This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Krishna Valdez Ramírez, also known as Krishna VR, is a 20-year-old photographer from Sinaloa, who has developed her own style. She’s had exhibitions in Europe, the United States, Japan, and Mexico.
Thus, to learn a little more about her work at such a young age, her creative process and influences, we chatted with her. Moreover, we got to see that she is a creative and very restless soul, happy to experiment and live life to the fullest.
Moreover, Krishna VR is the stage name with which she has become known. She is 20 years old and based in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She specializes in staged and conceptual portraits.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in images and started playing around with editing; my first camera was a Canon T3i.
Sometime in 2015, I realized that I really liked this, that I was good at it, and started to pursue it further. I started submitting my work in competitions; my first exhibition was at the Louvre Museum. It was part of The Exposure Award Collection with more artists.
And from there I worked more on creating a style, something that characterized me, which is where I found self-portrait. The conceptual and editing side of my work is a big part of it.“
In addition to a fortuitous style, Krishna’s photography has a purpose and a meaning. Beyond aesthetic beauty, a unique style or a very particular color scheme, everything seeks to express feelings and fragments of the life of the artist, conveying her creative concerns on images.
“I wanted to say something with the image that showed ideas that were not only images. I saw a lot of Instagram photographs but they did not transmit anything; I wanted my photographs to show feelings, what I saw, what I liked.
Some of my first inspirations in photography were Marina Monaco, Cristina Otero, Lidia Vives, Annie Leibovitz, and Eugenio Recuenco. They were the first to blow my mind with their work in visual terms.“
The magic of the image is not only about those results since everything also carries a process and she has done it from an independent aspect of photography, having autonomy and developing her technique. Hence, not only with the image but in the creative process with which she has developed ideas, performing them and obtaining final results.
“Not necessarily in order, but I always look for ideas from what I go through, what I see every day. I write a lot about these ideas, I’m always writing about what new things I can do. I also look for many materials that I can use and much of my work is in post-production, in editing.”
An interesting fact about her career is the academic aspect, the one that seeks to validate professionals with degrees. And while many artists have professional development in art or design universities, Krishna does not.
However, it is not because she did not want to, but because she didn’t see it as an option in the path she took at a young age. She is self-taught, learning through mistakes, exploring editing tools and looking for her own training.
“I see this autonomous training as a positive thing, even though I did not go to school. I also learned many things that a school doesn’t teach you how to express. Vocational training teaches techniques, how a certain image is made, but it doesn’t teach you what to express.“
“That’s a path that every artist must find based on their needs and whatever she/he means. Furthermore, I’ve been constantly learning through courses and taking a few classes.
This has also meant a lot in the working world where they may or may not work with me because of my age. Oftentimes they want to work with me because they like my work or because they’re interested in me doing it. But other times, they tell me they can’t work with me because of my age, because I am very young.”
In addition, throughout the evolution of her professional work, there was a key piece in all of Krishna’s work. It’s Ophelia, a character from Hamlet, who finds she is in love with the main character.
“In 2015 I made Ophelia, a portrait for a contest, but on that occasion, I identified with the character a lot. It was the first time I had researched the character and I tried to do something different planning-wise.
I sought relationships with myself and that’s how I made the composition. In the end, it’s one of my favorite photographs because I look at it and I don’t think it’s mine, because I don’t look like the person in the photo. I felt it was someone else’s work because I didn’t think I was able to do what I was seeing.“
Moreover, something interesting and frustrating at the same time for an artist is the creative blockages, those that prevent us from doing new things or moving forward with ideas that make us doubt ourselves. And Krisha is no exception, though as a 20-year-old, it’s interesting to see how she tackles those moments. It’s not a matter of maturity, as many might think, to face these moments at 20 years of age, but because age is simply a tool that helps because of optimism and creativity.
“I think that, like every artist, I have creative caps, but especially when I try to do something new that my audience might not like, I hear that voice that tells me that the people who follow me might not like it because of the style of an image.”
“But that’s what it’s all about: to keep creating and seeking satisfaction in what I want to do. The viewers’ feedback is very important, but in the end, I’m looking for something to fill me with joy. Something that represents me and seeks to say something that I want to say, regardless of whether people like it.“
Additionally, there are also bits of life that could translate into fear, whether of experimenting, or of what people say, or other situations. But the word “fear” is not in her vocaulary, as she is well aware of how harmful that concept is. However, she is also aware of chaotic moments, but she ends up overcoming them always.
“I fend off fear; fear eats away at everything, including the good, which is why I avoid the word. I feel like it’s a feeling that prevents you from doing a lot of things and that therefore it consumes even the good ideas.
Maybe more than fear I see it as anxiety; anxiety to create something different or when I submit jobs for review. But I feel like that process is normal, so sooner or later it has to go away.”
Furthermore, in the face of all this, Krishna’s creative soul is one that knows what she wants and explores through photography. It also shows that often barriers are within oneself when developing professionally at such a young age.
Finally, Krishna shared some films that she likes for their photography, as well as some books on image and Mexican photographers we should start following.
“The Shape of Water, The Perfume (the book too), and Barry Lyndon are films whose photography I really like. There are also some books on photography such as The Secret Code, Letters to Theo and The Secret.
Moreover, some of the Mexican photographers I like are: Eduardo Gómez, Carlos Herrejón, Verónica Esqueda, Gaby Olmedo, Erik Vicino and Mario Olvera.“
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
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