I would like to introduce you to my niece Maddy who will be a guest blogger on my Blog. Maddy is one of my Facebook friends. And I just love the photographs she takes. I asked her to be a guest blogger on my Blog . I thought this would be a great way to have some fun, inject new ways of seeing from a totally different perspective, encourage creativity, and give someone an opportunity to be a part of something else, with the aim of creating positive feelings about one's self. I have given Maddy free rein over my blog so I have no idea what she might do or write which is exciting in itself. I have put no limits on this, so we will just see how it goes. So I hope you all will enjoy Maddy's posts and encourage her with thoughtful comments. I am very excited about this project and eagerly await Maddy's first post. I will be posting as usual. Following is a facebook interview we did over Facebook message. Please read this to learn a little more about Maddy. Here we go!
Self Portrait, Mobile Phone photograph, by Maddy 2010
C: Hello Maddy can you tell us about yourself?
M: Hi Candice, well I'm 15 years old and I currently go to school and study at Music Industry College in Brisbane. I love all sorts of art from drawing and painting to film to music. In the past few weeks I have been becoming more and more interested in photography. I recently read a book about a famous photographer; Jacques Henri Lartigue. His works inspired me and now I am even more eager to try out some shoots. In art at school we are constructing installations. I already have everything planned out, and I'm very excited to start building. Ever since I was little I've been making collages and little paintings, hopefully one day I will make a living out of it, as it really does make me happy.
C: Music Industry College sounds very interesting and different Maddy, could you tell me a little bit more about that?
M: It's an amazing school that is situated in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. It's for students of grade 11 and 12 who are looking to be in the music industry when they are graduated and ready for a full time career. There is 25 students at the moment, 15 in grade eleven and 10 in grade twelve. Everyone are such great happy people, that are happy to be at school, and love going to school now. My English and art teacher is in a hip-hop band, which is just the coolest thing ever. All of the 3 teachers are awesome and it's the best learning environment. I'm very lucky to be in such a unique school and to have the opportunity to be one of the first students to ever be there.
C: Do you play music Maddy?
M: Yes I learnt violin for about 6 years (grades 3-9) and did choir at those times also. I know about 3 chords on the guitar, but I pick it up pretty quick if someone shows me what to do. I want to learn the piano, so at the moment while we still have a great one I'm trying to teach myself some basic stuff. I love to sing, when I was little and hopped into the shower I would opera sing for the entire time I was in there, and sometimes in class I will find myself singing a tune.
C: Have you ever thought about being in a band?
M: Yes, it's just my nerves always, and I mean always get the better of me. I have definitely improved on my nervous situation but I still cannot handle being at microphone, whether it be in front of 10 people or 50. And it would depend on how well I knew what I was doing, and if I was comfortable in singing/playing in front of an audience.
C: Yes nerves I can totally understand that. I get nervous when I exhibit my artwork. I have gotten better over the years, too. I think it's a matter of the more you do something the more you learn and familiar a situation becomes. Everytime I exhibit I learn a new skill. And it helps the next time. I try just to be myself and talk about what I know, what I am interested in and not what I am not . What are some of the things you do to help you when the nerves kick in?
M: I tell myself; 'If you just get it over and done with then it is done! You don't have to do it again.' and 'You only live once' Aahaha!, so tacky but they sometimes work. I had to present my English speech today to the class, AND it was being recorded to be sent to the board. Pretty sure I was super quiet and didn't do very well. I'm just really happy it's done!
C: Do learn public speaking at your school?
M: No we don't, but I could possibly talk to my English/art teacher who is in a band about getting some tips. That would be helpful :)
C: Absolutely Maddy public speaking skills can be helpful in life. It sounds like a very creative environment to be in Maddy. Is there anything in particular that you like about Jacques photography work?
M: Well the fact that he was only 5 when he first became intrigued in photography stunned me, and most of the images that were in the book I read were taken from when he was around 5-7 and above. The way he captured the atmosphere of the picture and the emotion on people’s faces is great. He was captivated on happiness. He never wanted to grow up, and happiness was something that he had from a very young age so he never wanted to part with that. Happiness is something that is a big part in my life also, when I was going through a blog; colourmekatie. I was just so happy after seeing all of the photographs and writings she had done. And that is what my installation for art at school is going to be about. I will be placing people in an environment that made me instantly happy, and I want to see if people will feel the same way and their reactions.
C: Happiness is an interesting concept Maddy. Do you think u can be happy when you are grown up? And do u think it is possible to be happy all of the time?
M: Yes of course! I mean there are something’s that will try to get in your way but you can definitely be truely happy all of the time. It usually depends on your mind set of life. It's tricky alot of the time and people don't get it, so I thought if I start reading and thinking about it now. I should be unstoppable in the world of happiness sooner or later :)
C:Sounds like a plan Maddy, what do you think your biggest challenge will be to achieving a permanent state of happiness?
M: I don't know, probably people, people that try to bring you down in their problems and get you involved in things that will harm your emotions.
C: When you take photographs does your subject have to be happy? Or is it more about the fact that you are happy taking the photograph? What kind of things do u do when u are unhappy?
M: The subject doesn't necessarily have to be happy, it's more the atmosphere of the photograph. And yes I should be happy that I am taking a gorgeous photo, and that usually reflects in my emotion, or the subject’s emotion. When I am unhappy I suppose I complain to people about what is annoying or going bad for me. Hahaha!, which I really shouldn't because that just brings people down to my unhappiness. Which I certainly don't want. I sometimes write about it on either my blog or in a book. I will talk to my best friend about how I'm feeling and that calms me down and that helps. I have a range of things I can do when I'm down.
C: Since your school is based in the music industry how do you think you could merge your art with music?
M: Yes, that’s what I hope to do, I'm thinking CD artwork. But also design of tour posters and flyers. There’s actually a gig at The Hive, which is the venue at my schools space, and I designed the poster/flyer/tickets. That was a really good experience for me to go through.
C: Are you working part time while you are at school?
M: No I'm not unfortunately :( I have applied at various places but half of them said they were not interested, which just plain sucks. But lately I have had a few ideas on places that I applied for. So I'm excited to get my resumes out to them.
C: What was the most practical thing you learnt from designing the poster, ticket and flyer?
M: Well the fact that there is only so much space on a piece of paper to cram every bit of information that is necessary, haha! Also seeking advice from other designers for the design of it, to improve. If I had more time to improve on the poster/flyer/ticket. I deffinatly would but I am very happy with what I have done.
ticket designed by Maddy
C: This is a important element in design Maddy, how to use the space, and get the message across in the most powerful way. When you do your happiness installation for school how will you record peoples reactions?
M: I plan to put secret cameras around the space, to see and watch peoples reactions. And then the last part of the installation that the people experience will be either them viewing other previous peoples reactions inside the installation, or show themselves. I have not yet decided on which to do.
C: I like your ideas alot Maddy, I would enjoy seeing this installation.Do you know what it is about art that makes you happy.
M: Just the feeling of letting people see, hear or feel my emotions or experiences. To express whatever is on my mind.
C: Do you think art is important in life?
M: If it helps you become who you are :)
C:Thanks for the interview, Maddy I really enjoyed our conversation and your honest and open responses I am really looking forward to seeing your blog posts.
M: Thankyou for the opportunity to be interviewed and I eagerly await the time to be called upon to start blogging. Maddy