How did you get into painting and photography and what made you combine the two? Back when I was in Art College, in 1999 or 2000, I started painting on photos from magazines. I made them all the time, I remember putting Elliot Smith on and just creating for hours and hours. Fast forward to 2009 when I had quit Lullie Vintage and I spent 6 months trying to figure out what career or path to do next. Karl Edwin Guerre and I hung out while I was trying to take street fashion pics for the blog, and he showed me how to use my camera on a manual setting and not use automatic. I went home a different person. All of a sudden I was trying to take pictures artistically, seeing what I could do with the shutter speed and f stops. It opened up my world to so much. It gave me the power to make what I envisioned in my head. It was such a moment of realization and excitement. Then about a month or 2 later I started printing my photos and naturally I just began painting on them like I had in Art School.
Are you an artist full time? If so, what’s your secret, how do you manage to live of it? I am a full time artist…BUT I have not made money from it yet. My husband and parents gave me this amazing 2 year grace period, where they wanted me to be able to learn and grow as a photographer…so the financial pressure was lifted from me for that time period, which was SUCH a blessing. But, now I have to contribute to the bills, which is why I have opened Lullie Vintage back up. I am just now beginning to try and figure it all out, can I make a living from my art? Are people interested in my work? Can I really do this or is this just a form of self expression. I hope the future holds a few things in store for me, for one, I really want to have a baby! In the next year or so I would like to try and get pregnant! As for art…I will continue to create…take photos, and paint on them. I don’t think very many people even know my work exists…It would be interesting to see what would happen if more people saw my work.
Where do you find all your wonderful clothes and the clothes your models wear? I have been collecting vintage since I was 11 or 12 years old. Back when vintage was super cheap. My mom and I would go to thrift shops and antique shops and come home with bags full of stuff for practically nothing. Now, vintage is so hip and in fashion, so it’s harder to get those amazing deals on antiques. The glory days are gone, haha! But, we still have a lot left from those days and I use that. I find things from thrift shops, Etsy, my moms house, my old collections…you name it! I make costumes sometimes, I make a lot of things for shoots, if I can’t find exactly what I want. I’ve never had a stylist work for me, so I have no idea what it’s like to not have 100% control over a shoot. But…I am getting ready to collaborate on a fun shoot with stylist & designer Coryn Madley (http://madley.com/). We’ve been talking about collaborating for some time now, and it is supposedly going to happen this month…fun!
Who/what is your inspiration? Oh my gosh, I am inspired by soooo many things. I am infinitely inspired by the past, in particular the 1800′s through the 1940′s.
Paintings, writers and even music from other time periods are usually what get my creative mind stirring. Kandinsky, Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Osbert, Leon Bakst, and many old art nouveau illustrations. Old Films are incredibly inspiring too! Nature is the best! I’ll drive around looking for a shoot location and places that I find are incredibly inspiring, a lot of times they make the image what it is…the land, the trees, the sky.
As for a person….my mom Karen Acopian and my husband Brett Detar (he is a musician and film composer). Brett blows me away with his creativity. He can sit down and write a beautiful song pretty much at the drop of a hat. How he finds the inspiration and creativity at any given moment is something I would love to tap into!
And my mom, gosh, I would credit most everything about me, to her genes and influence, how she raised me, the things she made me aware of at an early age. She is so caring, giving, she has such empathy for people, I love that she is always thinking about others and rarely herself. Her creative mind is always stirring. Her house is like a magic world for me. I remember posting images of her house a few years ago online and people loved it, it got re-blogged a lot, because she is just amazing, her house is soooo gorgeous. She makes jewelry and fun crafty cards and she finds me my favorite vintage pieces…she and my husband are my best friends.
Thank you so much, Shae, for answering our questions. Your art is truley inspiring!