First, tell me as much as you can about yourself in a haiku.
Attention span of
A moth who can’t decide where
To direct my time
How did you get your start with what you do?
Bonnie- I come from a long line of dark room dwellers. My dad, my grandfather, my…okay, it’s a relatively short line of darkroom dwellers. So I spent most of my high school days darkroom dancing and smelling like foul chemicals. The problem was my attention span really kept me from keeping my prints in the chemicals long enough so the proof of my greatness has all turned brown and corroded.
I held on to film swearing I’d never leave it behind. But the moment I touched a digital camera my darkroom equipment went to the attic and it’s only been recently that I’ve started missing it a little. What I lacked in attention span for chemicals settling, I make up for in the focus I can put into an image in Photoshop. I think Netflix in the background was the real ticket.
How have you seen yourself grow as an artist?
Bonnie- I’ve become obsessed with getting my images to look exactly the way I want them to. I’ve never had an ounce of OCD in my blood but I’ve always wished I did so I could keep myself from throwing my dirty clothes on the floor. But something OCD-ish comes out in me when I’m working on an image I care about and I can spend three days tweaking a blade of grass until it looks exactly the way I want it to. With film, I thought everything was good enough and it kept me from ever creating anything decent. (Except for the time in ’96 when I got to be Willie Nelson’s photographer at a festival. Even crappily developed, those were awesome shots.) (They’re brown now.) So I think having the patience to get the results I want is how I’ve grown the most.
What's one art-related memory that sticks out in your mind?
Bonnie- I love and hate this question. I love it because there are so many incredible art related memories that come to my mind and now you’ll never know it but it’ll likely take me an hour to answer it after I think about them all. I hate it because I have no idea how to pick just one that sticks out. But I think I’ll go with the time that all of the finest artists the world has ever known came to spend time in Houston for an exhibition we were all apart of. It was like artist camp at my house with some of the greatest collaborating minds staying up all night talking Photoshop. (No literally, I’ve been answering this question for over an hour while I stop to think about the stories I’m not telling.) While they were here we were filming a pilot episode for a show my husband and I want to start called Creator’s Blok. Everyone had a theme they had to work with and we filmed everyone creating their images as we all worked together. One day, when our lives aren’t weighted down in the quicksand of everything that has major deadlines, we will finally be able to put it all together as the first episode.
What are a few things on your "Bucket List?"
- Creator’s Blok is a big one.
- Going to Australia to camp out on Gee Greenslade’s front door until she opens it and teaches me how to edit like she does is up at the top.
- Moving to Ashland, Oregon and convincing our families to join us.
- Opening a storage unit that is half storage space/half artist studios
- But the most important one on my list is to finish the 20 image series I’ve been working on, Bunny Danger Awesome Slash Trouble. Finishing it will happen. But the bucket list aspect is having people fall in love with it and having some amazing movie company (hopefully Moonbot Studios) realize it is the story they’ve been dreaming of making a movie about their whole lives. I’m pretty sure this will happen too.
What have you been currently up to?
Bonnie- I’m constantly working on my Bunny Danger Awesome Slash Trouble project. But we’re also furiously working on getting our house up for sale, running our photography studio and trying to figure out how we’re going to start over in Oregon. We’re hoping to be there by January to start living in paradise where we won’t spend 2 hours a day stuck in traffic.
What fuels your artistic soul?
Bonnie- Collaboration. Hands down. There’s nothing I love more than working with other people to create something incredible and being able to sit back and reflect on the memories together. I love shoots where we’ve had to reach out the people we know, whether it was for a Delorian or 200 donkeys, we always end up having meaningful adventures.
I’m fortunate too that my husband is my business partner. We get to collaborate with each other on every shoot we do. I think having each other has shown us photography doesn’t have to be such a lonely journey and it’s made our ultimate goal to be helping other photographers collaborate with each other.
Who are three artists you're either inspired by or look up to?
Bonnie- Three? Good grief. As if I can narrow it down to three. To spread the love for where my inspiration comes from fairly, I’ll give you my favorite graffiti artist, favorite painter and then one photographer. I can’t call her my favorite photographer because I have a list entirely too long of favorite photographers. But she’s at the tippity top.
Graffiti Artist: Deuce Seven -I think he’s the first artist I ever truly started following and feeling connected to his work.
Painter: Kevin Peterson - He’s probably the greatest painter I’ve ever seen in my life. He also happens to be a great person and a friend of mine. But he’s the first artist I’ve ever known who spent all of his time putting his passion into his painting and truly earning a living from what he created. His work speaks for itself.
Photographer: Maggie Taylor - I probably love her because she doesn’t even consider herself a photographer. The woman tells wild stories with her images and it fuels my soul. We keep her book next to the bedside table so my son and I can look at her pictures and make up stories based on what we see.
What would a 'perfect' day for you be like?
Bonnie- A perfect day would be spent with my husband Gabe and my son Jones creating art together….and preferably having someone on the other end wanting to pay us for it. (I used to think my art isn’t about the money, but I’ve recently discovered that when we have to spend all of our time trying to figure out where the money is going to come from we don’t have enough time to create art. The vicious cycle.) We work together on projects all the time. My four year old is constantly spotting locations he wants to shoot in and giving me Photoshop tips. So, for the most part, almost every day is perfect for me.
Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
Bonnie- Forgive me if my answers are just entirely too romantic. We’re watching The Princess Bride while I answer them, so you can imagine how much love, passion and desire to kill giant rats might be on my mind.
Speaking of Love. I think you and your art are the Jam, Kory Zuccarelli. Thank you so much for the honor of being interviewed by you! (In Princess Bride fashion, please read that statement in a British accent with an orchestra playing behind you.)