What makes you happy? What makes your life worth living? The answers to these questions are quite different for all types of people. It is these varied responses that I am most interested in because ultimately happiness is never a concrete emotion and it differs from person to person. Depression has been something I have suffered from my entire life, and I firmly believe to overcome a sometimes bleak world one needs to concentrate on these joyful and precious things in life, the things that make life worth living.
Diane Arbus’ photographic work of the “freaks” of society is one of my major inspirations for my thesis. Arbus put herself out there and highlighted the often invisible in society. She let their light shine. In addition, I am inspired by present day artists like Brandon Stanton, who takes images of the people of New York, highlighting the individuals’ unique qualities and nuances, and Florian Beaudenon, who captures new and interesting angles of the small moments of happiness in the world and people around him. These artists go out into the environment around them and seek out the everyday moments of ordinary individuals. They have inspired me in my work to do the same.
Through the art of photography and graphic design, I have created small collections of images and design elements depicting the joys of many individuals. I chose this media because we are, as a society, bombarded by images and text everyday and personally I think we understand this form of communication easily. I conducted interviews with people from all walks of life, learning about them, their lives, and about what makes them happy. My goal was to capture their individual happiness, to spread that through art, and to hopefully inspire others to do the same.