. To be a versatile photographer, it is important to understand fashion, architecture, design, interior design, style (hair, nails & makeup), and technology (now that most photography is all digital). I love all of the above and I also love to cook.
Q3. Who has been the most encouraging person in your life? Funny question because most of my life I have been discouraged to pursue art. There wasn’t a source of encouragement, to be frank. One day I decided to take ownership of my life and I am glad that I did. It changed the course of my life. I learned a great deal about what is important to me and my happiness.
Q4. What inspires you? Everything inspires me. Before web, I looked at magazines, movies, books; anything that I can find that had photographs. Now with web, I browse online at least 2-3 hours a day. It is amazing how easy it is to find great art from all around the world. Most recently baby Lily inspired me to take photos of children and pets which lead to TOTSPUPS. Her smile and her charismatic personality made me want to pursue child photography which is something that never crossed my mind.
Q5. What medium still intimidates you? For me, drawing, painting, and collage making takes too long to get it to a point I like. I can kind of draw but I prefer to let the professionals do it because I actually feel miserable during that long creation process.
Q6. What artistic trend do you dislike? In photography, I loathe subject against a white background. It actually makes me nuts. I personally use the background to add a story, a mystery, a feeling, a something to my portraits. So to me white background is a wasted opportunity to add to the story of the photo.
Q7. What has been you favorite piece of someone else’s art up until this point in your life? There are just so many. I have the upmost respect for photographers who have a commercial success without compromising their artistic integrity/voice and still keep the work relevant and withstand the test of time. Nick Knight and Sean Ellis would be the two that comes to my mind.
Q8. Do you do photography full-time? I did and it wasn’t fun. When you work as a photographer full time the type of work that comes in is generally not interesting and very vanilla. I did it for 2 years and decided that I would like to do it on a commissioned basis and only take on clients’ projects that are interesting/inspiring to me. Today, my business is all about personalized photographic gifts. It is for people that want to give more than Babies-R-Us gift cards. I chose children and dogs because their candid expressions and precious moments are the things people savior the most. With a click of the shutter I have frozen these moments forever. They may grow but these photographs can be retrieved and enjoyed over and over again. I find this very fulfilling.
Q9. Do you think you have a specific style? What is that style and do you see yourself evolving out of that anytime soon? It took 10 years to develop my style and I hope to evolve. During my early years I like bright colors with eye catching poses. In time that evolved into a being drawn to a combination of controlled loud colors paired with muted colors.
For my child and pet photography, I like large reflections in the subject’ eyes which makes them sparkle. I like pure uncensored candid expressions. My job is to capture the subject’s personality to tell their story at that moment in time. I guess I am a memory catcher who can take these moments and create poster size prints, photo books, cards, invitations, or caricature stamped portraits.
I promised myself on Saturday that I would try to be consistent with my Monday link sharing! So here you go:
The photos above are from my trip to England in 2007. Lately I’ve been wanting to go back. A lot.
I know POST 27 has been making the rounds in the blog world but if you haven’t checked it out…DO! Beautiful website design and amazing products.
Adam shared Creativebe with me last week. Fun apps and a great way to store your recipes.
One of my favorite Flickr sets!
I’ve been designing custom and altering basic WordPress themes lately. This has been handy.
Lastly, I’ve been reading about Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Budwig Diet. My 12 year old sister was diagnosed with Celiac Disease/thyroid disorder last year and is currently taking on the flaxseed oil/cottage cheese supplement in her diet. I’m really excited about it and interested to see what happens. She’s only twelve years old but she has the maturity of an adult and she is one of the people I admire most.
Have a wonderful Monday!
The past week or so has been crazy and I don’t think I realized that until now. We were either in in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, or here in Columbus working. I must say that I’m utterly amazed at how much freelance design work that I’ve been receiving and I feel very blessed. I know this journey won’t always be easy but I’m so much happier doing the things that I love. Enjoy the photos and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
A road trip with Adam. He’s my favorite. Enjoy your Saturdays!
I’m anticipating a trip to the Apple Store to purchase my very own iMac. I’ve been working on a Macbook Pro for three years now and everything about the upgrade sounds wonderful. I’m currently looking to sell my 3-year old Macbook Pro to anyone that is interested. I’m also selling my 6 month old Canon PowerShot SD780 IS. After I got my iPhone, it’s just not something that I use. If you’re interested in either, send me an email to salutations[at]allisonlehman.com and I can give you specs and my asking price!
I’ve been stuck inside for most of February and I blame most of it on the snow. Since I’m not out exploring the world, I thought I’d share some things I’ve found online. Enjoy! The week is half over!
I’ve been reading this little bits at a time. I’ve really enjoyed it.
My husband and I have been thinking of creative ways to support this organization.
This truly is a beautiful idea. Still in the process of exploring the site.
My favorite commercial. Ever.
These drawings are spectacular. Tattoo inspiration for
Great colors, great design. I need more maps like this. Oh wait, I have an iPhone :)
She may prompt a trip to NYC soon.
Click here to visit Hello Tiger.
Hey pals, I’m headed off to relax, sleep, and spend time with friends until Sunday. Enjoy your weekends and I’ll be back rested on Monday.
Image found here. It’s currently my wallpaper.
Is reading a passion, a habit, a personality trait, or a task? Sometimes I can’t figure out why I don’t create more time to read. Rewind ten years ago and all I did was read. I’m currently trying to read a few books:
– Ayn Rand and the World She Made : Anne C. Heller
– How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul : Adrian Shaughnessy
– The Cheese Monkeys : Chip Kidd
– With Christ in the School of Prayer : Andrew Murray
We’ll see how this year goes. I’m hopeful.