Friday, October 28, 2016

Tim Christian .. the VULKAN interview

Currently in the world of fashion, especially when it comes to advertising and editorial, there seems to be an age issue that surely comes off as ill-conceived, self-defeating and possibly even discriminatory. In the men’s area, it is apparent that stylists, editors, photographers, casting directors and even designers prefer cookie cutter boys, not men, BOYS, as the ideal customer or image for their coveted and ubiquitous prestige brands. 
Brandon Jameson photo.. click to enlarge

Those who sit in power need to take note and not summarily dismiss the possibility that they are sending out the wrong message to a well-heeled audience. There is a grave disconnect! Do you think that a hedgie, a CEO or any man past his 20s relates to prepubescent looking muscled or anorexic looking boys with bow legs and greasy hair? Think about who can afford and who can only aspire.
Mark Bruce photo.. click to enlarge

Tim Christian is of indeterminate age, like somewhere between 35 and death, whereas the Stepford boys can’t be more than 25 and it doesn’t take a genius to see it; marinate that in your mind for a bit. 
Dietmar Kohl photo.. click to enlarge

Tim Christian is ever the storyteller, the actor, the one man show or the provocateur, via head shot or full body, he has something to communicate to the viewer. The ultimate result lays with the photographer, designer and stylist to convey their message of the moment through his image ... click!
He is youthful without looking foolish, he is debonair when called upon to be, in this sort of sexy Euro way and he is lithe and well-built enough to carry off almost any look. Tim owns a visual presence that reads as a sort of “bucking the trend” rocker, which might be the antidote to what ails the industry. He is here to signal a change in the winds. 
Mark Bruce photo.. click to enlarge

So, it is my opinion that Tim Christian has something to say of the world he inhabits and he is saying it to VULKAN. He speaks from the most credible standpoint which includes not being in the 18 to 25 age bracket or a sliver fox. You’ll find him enlightening and engaging in that he has a message about being Tim Christian. So in his own words: 
Brandon Jameson photo.. click to enlarge

Jeffrey Felner: What is your internal driver ... what fuels your ambition?
Tim Christian: I’ve had a few careers since college, and in each of those situations I was working like a dog (most of the time) to help other people achieve their goals. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from stepping outside myself and doing something for someone else. I hope that I’ve helped people succeed in life. When I came to a turning point a year ago, it gave me an opportunity to be proactive about what the next half might be. It showed me, unexpectedly, that there IS a second act in life. And I don’t want to waste it. I want to take risks. I want to do things and go places and meet people I might never have before and to have fun. I’m lucky to have a support system. I have to make them proud, too.
Jef Heuerque photo.. click to enlarge

JF; Can you explain why this mission is so important to you and what you hope to achieve by fulfilling this career? Do you consider yourself a trailblazer?
TC: In my world there have been a lot of firsts: first college graduate, first born, first time . . . My hard reset comes with a lot of responsibility, as well as opportunity, because it’s a first. Creative vocations come easily for young people, I think, because experimentation and freedom are celebrated when we’re starting out but to be in the middle of life and leap off a cliff probably seems crazy. And being my age can be considered trailblazing. Or nuts. Or just taking a risk. If I succeed, it’ll be real. It’ll be worth the risk. 
Gregory Prescott  photo.. click to enlarge

JF: Do you feel that your acting has contributed to your ease in front of the camera and why? What do you do to prep yourself for a shoot? Mentally? Physically?
TC: Acting and acting training are tremendously helpful to modeling. My first photoshoots felt static, and I didn’t have a good understanding of the dynamism of still photography. Learning to bring out the characters within me has made all the difference between standing in front of the camera, and BEING in front of the camera. Preparation always starts with communication, concept, and collaboration. I try never to go into a shoot without understanding what the photographer and I will create TOGETHER. That way there are no surprises. I like to have a goal, and establish parameters that will facilitate creative play. And if I’m really planning ahead, I get plenty of sleep and LOTS of exercise for a few days before, so I’m LOOKING my best.
Omar Sandoval  photo.. click to enlarge

JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
TC: I have always adored creative people. My mother has long held the belief that I am a frustrated artist in search of a medium. Perhaps my medium is me. She’s always the first on my list because she knows me far better than I can ever hope to know myself. And after two glasses of wine, she can chat with ANYONE. A close friend is a scientist and an artist and he has a wonderfully creative mind which is always full of questions and opinions that cannot be found in the proverbial box. People who work with their hands inspire serious admiration especially finish carpenters … maybe it’s biblical. I’ve worked with a guy here in LA who builds decks, fences and gates. He used to be a chef. And he’s Italian. Good with his hands . . . My oldest friend lives here in LA; we finished college a year apart, and both migrated into civilization at about the same time. We’re both married now, working and life gets busy and so I’d love to have him to dinner more often. Finally, there’s someone on my family tree I would love to meet, assuming all the rules of physics can be broken for an evening. The first woman in my family known to have been born in California, around 1880, was a Native American. She fell in love with a less than loyal Caucasian man, and got pregnant. He could ill afford to marry a Native American, let alone support a mixed-race child but she fought for herself and her child, and went down a rabbit hole in the courts to prove his paternity. There were death threats, armed guards, a Winchester rifle remains, this woman must have been somebody special and had she failed I wouldn’t be here. I’m betting she’d be a fantastic 
Mary Andrade photo.. click to enlarge

JF: Do you have a mentor, style icon or inspiration that comes to mind every day and why that person or idea?
TC: I spend my fair share of time on social media, and I try to look and look and look at images. It’s exciting to see a little of the diversity of the world reflected in pictures. I’m not the only “old” guy out there, working hard and trying to be a success. In that sense I’m really following in the footsteps of other men, and women, who’ve started a bit of a revolution. What comes to mind, every day, is that I AM responsible for making this work. And no one can inspire me more than that.
Gregory Prescott  photo.. click to enlarge

JF: If you could choose any collaboration and/or collaboration, who and what would it be and why?
TC: The thing I’m enjoying most on this new adventure is collaboration. I’ve worked with creative people for many years, but now I’m a participant rather than a facilitator. My respect for what photographers, stylists, and hair and makeup artists bring to the table is off the charts. I can’t do anything on camera without partners. There are so many people out there with cameras . . . And I keep my eye on a few people, especially here in LA. There’s something intimate about the work people do here, I think because we have space. .. especially domestic space and the light here can be spectacular. One of my favorite artists is Luke Austin-Paglialonga. He creates very intimate images that transcend both art and fashion. Of course you can’t talk about fashion photography today without honoring Matthias Vries-McGrath. Besides the spectacle of his work, there is always a sense of fun. And he pushes and pushes at the boundaries to keep things really fresh.

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