A new generation of emerging artists.
Who is Lara?
I’m a 27 year old Lebanese fine arts photographer with a passion for creating surreal and conceptual images. I’ve been working seriously in photography for around five years now, after also partaking in a career in economics. I love having fun with my work and meeting new people on and off set! On another note, I’m a fashion enthusiast and a big chocolate addict.
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is the ability to create interesting and original content out of seemingly of ordinary and unoriginal elements/items.
How did photography happen to you? You seem highly enthusiastic with your kind of craft.
I was very scientifically and mathematically oriented growing up, so I never thought I would go into the arts. I always liked looking through fashion photos in magazines–so in that sense, photography was a part of my life even before I became involved with it personally. I grew to love interesting imagery I would see; it always caught my attention, and soon, photography became my dream. I didn’t start taking my own photos until I was 21 years old, and after that I juggled a career in economics along with being a self-taught photographer. Eventually I left behind that stable career to fully pursue my passion for photography, and I consider it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Where do you find inspiration to create, if any?
I find inspiration through daily life, be it simple human behaviors or experiences that affect me deeply. I think that when people take the time to look around, they will realize that the inspiration to create can be found anywhere, and in anything.
Could you walk us through your editing process? Do you follow your instincts? An intuition, or do you go with the flow as it takes shape?
It actually depends on the picture–each one requires a different editing approach. Usually I use my own Photoshop Actions that I create, and then adjust the filters for every image. Sometimes the editing process is simple, with just basic Photoshop tools like “Color Balance”, “Curves”, and “Vignetting” being used, and other times I’ll add a grungy effect at the end to create some mood.
How do you feel about your work? I’m highly aware your work continues to inspire many around the globe.
I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved so far, but I always like to challenge myself with every new project. I go in new directions and take on different tasks, because learning new things is what makes me feel alive the most. It makes failure not seem intimidating, because even if I don’t succeed, I’ve learned something, so I believe both success and failure are temporary and necessary for growth.
I also feel so blessed whenever I get people reacting positively to my work. It warms my heart to have so much support from everyone.
How do you feel about social media platforms, is expressing creative work much easier or difficult? Is the future brighter for emerging artists like yourself?
SM platforms give emerging artists the chance to reach a wider audience. If it wasn’t for the internet and SM channels, my work would’ve stayed in folders on my desktop or in my room.
However, since these platforms are now getting saturated and being used for marketing purposes, it is definitely becoming more challenging for every person to get their work exposed.
Any current projects you are working on?
I’m juggling many projects at the same time, but I don’t like to reveal anything before I have any tangible results. I will say that I’m still in an experimentation phase, and I have a lot of excitement seeing where it goes.
You collaborated with wonderfully inspiring Roula Nahas (@RoulaNahas), readers try the #TheSunshineDiary hashtag. How did that come about Lara? What your experience like working with her?
Roula Nahas is an exceptional woman with an incredible presence. She is a very determined, hard worker–not to mention how fun and outgoing she is. Working with her was a pleasure–and we ended up with a very satisfying result.
Any message for emerging artists, or those with a keen interest in photography? Words of inspiration.
Always push for your dreams, pursue what you love to do, and be as true to yourselves as possible. Find your own identity in any field that you love, and strive to learn as much as you can. No matter how challenging it may be, it’s all worth it in the end. 🙂
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Am humbled by the kind response of a dear friend and emerging talent, Lara Zankoul who I met on Twitter and she instantly accepted for an interview. In great support of her, always.
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