Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My initial artistic love was ballet and modern dance. I wanted to pursue that while I was young, knowing I could always go back to college later, which I did. Even after I started down the scientific path I danced as a hobby and even helped found a small modern company in my town. I’ve had several catastrophic injuries that keep me from dancing much these days but I still remain active with the troop. Today I work as an environmental laboratory manager by day and I photograph and write poetry whenever I can. This past year has been an awakening of finding a new artistic outlet through my illustrated poetry.
When you create, what inspires you?
It is a mixed bag of go with the flow. Nature is my biggest inspiration but most of the time I just do whatever pops into my head or I take advantage of a “happy accident” that happens to cross my path. I participate in a fair number of prompts and challenges and in most of those cases I look for a twist on the given subject.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
If You Dare came about from chasing the amazing storm in the background. I couldn’t get a clear shot from the road so I walked out to that beach (on private property, shhhh). The tree was the “happy accident”. The minute I saw it I knew that was to be the subject of my photograph. The tree is a remnant of Hurricane Ivan that hit in 2004. The sun was so bright it was hard to see what I had captured but I took a series of shots. When I got back to the car and saw this one with the branch’s shadow reaching toward the viewer.
How did you first discover your love for photography?
I actually started taking photographs as a means to support a scientific illustration class I was taking in grad school. I also had to develop my own plates for an electron microscopy class. I decided I liked taking/developing photos more than drawing. Then in the 90’s my interest in photography really took off. I loved the richness of Cibachrome but digital photography started to catch fire around that time so I learned to embrace the new technology. I do like the immediacy of digital.
What advice would you give to an aspiring poet?
Do what you love, do what inspires you and do it for yourself.
If you weren’t writing about fear, what would be your topic of choice?
Probably something related to nature but I like the challenge of almost any topic because to me the fun is in finding the connections and making that twist of the unexpected.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel fear?
Stagnating. Not learning or growing. If I’m not challenging myself with a little bit of fear every day, I’m not doing my job.
Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
I find the perception of dichotomy between art and science to be frustrating. I have been asked many times in my life how I can be analytical and artistic at the same time.The truth is, scientists are usually creative. They are always questioning assumed knowledge and looking for new perspectives on a subject. To me, art and science go hand in hand. It’s a no brainer.