Martin Usborne has always had a preoccupation with animals. His interest in how we control and silence animals is portrayed in his latest body of work which has been turned into a book. Martin took some time to answer some questions for us, take a look after the jump.
There is a strong psychological component to his images and the animal subjects within them can often be taken to represent parts of our psyche – the hidden, rawer aspects of ourselves that we keep locked away.
How did you get into photography in the first place?
I have always enjoyed photography as a hobby and as an art form but it wasn’t until I saw a William Eggleston exhibition that I was truly moved by it. I saw how he made boring stuff beautiful and I was impressed by the incredible power photography can have.
How long have you been a professional photographer?
What is the biggest obstacle for a professional photographer and how did you overcome it?
Time and money. Difficult to mix personal projects with money jobs to sustain yourself – but if you don’t pursue your personal projects you can’t grow or improve creatively or technically. The only way to overcome it is sheer will and determination. The photographer’s life can be a lonely one and the susceptibility to self-doubt is difficult. The internal challenges are the hardest.
Your website says you are interested in the “ever-curious and often disturbing relationship between humans and other animals”, what drew you to this subject?
I am fascinated by animals partly because I identify with their vulnerability – how they have no voice. This interest in animals is paralleled in my interest in my own psyche – how the animals around us can represent deeper parts of ourselves.
Your latest book, The Silence of Dogs in Cars is launching soon. How do you go about creating a photography book? How long did the project take to create (from concept to execution)?
3 years to make, 4 years before that as an idea. A lot of time needed to create images – both creatively and physically.
What would be your 5 tips for someone trying to create a photography book?
- Be true to yourself – opportunity to express yourself
- Don’t expect any money out of it
- Be prepared to self publish – publishers not commercially viable
- Don’t be disheartened when it’s difficult even when you’re very talented
- Make the book as precious as you can – don’t compromise on production – the currency is in the physical product
Martin Usborne (b.1973) lives and works in London. He trained in architecture and 3D animation before settling on photography. Following the huge online success and popularity of his series ‘The Silence of Dogs in Cars’ Kehrer Verlag are releasing the series as a large format book in October 2012. Nazraeli Press will also be publishing a small book in late 2012 from Martin’s series ‘Dead or Alive’ entitled Fox About Town. He has published two other books prior to this.