Who: Matt Crump
His Blurb Book, "PINK"
Photography as an Art Form
Where: You caught us. Sadly we couldn't meet Matt in person, so we interviewed him over email. But, in the spirit of Coffee with Collaborators, we sent him a gift card to Jo's Coffee in Austin so he can enjoy a cup on us!
The Recap: Matt Crump (@mattcrump & @candyminimal) is a TIME-recognized Instagram artist who's dreamlike, minimalistic shots are filled with color and life. His digital-art movement, hailed by his dedicated following of 250K+, is branded by his unique #candyminimal style. We chatted with him about printing his first book, using Instagram as a tool for promoting equality and becoming better by creating more.
You recently collaborated with Collectively and blurb on a beautiful book, "Pink." What was the inspiration for the book? why Pink?
"I knew I wanted to have a theme, but not something so specific that it would leave out any of my favorite subjects (like theme parks, palm trees, still life, etc.), so I decided to just use my favorite color which would give me the creative freedom to include anything I wanted, as long as it contained the color pink."
How does it feel to see your work printed and in a book?
"The tactile experience of seeing my work printed in a book is much different than scrolling through my Instagram gallery. Since the pictures are larger and have more clarity, I can get lost in the photos much more easily than I can when looking at them on a tiny smartphone screen."
When did you first begin taking pictures and when did you realize that photography was a calling, and a profession, for you?
"I started taking pictures when I downloaded Instagram 5 years ago. At first it was just for fun, to share moments with my friends. There wasn't anything artistic about my feed in the beginning. Over time, I discovered artists on the app that inspired me, and that's when I started experimenting with my photos. When my visual experiments started getting recognized, I started getting more serious about it. Then, I left my job in advertising to focus full time on my newfound passion for photography and started the hashtag #candyminimal, which became a trend on Instagram and ultimately gave my work a lot of momentum."
What is your favorite thing about photography?
"My favorite thing about photography is reproducing a scene the way you envisioned it in your head, kind of like a painter sees the world and translates it to canvas. I think of my photos like paintings in that way, because I don't see the world the way it exists in reality."
Do you have a favorite photo that you've taken?
"My favorite photo was one I shot in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. It's of a wandering woman surrounded by colorful buildings with a statue of a saint in a chapel in the background, seemingly watching her."
Your Instagram feed is incredible. When did you begin posting your photos to the platform?
"I began posting shortly after the app was released to keep up with friends. Since then, my style has evolved, to say the least!"
Did you know from the beginning what you wanted your aesthetic to look and feel like?
"No. I didn't know I wanted to be a photographer in the beginning. I've always been creative, but I never "got" cameras. It was only after that my iPhone shots took off that I learned how to use a DSLR. Before that, it took a lot of experimentation with different styles before I settled on #candyminimal. It was an exploratory process, figuring out techniques, colors, and compositions."
What goes on behind the scenes of managing your Instagram account?
"Lots of scrolling through my camera roll, seeing what shots I have to edit! I don't plan out my feed too much. Every shot I post, I've edited that day. My strategy is just to push as much content out as I can each day, which helps me get better and keep refining. The more I create, the better I become, hopefully."
You've become an Instagram sensation, recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the top 50 photographers on Instagram. With such influence, comes a powerful platform to support and share ideas - whether social, political or cultural. With this in mind, do you have a goal or mission in regard to your artwork?
"My mission is to promote tolerance. I've showcased the cultures in Lebanon and Israel. I've created many rainbow-themed images in support of marriage equality. I promote female artists regularly. I work closely with (RED) to raise awareness and funds for treating and preventing HIV/AIDS in Africa. I also want other people to feel inspired by my work, and not be afraid to "mimic" my style to help them experiment with photography. That's the whole idea behind #candyminimal--an open-sourced style to get others to start seeing the world differently."
If you’d like to schedule a coffee chat in NY, LA or SF, send us an email to Community@CollectivelyInc.com…we can’t wait to meet you!
The Collectively Team