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MITCHELL PARSONS grew up in such a remote place, it didn’t have a name, just a mileage marker, on the Alaska Highway in Northern, B.C. Canada.  As a youth, he sang, played drums, did some acting and rode motorcycles until photography caught his interest.

At first he photographed actors, musicians but his interest changed to photo journalism while living in New York which led him to cover the Occupy Wall Street movement and makes plans to continue in this direction by seeking out and documenting conflicts between protesters, police and military forces throughout the Middle East region.

Mitchell hopes one day to establish himself in a nice area in Europe or Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, New York, one of his favourite places.

Mitchell, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project by answering the following questions for our readers:

No. 1)  What is art to and for you? (in general and personally)Mitchell Parsons a img_7143

Art for me is a  form of expression that causes a reaction and makes me feel something good or bad and makes me pause and think. With my own art or art from someone else I want to feel pulled into the piece, entranced by it. Pretty colors and imagery isn’t enough. Make me stop, make me think, make me want more or make me hate it. 

No. 2)  What is the art of photography for you and why did you choose this form of expression?
I started as a graphic designer and began taking basic photos for my design work. It was through this that I began to learn photography and very much liked that it was more physical and not something where I’d be sitting behind a computer all day. Photography felt more like a broader form of expression for me than my design work. I felt more like it gave me an avenue to say what I wanted to say through creativity. I write music as well and photography for me became as much of a form of expression as my music. 

No. 3)  What inspires you?
What inspires me has changed dramatically in the past year. I used to do a lot of fashion photography, actors publicity shoots, etc and I would be inspired by a person’s look, their Mitchell Parsons img_3432character and especially their eyes. The more intense someone looked the better and it all still inspires me of course, but, what I want to use my talents for has changed dramatically since last fall. I was living in New York when the Occupy Wall Street movement began and I went to Zuccotti park 9 days after it started just to see what it was all about and maybe take some pictures. I spent the next 4 months going down to the park and photographing the protests on almost a daily basis. That’s when I realized that photojournalism was what I really wanted to be doing. I found I could say so much more about myself by covering things I viewed as important. I felt like I was of much more use to society via photojournalism and that what I was photographing had so much more depth and importance to it. The people there inspired me with their incredible passion and it was an honor just to be a witness to it all. It revitalized photography for me.

No. 4)  When you are creating, where does it take you?  Where does your mind travel?
When I’m creating everything else disappears except for what is going on right in front of me. I’m someone who can focus very intensely and block out all other things that are not directly related to what I’m doing. It’s escapism for sure. 

No. 5)  How do you feel when you are creating?Mitchell Parsons Untitled-1b
I feel more normal when I’m creating, when I’m locked into that zone all else seems to disappear and life feels more normal. It’s definitely a form of meditation for me. Even when photographing a protest and things get a little nuts between protesters and riot police and I’m in the middle of all that intensity I become very calm and focused and lost in the moment, only that moment matters and all else disappears. 

No. 6)  Do you identify with your subject and if so, on what level?
Yes, always because it’s important to getting a good photograph. If it’s a formal shoot in a studio then I make sure to spend time talking to the person about anything else besides just the shoot. I like to talk about whatever interests them and through that we can usually find a common interest and create more of a common ground rather than the photographer/client relationship. That helps to relax everybody, it breaks down those barriers that can get in the way of simply being collaborative and creative. Of course it’s not that simple sometimes if I’m photographing a protest or just someone on the street 

No. 7)  Do you feel art, in your case photography, music and health are related and if so, how?
Absolutely! Being creative is soul food. I need it as much as I need food. Can’t imagine life without it. 

Mitchell Parsons IMG_7101No. 8 )  Under what conditions do you work best?
I work best under intense situations. The more intense things get the more I feel pulled into that zone where I have to focus, where I have to concentrate 100% on what I’m doing. For me it feels like everything slows down and I’m in the moment and only the moment. That’s why I want to be a war photographer. I feel like I’m made for it and it’s what feels most right for me to be doing with my photography and as a person.

No. 9)  Does photography help you connect with your higher self, whatever that is for you?

I think it gives me voice, it allows me to speak things in a different way, in my way and it gives me my true sense of purpose. 

No. 10)  How do you feel about creativity in the school system, it’s use and it’s development?

I think creativity in the school system should be a top priority along with math and science. I could write a book on how those 3 things go together. To me it would teach people to be unique, to be individuals, to express themselves. In a system of one size fits all it would be a healthy balance. 

No. 11)  In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativityMitchell Parsons img_6280 in the school system?

More and not less funding for creative activities. We have to stop to ask the question: Is the educational system encouraging people to be good people, people who make positive contributions to society or is it training people to be good consumers? 

No. 12)  What are you hoping to convey to the onlooker through your art?

Being a photojournalist and someone who is becoming a war photographer I want to do what most war photographers do. I want to give voice to those who wouldn’t normally have one. I want to create images that make people speak out against the atrocities that go on and much of the time are invisible.

Once again, Mitchell, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us so generously.  I want to wish you well on your journey and I look forward to working with you again in the future.  Be blessed!

Mitchell Parsons 004TO THE READER :

You are cordially invited to visit Mitchell’s website and to keep in touch with him, he is doing exciting work in these changing times and through this evolution we are all part of.  Your comments are always appreciated, thank you so much.  Enjoy!

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Filed in: ART • Sunday, July 22nd, 2012




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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours