Joshua Kissi/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

Fashion

3 Young Photographers On Staying Inspired & Making Art

It's a challenging time for creatives right now.

It's a challenging time for creatives while quarantines and social distancing are being enforced. But a group of photographers from Google's Creator Labs, an incubator initiative, are adapting to the times. After the jump, we spoke to a few of those artists — Joshua Kissi, Andrew Thomas Huang, and Myles Loftin — about their new collections of work and staying inspired.

Joshua Kissi/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

Joshua Kissi

Location: New York, currently in Seattle

What was the concept behind your series for Creator Labs?

"From Harlem to Howard" is a portrait series of graduating seniors Ariel, Shamyah, and Cheyenne the summer before college. The three figure skaters have been a part of "Figure Skating in Harlem" since they were in elementary school. I had the opportunity to photograph the journey of three amazing young ladies who made the decision to attend the historically Black university (HBCU), Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Joshua Kissi/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

How are you staying inspired right now?

Just continuing to connect with like-minded creatives and family during this time.

How have you adapted to creating while social distancing?

I'm in the industry and market where even when the whole industry is collapsing, we're expected as creatives to stay creative through it all. I'm trying to take as much time for myself as possible while working on projects.

Joshua Kissi/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs
Andrew Thomas Huang/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

Andrew Thomas Huang

Location: Los Angeles

What was the concept behind your series for Creator Labs?

It pays tribute to queer, trans, and non-binary artists of Chinese descent in my surrounding community. I am inspired by the idea of queer divinity: the notion that queerness itself is an ideal that can never be fully achieved but always strived toward. I wanted to create a portrait series that says we among the queer Asian diaspora have the ability to crown ourselves and inhabit roles in which our value is celebrated, venerated, and adorned.

Andrew Thomas Huang/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

How are you staying inspired right now?

I reserve my mornings to focus on what matters most to me: writing, reading, activism, thinking, working on my feature film. I also go on daily walks behind West Los Angeles College where there are an absurd amount of bunnies eating wine grapes and hopping among the sage. The view over the LA skyline has never been more beautiful during this pandemic.

Andrew Thomas Huang/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

How have you adapted to creating while social distancing?

It's not easy. There are times (most times) when I don't feel safe or inspired to create because of the current climate. The daily news is distressing of course, but also galvanizing. It's a powerful time. In another sense, I have always worked at home in solitude, so quarantine is an extension of the same routine.

The difference is that I can't go out to release or distract myself, so I have just had to get better at sitting at home with my demons. I think it's important for us to learn to sit with our discomfort and face ourselves in the mirror. That discomfort keeps me going.

Myles Loftin/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

Myles Loftin

Location: Brooklyn

What was the concept behind your series for Creator Labs?

I was inspired by the lack of social interaction and intimacy everyone was experiencing on a global scale. I wanted to use the Pixel to explore the tiny glimpses of intimacy I experienced while social distancing in Maryland with my parents.

Myles Loftin/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

How are you staying inspired right now?

Music always keeps me inspired. I've been listening to Flo Milli's new album lately.

How have you adapted to creating while social distancing?

I've learned how to think outside the box and to make use of the things that are laying around in my house. Social distancing has also caused me to get back into self-portraiture since shooting other people isn't as easy at the moment.

Myles Loftin/Courtesy of Google Creator Labs

Share