SHOP GRAY MALIN

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The Art of Having Fun

Shades of Gray: Ask Me Anything, Part II

First things first, I have to say how flattered and appreciative I am that you all were so eager to ask me questions for my first Ask Me Anything post—so much so, that I decided to roll your questions over into a Part II! I had a blast answering your first round of questions, and this was no different. It always surprises me to know what people are interested in knowing about me and my career, and truly gives me great insight into my fans and followers. So without further ado, let’s get into this Q&A, round two…  

1. What type of cameras do you use?

Well, I will say the first camera I ever bought for myself was a Nikon Film camera. I still have it displayed along with about 6 other cameras I have used over the years that I treasure dearly on a shelf in my studio. As technology as changed, I have not remained loyal to any particular brand, rather than using whatever camera has the best quality for reliability. I am currently shooting with a Canon EOS 5DSR.

2. How do you keep yourself creatively inspired, even when you’re feeling burned out?

I try to immerse myself in as much culture as possible, whether through travel, books, art, or other sources of inspiration. I’m always getting new ideas but I find them come more fluidly when I am having new experiences, reading, and admiring others’ creative talent in art books and the like. I also have long standing ideas in my mind that keep pushing me to find ways to execute them—that’s what I love about my job, is that sometimes it’s a challenge to bring your ideas to life, and that is what makes it so rewarding when you finally solve the problem and figure out how to make your imagination a reality. You would be surprise how long it takes for a series of mine to come to life… it certainly does not happen overnight!

3. What is your all time favorite movie?

Last Holiday, starring the one and only Queen Latifah! If you’ve never seen it, you have to give it a watch… it’s the ultimate feel good movie rom-com. I cry every time I watch it.

4. Are you hiring interns and/or offering opportunities to shadow you while you work?

Actually, our summer intern just had her last day a couple weeks ago. We typically just have interns in the summer but you never know, we might begin opening up the internship program for fall and spring, as well. If you are interested in interning for the company, please email your cover letter and resume to careers@graymalin.com.

5. How do you envision the future and growth of the GM brand? (i.e. Next steps? More collabs? New projects?)

When I set out to build my brand I always stayed true to myself and only worked with brands and ideas that felt like me. For example, I love cocktails with sprinkles on the rim of the glass so I created the Gray Malin Sprinkle Kit. I also love Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes so I reached out to them and created the first Gray Malin x Sperry shoe collection… same with Veuve Clicquot and so on. For the immediate future, I am very excited to grow the brand in the direction of authentic and exciting lifestyle product offerings that will allow people to live the essence of the brand and “make every day feel like a getaway” in many ways other than just artwork. It’s a bit too early to officially announce exactly what products we are releasing but I can tell you that every product is extremely authentic. Interior decorating and travel are both major passions for me, so if you can imagine, those two arenas are a natural progression from our core product of artwork.

6. What are your favorite photo editing tools/software?

Creative Cloud which includes: Photoshop, Lightroom, and Bridge. Though, I do pride myself on trying rely as little as possible on editing. I like the challenge of trying to shoot my work in “frame” when I am on set.

7. Who are some people/photographers that inspire you?

I’m inspired by so many different people, but the ones that are always constant are my family and friends. From a young age I was inspired by my mother, who was a busy and talented interior designer. I got to tag along with her often while she worked, so my love of decorating definitely started there. I also wouldn’t be where I am today without the incredible guidance of my high school photography teacher, Janis Hefly, as well as my post-college mentor, friend and fellow photographer, Aline Smithson.

Gray Malin Behind the Scenes in Bolivia for his Far Far Away

I am a huge admirer of Gaston Ugalde who mentored me during my shoot in Bolivia for my series, Far Far Away. I just adore his whole demeanor and his vision. He’s a true artist. I also have to say my Dad has been a huge inspiration. He started his own business and growing up really enjoyed taking my family out to Marfa, Texas which is where I shot my very first series, Prada Marfa. He loves photography and has always been supportive of my career.

8. How long does post-production usually take for each photo or series?

It varies according to the series but overall I do not spend extensive time in post. Capturing a moment in time is one of my primary goals in my photography, so I tend to steer away from turning the image into something it’s not. The typical post process is reviewing in Lightbox to make selects, then doing a bit of color correction and minimal editing to clean up a spot or two. Again, I am so happy with the response I got on my call for questions and had so much fun letting you guys get to know me a little better. I hope I answered everything (or most of) what you all were dying to know, and can’t wait to hear what you think! I hope even a few of my answers can inspire any of you aspiring artists to take the career plunge and jump into what you’re passionate about, like I did. Until next time…

Xx GM

P.S. Have another question for me? Tweet at me with the hashtag #QandAWithGray.

Photos: Gray Malin

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