my back-to-school present to you all is a brand new interview! this month's "someone" is a new friend of mine, andrew lyman. currently a junior photography major at the savannah college of art and design, andrew's an enthusiastic camera-carrying-24-7 kind of guy. combine his enormous passion for his practice and his persistent work ethic, andrew's a photographer to notice. he was an intern over at ryan mcginley this past summer alone, as well as a featured artist in the "blog/reblog" photo exhibition over at signal gallery in brooklyn at the same time. toting a cv full of features longer than my shopping cart on nasty gal (impressive!), having andrew talk to me one-on-one about his current achievements and future goals seemed only natural. our connection could not be more "six degrees of separation": first mutual tumblr followers, then meeting at a mica house party, the situation caught me wholly unprepared. (try starting an introduction with, "hey, i follow you on tumblr!") andrew as an internet personality and real-life human being has proved to be one cool kid. i hope you enjoy this interview as much as i did!
vivian: tell me more about new york.
andrew: New York was absolutely exhausting in the best way. I was working almost everyday in the week, and outside of work there was always something going on. I thought there were going to be nights where I felt really alone because i was away from home, but I ended up being surrounded by friends almost every hour of everyday. In addition to the hoards of SCAD kids who go to New York in the Summer, for the first two months I was sharing a room on the East side of Bushwick with one of my closest friends from Atlanta, Adam [and his girlfriend Izzy] so I got to spend a lot of time with them. Then in August, I moved to a loft space in the East Williamsburg/Bushwick area off of the Jefferson L. It was disgustingly amazing because my best friend from school, Rebekah, who was also living in a loft, was only a couple blocks away from me. Through my internships and just hanging out I met so many good people that really made me feel like New York could be . It was exhausting but energizing at the same time. I came home missing my new friends and having things to do 24/7, but I was so glad to have real food to eat, and to be able to keep money in my wallet for more than five minutes.
v: how did photography come into your life?
a: I got my first camera when I was 16, but I didn’t really get into photography as an art medium until I started taking pictures in college. I began wanting to be a painter and was pretty dead set on the matter until I picked up this one project taking pictures. I switched majors and told my friends, then found out that everyone thought I was a photographer anyway.
v: when you're shooting, what are you thinking about?
a: When I go into camera mode, whether I’m on an organized shoot or just pulling my camera out of my backpack, I always have shots in my head that I’m looking for. Certain things stick in my mind that I know I want to photograph eventually when the time is right. Sometimes they just happen and other times I completely organize everything in the photograph.
v: your photos are typically candid or feel very momentary. when you plan a studio shoot how does your process differ?
a: Shooting in public and in a more controlled environment are definitely two different challenges. When I go out with my camera, it’s all about catching moments as they happen, which can suck if you’re just a second too late. However I get some really amazing pictures because they are totally, completely candid. In settings that more planned, where I arrange friends to come take pictures with me, the challenge is making whatever happens in front of the camera feel real. In these situations, I just try to keep everything low key and fun and just kind of talk through everything. I shoot a lot and end up catching some nice intimate moments.
v: when you feel inspiration striking, what is that like?
a: It’s amazing! When I think of something really cool it comes over in a wave and I totally lose concentration on anything else. It can happen at any moment of any day, but I get a lot of good ideas when I’m on a walk or riding my bike. (And when I’m on tumblr for too long.)
v: your dream job?
a: My dream job would probably be to work freelance with a studio and get represented by a gallery, but maybe not forever. Really I’d be happy with any situation where I get to keep taking pictures and doing my thing. I just want to be able to have time to live my life. We’ll see what happens.
v: recent dream you've had?
a: The last dream that comes to mind is a dream I had a few months ago during the beginning of Summer. I was running around town at night with my friend, Kory, trying to find a house show our friend’s were playing at, but we ended up going through all of these houses of people I’d never met before who weren’t having parties. And for some reason we always had to squeeze through some kind of crawl space to get inside. When we finally found the house show, they were just finishing packing up all of their stuff. They were upstairs, so we went downstairs to leave, where I found that it was my grandparents’ neighbor’s house. Then suddenly Kory and I were holding all of these beers and I was just feeling uncomfortable, kind of being found out by the neighbors. Then we ran away and a bunch of houses were on fire.