13 Facts you need to know
DELUX gets to photographer & graphic artist JL Richardson
- What made you decide to pursue photography and graphic design?
JLR: I pursed graphic design and photography due to the aspects of being creative. Growing up looking at magazine and comic book layouts that’s created a story line. I always thought Vibe Magazine expressed the greatest pictures towards the hip hop culture and style.
- What do find most interesting about each field of art?
JLR: Being able to capture true values of emotion. Making the colors dance on the layouts. It’s something about telling a story versus just putting something on a piece of paper. Intriguing the consumers mind and emotion.
- Both fields tell a story in their own way. How do you tell your story when you are taking pictures, and designing?
JLR: I go off the person’s character traits and what makes them want to be in front of a camera. The real emotions of what they want to capture whether it’s crazy, fun, or serious. Whatever your imagination has for you to show I want to embrace.
- What is your main objective when you are taking pictures?
JLR: The trueness and dopeness of a person. I want the raw realness of you to come out. Don’t just show a mask…show you.
- Who would you say is your biggest inspiration when it comes to photography?
JLR: God, Gordon Parks, Howard Bingham who was Muhammad Ali’s personal photographer, and Tim Tadder.
- What has been your favorite picture you’ve taken thus far?
JLR: I was having a photoshoot with this gospel rap artist by the name of Life 27. We were down by the St. Louis flood walls by the train tracks. There was an old chair and a God poster I had in my truck at the time. So, I placed the God sign on the chair, Life 27 body was shadowed completely by the sun and the train tracks was under his feet. The picture was an accident but was selected by a lot of art galleries. As I was looking the picture I had to Title the piece. I named the piece “Choose your Direction”. The reason I named the piece that was because of the simplicity of the mistake. The picture literally said to me …” Either choose man or choose God”.
- How long have you been a graphic artist?
JLR: I started graphic design at the age of 12. lol. I worked as an illustrator for this small printing company in Jennings called Promise Printing.
- When you sit down to design, what are at least 4 things you must have?
JLR: Soul and Hip Hop Music bumping in my ears, Green Tea Honey Sweetened, Cherry Licorice, and my iPad.
- What inspires you?
JLR: Life and everything in it. Good music and the feeling of accomplishment.
- What do you want to do with your career overall?
JLR: To consistently reach to the mass and to appeal those who want to be inspired to keep pushing in this field. To inspire people to do better. Maybe even teach to those who are interested in the fields. SOUNDS LIKE I WANT TO BE A PROFESSOR. LOL
- Tell me your most memorable moment in photography? graphic design?
JLR: In photography…my 1st major shoot. It was scary and filled with anxiety but I knew I can do all things. The person I shot was amazed by how comfortable I made them and they were the superstar. I wish I could say the name but, you know how that goes. (Drake voice) lol. Graphic Design…my 1st layout with a record label. I was only 21 years of age and didn’t have my degree yet but the skills I brought to the table shadowed my soon to be degree. They were completely convinced that I was better than the designer they already had in house. But it kept me humble as a designer that I didn’t allow them to make me big headed about myself.
- Do you feel both career options blend well? How?
JLR: Yes…the eye should have a yin and yang, a black to white, a hip to hop. Meaning everything should have a balance. Photography and graphic design goes hand and hand. One has to have the other like the pen to the pad. Put together and you can create some Dope-Ish!
- How can our readers follow, find, and get in touch with you?
Instagram: @jlrphotodesign & jlrmusicstl
Facebook: @Joseph Jlr Richardson