While you were sleeping... Humorous Fine Art Photos of Little People Living in Our Big World. - www.whileyouweresleeping.photography/
Fine Art Photos of Little People Living in Our Big World.
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Interview 1
Interview 2
1. Would you share with me what were some of your initial experiences with art?
As far as tangible initial experiences, I guess that would be when I was a kid my mum was always taking me to museums, art galleries, plays, and operas; exposing me to a wide variety of different styles of art. And because of that I have always looked at things a bit differently than others. I find art in almost everything I see – whether it is nature’s beauty (landscapes, nude women, wildlife), or a sculpture, a pattern, a song, a mundane object that someone has discarded, or even an emotion. I experience art everywhere.

2. When did you decide to be an artist, and how did you know?
Being an artist is not something that I just woke up one day and decided to be. I believe that I was born with an innate ability to create and tell stories.

As a young child I loved telling stories by drawing detailed dioramas, and I was encouraged by the fact that people seemed to really like them.

3. Where did you grow up?
I was born in the littlest state – in South Kingston, Rhode Island. I spent childhood through Junior High School there. Then we moved to Tucson, Arizona where I attended High School and became a “Cowboy” (horse shows, bull riding, etc...). My family then moved to the little town of Burleson, Texas where I finished my last year of High School. After graduating College from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) with a BFA in film I worked in the Dallas film and music industry for many years before finally moving to Los Angeles, California – where I have now lived and worked for the past 25 years.

4. What was your family unit? Did you have brothers or sisters?
My mum and dad had my older sister and then myself, but divorced when I was just a wee lad of two. Both parents later remarried giving me loving step-parents as well as step-siblings.

5. Did you have artistic peers growing up? In high school? In college?
Of course.

In High School I was in the photo club, the drama club, and I mostly hung out with the artsy kids.

In college I was getting my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and some of the friends I made there, not only became life-long friends, but are still working in the art field.

6. Were there teachers that influenced you? How so?
Yes there were teachers that influenced me, but to be honest, I cannot pinpoint one specific teacher or moment because every moment in art has the potential to be influential.

7. What was the most important thing you learned in school?
School is important to teach you the basics, to help build the foundations, and to help focus your mind, but being out in the real working world is where you get experience, where you hone your craft, and where you actually “learn”.

8. Do you have mentors or other working artists who influence you today?
Growing up my biggest mentor was my mum. No matter how bad or good my art was she always said it was fantastic and encouraged me to do more. But even as a mom she could see that I was (and still am) terrible at drawing and painting, so she steered me toward the medium of photography - where I found my niche. 

As an adult my mentors are my close friends; the one’s who are not shy to voice their opinions and discuss ideas, while at the same time they’re also not scared to tell me whether my work is good, bad, or ridiculous, and why? It is a huge help to have friends that are sometimes brutally honest with their opinions about my work.

Working artists? With both past and present artists, there are many who influence me – each in their own way with their own genre of photography. I am also influenced by a lot of artists that are not in the field of photography; painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, etc...

I know it may sound weird, but one of the most influential things in my life right now is Pinterest; such a massive amount of art just waiting to be viewed.

9. Would you say your occupation is the same as your career?
Yes, I make my living as a photographer.

10. Did you have any benchmarks in your career? By the time I’m X, I’ll have done Y?
No, I believe that if you set benchmarks of achieving certain things by a certain time, you put undue stress on yourself and will usually be disappointed.

Yes, I have certain personal goals I want to achieve and I do work hard toward making them happen, but I try not to put them on a time schedule.

11. Were there any gatekeepers in the art world for you, people who either let you in or barred the way as you were coming through? 
There are a lot of gatekeepers that bar the way; agents, managers, gallery owners. Most are only looking for the well-known established artist and will seldom help the struggling up-and-comer. 

12. Is there any professional organization that you joined that you found particularly helpful to your career? 

13. What do you think are the major turning points in your career?
Getting recognition from being published and winning awards; this always gives me motivation to push myself further and try new things.

14. What’s been your interaction with or relation to the public over the years?
I never had a lot of interaction with the public because I do not let the public dictate what I shoot, where I shoot, or how I shoot. But with the advent of Internet I do appreciate the fact that if someone views my work either through Social Media or through publication, they can voice their opinions directly to me.

15. What kind of control do you think you exert over your own destiny as an artist?
Destiny is what you make it and I exert complete control over my own destiny as an artist: to shoot, to make art, to tell stories, to be happy.

16. What are you own criteria for success as an artist?
Have fun, make art for yourself, and enjoy your own creations.

17. Has money or critical success influenced your artistic decision-making?
No, I’m not a commercial photographer, I only shoot the subjects that I want to capture and tell stories about.

18. Are you satisfied with your career as an artist?
On one hand I am very satisfied with my career, the work that I have accomplished, and also with the projects that I’m currently working on.

On the other hand an artist is never really satisfied and will always keep trying for more, to improve, to push, to do things better.

19. What do you think is your greatest disappointment in your professional career? What has been you greatest success?
My greatest disappointment is not achieving the wide public success and recognition that I wanted by this point in my career. Going back to question 10 – Don’t set benchmarks, you will be disappointed.

My greatest success is learning to really appreciate and be happy with the tiny steps and small successes that I have achieved in the art world.

20. What advice would you give someone who wanted to be an artist today, as opposed to when you started?
Learn how to play the social media game; sadly, a lot of artistic success today is not based so much on your talent, but is based on successfully using the people you know.

In the meantime, don’t let critics diminish your visions, don’t expect others to like your work and praise you – mark art for yourself, explore being creative, be proud of your own work and accomplishments, just have fun, and most importantly, treat everybody with courtesy, kindness, and respect.

I like to think of the work of Lon Casler Bixby as open, experimental and a bit rough here and there. Most of his work is in black & white and has that typical vintage look, with some very heavy contrasting shadow parts. He is one of the early contributors to the Art of Love, featured many times on our site. Finally the master speaks his mind in our five questions interview.

How would you personally describe the nature of your art?
The majority of my work is in Black and White and I like to think of it as Dark Art. I like the shadows and contrast to say as much about the mood and atmosphere as the model and setting does.

What artists, art periods, are an inspiration for your own work? And in what way?
Olivia. Bresson. Adams . Leibovitz. Also, the independent, unknown artist inspires me with their open and uncultured creativity. Sometimes I believe that the more famous an artist is the more scared they are to create something new or never done before, for fear of making a mistake. Some of my favorite pix were mistakes or came from me having made a mistake and then getting an idea from that mistake and working it into something beautiful.

I get inspiration from all genres and periods of life; especially the 1920’s – The look, feel, and of course, the fashion from that era is a huge influence on my art. Lately, I’ve been getting out of my safety zone of B&W and have been experimenting (and playing) with the use of colors… stay tuned…

Where are your ideas coming from? Does your work reflect your own erotic fantasies & desires?
Yes! And no! Sometimes an idea will come to me when I’m asleep or just day-dreaming and I can’t get it out of my head until I’ve worked it out in a photo session. I love the “dark & erotic” and I try to recreate in photography what I see in my head – sometimes it comes out just like I see it and sometimes it… well, let’s just say that sometimes it’s a “mistake” that gets worked into something beautiful.

What's your biggest artistic frustration or main struggle in your creation process?
I’m not always good with the tech part of the photo biz. I love the creative process but knowing all the “photographic rules”, the proper f/stops vs. the shutter speeds, and having to meter the lights is a pain; especially after a shoot when people ask me all the tech questions on how I accomplished a certain look . I don’t keep track of what f/stop & shutter speed I used so it makes it difficult to answer those questions. And when I can’t answer the tech questions, people look at me like I don’t know what I’m doing and I find that very frustrating.

And don’t get me started on how unprofessional some (not all, but some) of the models are. I am so tired of booking models for interviews and shoots and then they don’t even show. It is so frustrating and definitely hinders my creativity. To me, this is the most annoying part of doing a shoot.

Is it easy to find places to display your work (galleries, museums or shows)? Or is erotic art still somewhat taboo in your country?
I shoot a lot of “erotic art” and seldom shoot any explicit, open leg, genitalia. Yet, I have had quite a few galleries tell me that my work is too erotic for a show. 

In this day and age in the US one would think that art would be worshiped here as a freedom that some countries can not have, but the truth is… people in the “fly over” states, and parents of children who let their children see all kinds of sex & violence on TV, the movies, comic books, and in video games, are afraid of their child seeing a nude body as a work of art. It’s a very sad statement on our society. So yes, finding a place to display my work can be difficult sometimes.

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