Fusion Art is pleased to feature award-winning artist, John Diephouse, in its “A Day in the Life” series. In this series of Artist Showcases, the gallery reveals the “typical” day of many of its award-winning artists.
John is an award-winning photographer based in Michigan, USA. He has won numerous awards in Fusion Art’s online art competitions as well as been featured in the gallery’s Artist Spotlight solo art series.
Below please find, in John’s own words, the answers to 12 questions about him, his art and his “typical” day as he gives us a glimpse into his artistic life.
How do you start your day?
I am a confirmed “creature of habit”, with a clear morning routine. I catch up on the news while I drink my coffee, followed by breakfast and making at least a mental “to-do list” for the day. I try to get any chores or simple tasks out of the way before I am free to “play” pursuing any creative endeavors.
How many days a week do your work on your art?
It varies, depending on competing priorities, commitments, or weather. There are stretches during which I am actively engaged every day, followed by several day lulls, but I typically do something related to my photography an average of 3-4 days a week.
Do you have a home studio or do you go to an outside studio to work? Which do you prefer and why?
Most of my photography occurs in the field, but I do occasionally set up a small, temporary studio in my home for staged or still life compositions. I work in my home office for processing, refining and/or printing digital photos.
What kind of art do you create?
I work almost exclusively with digital photography, with a wide range of subject matter, including macro nature and landscape studies, mythic urban, small town or rural street scenes, street photography/candid portraiture, and occasionally abstracts or formal portraits. I have also worked sporadically for many years in stained glass, usually in architectural installations.
Walk us through your “typical” day?
There really isn’t a ‘typical day. Other than my early morning routine, there is too much variability to describe a “typical day”.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I have experienced several challenges that I imagine are not unique to me. Common challenges include finding new inspiration when the “well is dry”; Staying motivated to learn new techniques or find new approaches to avoid falling into a predictable rut; Maintaining a positive perspective and not getting frustrated or discouraged in the face of letdowns.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I find the creative process to be a fascinating challenge. Seeing an image in my mind’s eye, the mechanical process of capturing that image photographically, then adjusting or manipulating an image to produce an end product that approaches what I originally envisioned, then sharing that image electronically or in printed version is very engaging and satisfying.
What do you enjoy the least?
The “dry spells” when it feels like that indefinable “spark” just isn’t there, or what I am producing is just dull, uninspired or technically unsuccessful. When these periods inevitably arise, it can be a challenge to stay active enough to keep the mechanical skills of the craft sharp (akin to a musician practicing scales) until inspiration re-emerges. Which it eventually does, often when and in ways that are least expected.
Do you have any mentors?
I have been influenced by many people, from historic figures to those I have known more directly. As a largely self-taught photographer, I couldn’t identify any specific individuals who have had a clear hand in guiding the development of my craft.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I don’t find it to be. I am a definite introvert, which probably facilitates what is largely a solitary and often introspective process. I am also active in several local arts-related groups, which provides opportunities for sharing, feedback and comradery. So, although the art I create occurs as a personal exercise, I don’t operate entirely in isolation.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
As it related to my art, I think the best advice I have ever received is that experiencing art is entirely subjective. Doing creative things that are motivated by a need for external validation and approval will erode the creative spirit by inverting the driving force from self-motivation and satisfaction to external “others-driven” forces. Not that external validation is a bad or undesirable thing, by the way!
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from many directions or things, but I think my inspiration is hard to define or articulate, as it is often apparent only in retrospect. It’s almost like trying to explain the range and subtleties of color to someone who can only see black and white.
Thank you, John, for sharing a peek into your life as an artist!
Below are 8 of John’s award winning pieces. To learn more about John and see more of his work please email him directly.
To see more artist showcase features, visit our "A Day in the Life" archives.
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