One thing any artist can attest to is the importance of challenging your perspective creatively. Evolving your creative skillset often requires hopping outside your comfort zone, and collaborating with artists of different backgrounds can be a great (not to mention fun) way to achieve this.
On that note, what do you suppose you get when a light painting photographer and Photoshop master collaborate? We caught up with Eric Paré and Robert Cornelius, respectively, to find out just that.
What is it about each other’s work that first inspired you to collaborate?
Eric: I think it was simply a natural fit. We’ve been talking for a while about doing something together. I love Robert’s work, and my pictures have a lot of empty space (the night) to create fantasy.
Robert: Well it’s clear to see that Eric’s work is absolutely outstanding; I’d been following him for some time, just drooling over his incredible light painting masterpieces. Then one day I got a message from him that said, “Why do I not already know you?!?! Your work is just crazy! I make the wish to do a collaboration with you one day! Very Veryyyyyyyyy inspiring stuff you have there!! ::::::::)))” That is a direct quote haha, so as you can see from day one we were on the path to a collaboration. I couldn’t wait to create something alongside such a talented individual!
Collaboration is often about compromise. How were you both able to add in your own individuality to the final piece?
E: The base picture is exactly what I usually do and what people expect from me. I gave Robert carte blanche to simply express his talent over my picture.
R: We basically came to the agreement that Eric would shoot a bunch of different images of his choosing and then set me loose in Photoshop! I really wanted to create something that, when finished, was clearly a work of both of ours. I picked the image with a large circle of light behind the subject because that is a technique that Eric revisits again and again, and would be recognizably his.
Now the challenge was to do something very “Robert Cornelius” to it that would take it to a place one of Eric’s pieces normally wouldn’t end up. I finally decided to create giant wings out of some of the other images Eric sent that were just of random streaks of light.
In what way did this experience challenge your creative perspective?
E: I really love creating simple light-painting shapes and put that in the hands of a digital artist to see where it goes. For this one with Robert, I was so surprised by how complex the final image was, and how he built massive wings out of my light-painting images. I guess I’ll now make the habit of creating a few extra abstract images in my next trips.
R: Well it definitely made me want to do more experimenting with light painting and light in general. Obviously it’s perfectly fine to develop a style and work in your comfort zone, but oftentimes I need a gentle kick in the butt (like an interesting collaboration, perhaps) to get my creative gears turning in a new direction. I definitely think this collab will lead to some new and interesting lighting set-ups from yours truly and who knows, maybe I’ll even try my hand at some light painting myself!
Is there another artist who you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
E: I’d love to experiment more with surrealism while keeping light-painting as the primary subject. I wish I could do a collaboration with Erik Johansson eventually. I love what this guy is doing. Even if I don’t end up working with him, I’ll probably give it a try one day. I’ve had this waterfall in my head as a backdrop for a few weeks now
R: Oh gosh this list could go on and on forever. I LOVE collaborating with other artists of all kinds and am always game to throw my creative touch in the ring with someone else’s to see what magic comes of it. One artist that I’ve had my eye on for years is Michelle Hébert. She is a clothing designer who makes the most amazingly intricate and imaginative gowns. I would absolutely explode if I one day had the opportunity to shoot one of her dresses. Another artist of a totally different variety that I’ve been following for quite some time is Mike Campau. Mike is a digital artist with skills for 3D rendering and Photoshop work that just blow my mind. Everything he is even remotely a part of is just top notch. Period. I would love see what we could come up with together.
To see more of Eric and Robert’s individual work, be sure to follow them on their respective social accounts.
Eric: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Robert: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram