“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh
We made it to August ya’ll. The way this year has been going, that alone is a victory. I am continuing to make space to share the stories of Black creatives who are using their art as activism. All over the country, in the midst of twin pandemics, our community is still creating, and that my friends, is beautiful.
I had the privilege of interviewing Joshua Galloway, a commercial lifestyle photographer and digital content creator based out of North Carolina. Joshua discusses his love of the craft, being Black in America today,
How long have you been working as a photographer?
I have been working as a photographer since 2009 so I would have to say 11 years now. The best way to describe my photography style is that I am a Lifestyle Commercial Photographer.
When did you fall in love with photography?
I fell in love with photography when I had my first opportunity to be the in-house photographer for a magazine called Four Magazine. It was my first time seeing how purposeful my images could be. Thinking back, the positive responses from my street style photography that I captured during a series called #WhileYouWereSleeping added to my joy of the art form. I captured these images at night from midnight to 3 am here in Charlotte, NC.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m wrapping up a lifestyle brand commercial project for a wine company at the moment that I did about a week ago.
What has been your proudest moment as an artist?
My proudest moment as an artist probably was having my work hung in a gallery at the top of the year right before COVID. That was very special moment for me.
How have both the pandemic and the racial unrest in this country impacted how you show up both as a professional and a Black man?
I believe the pandemic has impacted how I show up because it’s another layer of my mindset, which activates me into protection mode. Making sure our stories are being told in truth and light. The racial unrest has my head probably on a swivel even more now, but also has me moving with my chest out.
The belief that my life matters has always been important, but also that I can be an entrepreneur and speak my mind about what it is like to be a Black man in America. I’m not ashamed and I will use my voice and my eye to make sure that our wins, truth, and pain is shown from a true lens and not made up from media.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by how I see the world, and experiences that are new. From ones I document with a camera to the ones I document with my eyes and store in my heart.
How do you practice self-care?
I practice self-care by going for walks, hiking, shopping, and taking care of all 20 of my plants in my home.
How are you using your art as a form of activism?
I’m using my art as activism by capturing what’s really happening on the front line and showing up in spaces to observe and be a voice. Show folks that there is a ‘why’ behind each frame I capture.
What advice would you give to other Black creatives?
Find your way, and also know that it will find you, and its not always a clear picture. See your creative entrepreneurial journey like a blank canvas and each experience you have is a brushstroke. When you step back it might look much like an abstract painting but remember you are the artist painting this picture.
Don’t let your brush dry out; it’s always room on top of each brushstroke. Charge your worth and go higher because you have to eat and you deserve to live comfortably from this journey. But educate yourself before you seek profit.
Be sure to following Joshua here: