The Art Of Darkness | Interview

A picture maker, creator and dreamer, Amy Krencius uses photography as a medium to understand herself. When we create, whatever we make is naturally a part of us; an extension of ourselves which we gift to the world. 

“…To confront my own humanity, the light and the darkness, and connect with others on a deeper level. I believe we can bring more compassion into the world by sharing our humanity with each other, and creating is my way of sharing myself with the world.”

As we create and define our own style we often find ourselves experimenting with different mediums. Developing a style can take years sometimes decades for photographers. We often fear judgement and that ‘we’re not good enough’ to really own our own style and create art that reflects who we are as individuals. But that’s the beauty of art. It’s freeing. It’s also personal.

“What I really love about photography and the reason I chose to pursue it was the ability to take elements of reality and turn them into a fantastic world. I love being able to see myself in the spaces I create for my characters, in lands I created. I love being the model in my work because it allows me to fully express myself and see myself in places I could never be otherwise. I would consider myself someone that “makes” pictures, rather than “takes” them. 

As we develop, define, change and adapt we are constantly learning. At some point after we start really honing our craft we often ask ourselves, ‘Am I good enough to be paid?’ and as a photographer that’s a hard question to ask yourself. Because that question is coming from you. If you don’t value your work then no one else will. If you don’t believe you’re worth the $650 you want to charge for an art print then no one else will.

From the countless interviews we have had with artists, especially photographers and musicians – it is clear that you need to value yourself as a creator of ‘x’ before you can start charging ‘y’. People will take advantage of the fact that you don’t value yourself and you’ll end up working for free forever, leave your craft and wish you’d never started to begin with. As Amy mentions, you need to work hard for whatever it is that you want. Try and try again. 

“Through my work, I get to create the fantasy realms I wish I lived in, and have realized the same possibility applies to life. We can have anything we desire if we are willing to work hard for it and not ever quit – every vision realized started as nothing more than an idea. I have learned the importance of having faith in yourself and your vision, and not allowing anyone’s doubts to affect your belief in that. Stay true to yourself and follow your heart no matter what.”

In regards to Amy’s work, her style is a mix of Brooke Shaden paired with Brother’s Grimm and cross that with some beautiful landscapes and moody self-portraits. 

“I usually start with a feeling or idea I am trying to express. Then I design the image as a visual metaphor to express that in the form of a story, creating a “scene” from the life of that character. After design and concept is complete, I will collect the pictures I need to create the image and put it together in Photoshop. Most of my images are built like a painting.

“I start with layout and compositing, then logistics such as light and shadows, then color and texture effects to give a painterly feeling. If I’m not creating that way, it would usually be a portrait style close up, where I would composite in things like hair and create special effects on the eyes and skin. I make landscapes and abstracts occasionally as well! “

The weight of this facade wears on my soul, and I can carry this burden no longer. I will lay down my shields, one by one; the masks that have kept me safe will serve me no more. And I am free, powerful in the beauty of walking in my own skin. As the masks fall, one by one, I step into the truth of who I am…And where they lie I am free

“I chose this image because it represents the evolution that began for me the moment I started creating. As I evolve, I have realized the importance of being fearless in your expression of self, and becoming comfortable in who you are. Art has been a way for me to get to know myself, and not be afraid to lay down the masks I have worn to hide the darker parts of myself. I am becoming free, and this image embodies that for me.”

For her inspiration, Amy references “books, nature, music, movies – anything with a story,” and her ideas are usually free-flowing. She generally jots things down to remember them for later. It’s interesting to hear how people keep track of ideas, notes and inspiration. Whether they are the ’55 tabs’ kind of person or ‘endless notepad notes with no titles’ kind of gal. I’m a mix of the two personally, but keeping track of ideas and inspiration is a sure-fire way to keep tabs on what you’d like to explore next – even if it doesn’t eventuate to anything.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from my emotional state at the time, where I try to come up with a visual metaphor to express what I am thinking or feeling.”

“I don’t worry about what I know how to do. I just try things, and have faith in my ability to figure out anything along the way. If I have a vision, I will not give up until I have achieved it, no matter how many times I have to start over. The only true way to fail is to give up!”

Following our interview with Amy we’ve created a 48-hour creative challenge for readers of Ezra Magazine.

The challenge

Every time you think of a project, idea, business plan, solution to a problem in the world, see something that makes you think, ‘I could do a better job’ – WRITE IT DOWN. For 48 hours you’re going to write every, single thing down that makes you go, ‘hmm’ or ‘ahh’.

Challenge starts on Sunday, July 28 at 5 pm wherever you are in the world.

The rules

  • Even if you think your idea is terrible, write it down anyway
  • Use a program, piece of paper and a pen or something that you can have easy access to for two days
  • Take a photo of (some!) your ideas and tag us @ezramagazineaus

You can view Amy’s work at:
Website: www.amykrencius.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/amykrencius