– What is your name and what is your Instagram username?
My name is Sean Mundy, and my username on Instagram is @seanjmundy
– Where are you from?
I’m from Montreal, Canada, born and raised.
-What is your happiest memory?
I can’t think of one single one, but speaking generally I’d have to say going up to my cottage on weekends and summer vacation when I was younger. I live in the city so it was always super refreshing to be somewhere surrounded by nature, and I made a lot of lifelong friends up there. We’d lay under stars at night, swim in our lake and ride bikes during the day, and in the winter we’d go sledding down giant hills and hit jumps into piles of snow. It was an awesome place to grow up.
-At what age did you start making art?
I think I was always involved in some kind of art, really. I showed interest in music when I was really young, drew and wrote stories, and eventually played in a few bands in/after high school. I started taking photography seriously about 6 or 7 years ago after returning home from a trip to the US to work and live with a bunch of photographers who’s work I was following online prior to meeting them.
‘Untitled (detail), 2013’
-What do you gain inspiration from?
Pretty much everything and anything. I obviously pull inspiration from a lot of the art/music I digest, but lately I find myself drawn to locations or more generally my surroundings a lot more than usual. I’ll find spots in my city or abroad and I’ll want to build an idea to shoot in that spot, whereas usually I have an idea that I need to find a spot for. This wasn’t involved in your question, but pertaining to inspiration I think it’s super important to distance yourself a bit from the things that inspire you and to create things that are a combination of various inspirations and your own vision, and to not just be “inspired” by something and go and re-create it. I understand creating something original in any way is nearly impossible, but I don’t see that as a reason to not try and do something that is at least a variant on something that people might have seen before.
-Do you have a job outside of art?
I work part time at a local organic cosmetic/soap shop. It’s pretty stress free thankfully, but on top of that I don’t work many hours a week and it’s very flexible, but of course the end goal is to be completely self sustaining someday from art/music income.
‘Death of Seasons, 2013’
-When did you start to post your art on Instagram?
In 2013. I started using Instagram when I got a smartphone, I had a flip-phone before then so I knew of the platform, but wasn’t using it.
-How has Instagram benefited your art career?
I’ve had a lot of influential people/artists find my work on Instagram and often times even share photos of mine, so generally speaking it’s just given me a huge amount of visibility, and I don’t even have that many followers really compared to a lot of people I know. People will find my work on it and directly contact me for prints or orders will be placed on my webshop from people who found my work on Instagram way more often than any other platform; there are definitely a lot of accounts dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from people who are either up and coming or already established so it’s a great place to find and follow or support artists you like. Sometimes you just get lucky and someone significant finds your work, it’s an awesome platform in that sense, but on another note it’s also really disheartening to see their algorithm changes and how a lot of posts people make are becoming less visible because of the changes they’ve implemented.
-Can you tell us more about the meaning behind your photography series?
Meanings typically vary from photo to photo, but I typically like to prod at concepts or ideas rather than have specific tangible meanings that you “should” get out of my images. I’m not necessarily interested in creating narratives but more so at vaguely implying or using imagery to have the viewer almost “fill in the blanks” with their subjectivity. Some concepts/ideas that I like to use to frame my images however are isolation/seclusion, collectivism and individualism, and occasionally I will try to provide some kind of very general “commentary” on issues or topics occurring in the real world.
-Are there any artists you would like to work with?
I would love to work with Nicholas Alan Cope. He’s an incredibly talented photographer who excels at multiple photographic styles and someone who’s work I’ve been infatuated with since I first found out about him.
-You make music as well as you do photography, when did you begin to create original tracks?
I’ve been writing original music for a long time but only started taking it seriously about a year and a half ago. I’ve been working on music with friends and alone for years but never that seriously, and a year and a half ago decided I needed to commit to a project and push myself to record myself and put something out there that is an accurate representation of the music that I want to make and build off of. I had released some random tracks here and there in the past, and an instrumental hip hop/rap EP about 2 years ago, but what I’m doing now with MOADS is what I plan on continuing to do.
-Are there any producers or singers you would like to work with?
For producers, Illangelo, Sascha Ring of Apparat & Moderat, and James Blake. There are others, but those are people who I go back to pretty consistently for inspiration. I haven’t really put much thought into vocalists that I’d like to work with as I consider myself more so as an artist who can produce, not solely as a producer, but if I could I would love to work with Tilian Pearson, Gallant, Dallas Green, or The Weeknd, probably some others that I’m forgetting there but those are vocalists who I really look up to both as singers I’m inspired by but also as people who make great music.
-Do you ever have trouble coming up with new ideas? if so what do you do to get the creative juices flowing again?
For my photo work I’ve stock piled a large amount of ideas over the years, far too many to shoot really due to the scope of a lot of them, but coming up with new ideas is still pretty challenging. For photos, I find looking to other mediums or styles for inspiration is a pretty reliable way of finding seeds that eventually grow into ideas over time. It’s rare that a fully formed idea will happen though, it usually starts with something vague like a location, a perspective to shoot from, or some kind of composition that I want to work within, then over time it turns into a fully fledged idea after chipping away at it.
-Is there anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to say thank you to the people who share my work with others or buy prints of mine (the support is super super appreciated!), to everyone who has helped me shoot and complete projects, and to everyone who has checked out, bought, or shared my new music from my music project MOADS! I’m still really new to releasing original music with me singing in it so it’s a bit unnerving to put myself out there like that, but it also feels really good to put out another aspect of myself that I haven’t been able to show people for a long time. I’d also like to of course thank you for the opportunity to do this interview and for sharing my work!
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