Artist Weekly: Isaac Gill

Photo courtesy of Isaac Gill

Photo courtesy of Isaac Gill

Mary Windsor
   Staff Writer

“Society has programed people to disconnect with their creative side,” photographer Isaac Gill reflected. “Whatever you wanted to do as a kid, that’s what your true life calling is. It will all come full circle eventually.”

A fourth year student at UNC-Greensboro studying marketing, Isaac Gill has been honing his love and skill for photography for the past six years.

Many people are desperate to claim the ability to take photographs, but few can actually deliver impressive, unique results. It’s rare that a photographer comes along with a truly distinctive style that stands out. Issac Gill is one of a kind.

“I’ve always liked looking at pictures and messing around with cameras. If my friends ever had a really nice camera I was always that guy trying to fool around with it,” Gill explained.

He first started taking photos as a hobby when he was a sophomore in high school, using his iPhone to shoot pictures and posting them on Instagram.

“I was at first doing them just for fun, but then people started to really like them and I took it more seriously,” Gill said.

His love for photography grew. He later saved up money to buy a nicer camera, a Nikon D70, and began perfecting his craft.

“I use my phone camera almost every day. It’s quicker and I enjoy taking instinctual photos more than planned and pre-thought-out ones,” Gill said. “The ones caught in the moment are the pictures I end up liking the best.”

When Gill shoots for a client, however, he always uses a professional camera.

Though Gill has no formal training in photography, he has spent the last few years researching and studying others around him.

“I read a lot of articles and books,” he said. “I took a lot of pictures. A lot. “

“Learning the camera and the settings was probably the most difficult thing I encountered,” Gill remembered. “There are so many settings to get used to. And learning all the terms that come along with photography [is also a challenge].”

“Getting used to walking around with a camera was actually really hard,” he laughed. “People look at you like you’re crazy. That took some time getting used too.”

Steve Jobs and Kanye West have been major inspriations for Gill and his outlook on life.  For visual inspiration he often turns to Christina Paik, a fashion photographer based in New York City and Paris.

As for peers and UNCG students, Gill is interested in the work of King Phill and Wong G and often collaborates with them.

“My style… I don’t even know how to describe, to be honest,” Gill admitted. “I just like taking pictures in general – of everything. A lot of people have told me it’s more conceptual and more modern.”

Gill has been focusing on the subject of minimalism and the craft of capturing those elemental still moments. On his Instagram (@Gilluminati), he posted photos and started tagging them with #minimalmonday before creating a page just for those types of photographs.  He displays his own works and the works of others on the page to share with over 700 followers.

“Social media is such a huge part of this industry. I can post a picture here in Greensboro and people in Spain can see it, share it and it expands and expands. You never know how far your artwork can go through a retweet or share,” he explained. “It’s incredibly influential.”

Gill has been involved with several galleries and functions in the past year. He was recently featured in an art gallery and concert event with a UK-based electronic beat maker in downtown Greensboro. The event was designed to encourage the community to vote but spotlighted local artists as well.

Recently, he booked a collaborative art show that will be occurring on Nov. 7 in downtown Greensboro at Urban Grinders. It will feature an array of local artists, showcasing their work. The event may also involve the unveiling of a magazine.

He has been featured in the Coraddi, the UNCG student-run and curated magazine, and recently released a magazine he designed as a collaborative project with friends this past August in Raleigh.

“With groups, a lot of the problems come with communicating, time schedules and clashing egos,” Gill laughed. “They can be hard to deal with. I can’t front, I’ve learned how to control [my ego] recently. “

“When my viewers see my work,” Gill mused, “I want them to just stop and appreciate the beauty that the world and universe supplies us through life and nature. Just notice every day little things.”

Gill wants to pursue professional freelance photography, working with people and labels to help brand their image for them through photographs and marketing.

“A majority of the time I take photos for myself, but now that I know I want to pursue it as a business, I also take photos for others,” he said. “It just kinda depends.”

On average, when shooting in a new location, Gill takes over 5,000 photos in less than week.

Though he loves photography, Gill wishes to make music when he gets older and has a more stable foundation under his feet. Once he is more established in photography, he wants to pursue other careers he has taken an interest in, such as interior design and architecture.

Photography has allowed Gill to learn how to network and interact with others. It has helped him connect with others who share the same interests while experimenting with this craft and being able to improve upon himself.

“Follow your dreams, don’t be afraid to fail, take risks and do not let anyone tell you no,” Gill advised. “Whatever your heart wants to do in life is what you’re meant to do. Go with the flow and see where you can take it.”

Categories: Artist Weekly, Arts & Entertainment

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