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Personification Images by CarlyErin O'Neil

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(as written by the artist, in response to being asked, “Why?”)
This won’t be written in third-person, as I feel that has too much pomposity, and my work isn’t about elevation, but cataclysms. I hope only to spawn thought and reflection- all private reactions to the visual and written forms of my art, in order to catalyze the viewer’s innate creative self. Through these private moments, awakenings and revelations of the viewer, I truly hope that they can then move to continue the cycle of inspired freedom of self.

It’s come to my attention recently that I have been a photographer as long as I can remember; I was “that girl” backstage taking all the photos, “that girl” in high school driving everyone nuts with the camera, the candids, the not-so-candids, and I was the girl whose grandmother incessantly moaned about how much film I was going through.

After many years away from the camera in my early 20s, I returned to photography as a model, makeup artist and muse, which eventually lead me back to my camera. As a model I travelled quite a bit, and fell in love with the documentation of the world around me. As a personal belief, I feel as though the world has closed its eyes- and I wanted to reopen them, not out of the typical fear-driven-media models, but in love, inspiration and admiration for the diversity and beauty that exists in all things- animate or inanimate.

In Travel photography-writing, the beauty of the land captures my heart, and the ability to stand outside of the human existence as merely an observer to that which is almost obsolete to most eyes, is what drives my perspective as a photographer and a writer. Through my own introspections and documentations I hope to create a span of imagery and writing to influence even the most closed of hearts to escape their own neighborhoods and immerse themselves in light and land.

My personal projects, my “Soulshine”, are driven by the exploration of the ordinary and the emphasis on internalization. Abstraction in a familiar voice is what I strive for. My obsession with the ordinary is uncontrollable – hence the explorative approach to most of my human and non human subjects alike. Soulshine is often a dark-path-which-leads-us-to-the-light intuition. In order to find truths, you must dispel the delusions.

Lastly my client work also satisfies my need to realize other’s visions and allows me to live vicariously through their interpretations of space and time. This echoes the internalization of my other work; in that I am allowed inside of their creative self to mold and shape the essence of their vision to something that translates to many.

I do not have formal education, although I do hope to return soon to finish my BFA and perhaps add on a degree in Literature. I am the eternal student of the world, soaking in all knowledge I can get my hands on and could spend my life happily studying a variety of subjects. That is why photography and writing in combination is so engaging to me; the combination between the “left brain” and the “right brain” keeps me on my toes and consistently challenged, even though some of my projects are solely one or the other.

In turn, I have been lucky enough, as a model these past 4 and a half years, to ask questions of the most talented of photographers, including Steve Vaccariello, George Pitts, Steve Brickles, and Mathias Oppersdorff, and study their techniques and tics. My greatest learning experience, however, has been the year’s internship and promotion to partner at MilkmanStudio, under Joao Carlos.

I feel, even though I am still a new voice in these worlds of artistic expression, my vision is concise and my ambition limitless. For me, photography is the part of the dream you remember, whilst reality is merely the dream.

CarlyErin O'Neil 's current location:
Los Angeles, Ca , United States

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