Instagram: @thriftsandprints Twitter: @rileyhalliday Blog: www.thriftsandprints.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I’m from Massachusetts, USA, I live in the same town my parents grew up in. Where I’m from has impacted me as a person indirectly, but the people in my life are the ones who have truly shaped who I am today. I was constantly around art as a kid. My parents are both very creative people who encouraged but never pushed) art from a young age. They always brought my sister and I to thrift stores, I remember we would comment about how we didn’t want used clothes, but my parents encouraged us to see the potential. This encouragement has allowed me to be a more open minded of person not only within art, but my everyday life as well. As I got into middle school I fell away from art and was doing things I didn’t want to do. At this time I would constantly take classmate’s negative opinions of me into consideration. I wouldn’t dress in fun clothes, and I would constantly wish to be something I wasn’t. I never considered doing photography at all. I used to take a lot of pictures of myself for validation, but once I turned the camera away from me and onto the concepts I created, I felt like I was finally being the person I wanted to be. Photography has given me a voice not only for myself, but others. I have adopted the thrift store philosophy into my images; there’s potential in everyone, it just takes the right person to find it, or the right lens to capture it.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I like pictures that push boundaries. I’m really into portraits, solid colors, and vibrant makeup. I especially like my pictures to be deliberately set up, as if they were taken right out of an old movie with an obvious set. Most of the time my pictures are fun and sometimes humorous, but once you look closer they have a deeper meaning.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?My favorite medium is digital photographs, all my pictures I take with a DSLR. With that being said, I appreciate film a lot and hope to get into that. I like photographs so much because I believe they have this amazing ability to capture tangible, relatable moments in a single frame. Photography provokes emotion that you sometimes don’t know is there. Digital photography doesn’t have the same airiness film does, so i feel it is more fitting for the bold colors I use.
4. What is your artistic process like?I usually come up with concepts at random times, most of them are sparked by boredom. I’m a total daydreamer, and I’ll zone off sometimes then suddenly get a concept. I have a notebook that I write everything down in, I usually plan out color schemes and wardrobe in here as well. Then I go on the hunt for models, it’s surprising how many people are willing to be in my pictures. I even asked the Starbucks barista to model once, which he gladly did. Most of my pictures I take in front of colored backdrops in my garage. My garage is like my creative space, it’s been used for pretty much everything besides parking cars.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Boredom inspires me because I love being able to have the ability to kill off that boredom through art, it’s like my motivator to get started on a project. I am inspired by a lot though. In terms of coordination and color schemes, fashion very much inspires me as it was the first art form I got into. I also have a pile of my great grandmother’s vintage magazines, the ads and photographs are so interesting and a little odd. I usually flip through those when I need inspiration. Old and new concepts of the female body and feminism inspire me as well. And of course animals, whose rights I will always fight for. In terms of photographers my biggest inspirations are Parker Day , Tyler Shields, and Richard Avedon.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I owe everything I am as a person to art. Like I mentioned, learning to see potential in thrift store clothing has made me a much more open minded person. The world isn’t perfect, or even close to it. As I get older I’m recognizing all these problems that we’ve created directly or indirectly as people. As much as there’s anger, hurt, and frustration, I see art as the thing that brings us all together. I ask people, anyone really, to model for me all the time. I thrive off creative people and one’s who simply just don’t care what anyone else thinks of them. The world is full of potential, and it wasn’t until I learned that, that I began seeing the world for what it truly is. Art opened a door for me, if it were taken away I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.
7. Where did you study?I’m actually finishing up my senior year of high school, but I will be studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design this fall.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?In five years I hope to be graduated from college and my goal would to be to shoot for fashion magazines. I just love working with people, especially creative people. Honestly, I see myself taking every job that comes my way. My twin sister and I currently have a little screen printed t-shirt brand called Unamused Apparel, so I’m hoping that will become bigger as the years go by. And of course I want to still work on my personal photography and would love to set up a solo show.
9. What about in ten?In ten years I see myself having published a book of my photographs. I can also see myself having set up a foundation of sorts, whether it’s art related, human right’s related, or animal right’s related. I believe with every ounce of my being, that art can change the world and I want to be able to show that.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I hope when people look at my art, they don’t see a picture that’s followed the “rules” of photography. I hope when people look at my art, the see themselves. I want my art to awaken parts of people that have been put away, I want them to look beyond the model, but the story that is told. I try to put as much meaning as possible into my work, I look at the world around me and try to turn problems like animal cruelty, and loss of identity into art. I just want my art to help, whether it be animals, or even just help someone feel beautiful.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Without a doubt, Bánh Mì sandwiches, I could eat those everyday.
12. Favourite book?I don’t read as much as I’d like to, but one of my favorites is Misery by Stephen King.
13. Favourite genre of music?Well, that’s hard to say, I like most music...except for country. Right now I’m listening to a playlist called indie pop workout, so that may give you a general idea of what kind of music I like.
14. What are your hobbies?I do a lot of painting when I’m stressed out. I like to paint and doodle because I don’t feel a pressure for it to look a certain way since it’s not my intended artform. I also enjoy sewing, creating editorial makeup looks, and screen printing. I write a lot too, I’m just very fascinated by the idea of storytelling whether it be through photographs or not.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?If I weren’t an artist I would like to do something with science, I honestly I really enjoy science as I find there’s some creativity to it. I’d love to work with animals and help rehabilitate them. If you can't tell already, I love animals.