The interviews are conducted by VB Contemporary's director, Vian Borchert. Besides being a multidisciplinary noted international artist. Borchert has been a writer and art critic for over a decade contributing with art articles in a national online newspaper. Borchert gets called upon to cover and write reviews for major retrospectives and exhibitions in world-class American museums.

Photo of artist Andrew Harrison
About the artist: Andrew Harrison is an accomplished photographer, born in rural Norfolk, UK. Harrison started his photographic journey 40 yrs ago. Harrison worked as a commercial photographer both in the UK and internationally for many years in the fields designs and others. Harrison worked on film in all formats from 35mm to large format 5x4. Studio still life has always been Andrew Harrison’s passion. In the late 1980s, Harrison also lectured on photography for the City & Guild Photography Course.
Tell us about your "Beginnings", how did you start your artistic journey? How did your childhood influence your creative career path? And, how is your beginnings / childhood "Reflective" within your work? My artistic journey began as I was a child. I was happy with my own company and would often be found with a sketch book and pencils. I discovered photography as a medium in my late teens, early twenties. I started reading books and photography magazines and just knew I wanted to do that as a career. I never had photography as a hobby. I gave up my dull job as an trainee estate agent and become a photographic assistant. I learnt on the job, no formal training, and would try to emulate images I had seen that had impressed me through closely looking at shadows or reflections to see when and what light had been used. These were back in the days of film. Most of the work I was doing was on large format 5x4 cameras. My past commercial experience influences my personal work. Even though the image may appear simple; Yet, I have been meticulous in the framing, lighting and removal of anything distracting or irrelevant to the final work. Now I am making images and works for myself. I can see that it is simplicity that I am seeking, probably subconsciously connected to the simpler life in the 1960’s and 70’s. I use postproduction in most of my images, not for effect but to enhance. In my images, I still see myself reflected, as single isolated subjects.
Image of artwork Four Narcissi
Walk us through your day from morning till evening along with your creative process? What does a day for "Andrew Harrison" look like? Where do you find inspiration in the area by which you reside? And, What does "Spring" mean to you? Let us know what is your favorite flower or plant? A typical day when I am creating is full. However, that is often because the process I use is time intensive rather than time spent being creative. The creative element has for the most part already been thought out and pre-visualized in my head even before the subject is in front of the camera. From there it is setting up the subject and framing, then the lighting, which is fundamental to the final image. Once the lighting and framing is done the shooting can take quite some time as my process can require between 50 and 100 images that are then composited to make the final shot. So, after the images are recorded, the rending of the base image starts in a program called Helicon. Once that is done, I work on the look of the final work. I know what my end image should look like, and I use both photoshop and lightroom to achieve it. There may be some tweaking or deviation from what I envisaged, pre shooting, but I work through layers and filters until I am happy. Once the works are complete it can take as much time to upload to websites, online galleries and social media in order for the work to be seen. You need to be disciplined. My inspiration comes from many sources, nature, nostalgia, but it’s often just that I find something and see an image on the wall. From there I start the process. I have recently been shooting images of flowers for spring. Mostly these are delicate, small blooms. Their freshness sums up spring for me as a renewal. I also await the arrival of the swifts and swallows as they bring a promise of summer.
As a fine art photographer, what have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career? And, what have been your best achievements for you personally and professionally? Who are your favorite artists/photographers and why do you find their art captivating? The creation of the work is not the hurdle, as long as you have a voice and a style, and there are subjects everywhere. Technical issues can easily be overcome as online resources can help you find the process you need to achieve your goal. It’s having that goal in sight that is key. The biggest challenge is getting seen and being recognized for the work you produce. Although there are so many ways to have visibility globally, its about getting seen by the right people that is hardest. Social media is important but also having the work in galleries, even online galleries, extends your reach. Its almost relentless, but it is necessary. I also try to engage with viewers who like and engage with my work. In my early days of photography my favourite photographers were Bailey, Donovan, Maplethorpe and Herb Ritts. These modern pioneers had such style. They were also curious photographers who mainly worked with people, portraits or fashion, which is something I never got into, maybe I just don’t like people! I also admired the work of a lesser-known photographer, Eddie, Ephurams with his toning of black and white prints. Today I like the work of photographers like Paul Lange. His images of flowers on a large scale sit well with mine. My best achievement is usually the work I have just completed, but almost as soon as I have uploaded it, I have to move on to the next one. On a personal level, it was rediscovering photography after a number of years working in a field of commerce that was completely alien to who I am, but at the time who I thought I was going to be. Creativity is good for the soul - not always good for the bank balance.
Instagram: @andrew_harrison_photographer Website: https://www.andrew-harrison.co.uk/