Alan M. Richards, Photographic Image Composites – continued



EWW:  Alan, if someone were asked to make a comment about your photographic Image Composites as a whole, what do you think they would say?

Alan:  Of course, I would like them to say that they are beautiful, colorful, unusual, and meaningful. What they actually say varies. Some simply don’t get the intent and they pass them by. Others get the intent, the humor, the satire, and they appreciate them. I like the latter people better.


EWW: If I were to walk into an exhibition which included works of yours, would I immediately know which ones were yours and why?

Alan:  I believe that you would know my work.  My work often uses a central figure or figures who are turned with their backs to the camera.  They are often set against sky or water. My pictures are often quite vivid with strong contrasts. The titles of my work are important because many of the pictures simply look like odd photos.



EWW:  Alan, what is your creative process in terms of how you select what images to create with your photographic image composites?

Alan:  This is a hard question because I do not have any preset notion of what my next image will be.  I am continually with my camera and if someone or something which piques my interest and crosses my path, I shoot it. I will then archive the shots waiting for inspiration to occur. Often I  go to places where I might find interesting looking people or people doing interesting things such as at the beach. I am always looking for people who look or do something unusual. I look for ordinary people doing unusual things.  Oftentimes, I can walk outside my office or my house and there is the perfect subject.

The actual theme of a picture seems to just happen. Someone might mention an adage or proverb and there it is. I might see a reality TV show or a movie and the inspiration just seems to come. Looking for inspiration seems to be a frustrating process for me. It just seems to appear. What I do notice is the more involved I am with other artists the more inspired I get.


EWW: Are there any themes that consistently run from one work to the other, in your body of Photographic image composites, i.e. colors, movement, style, etc.?  

Alan: I try to stay away from repeating themes. I don’t like to do the same or similar pieces. However, I seem to have a style across most of the images I produce. There are nearly always people in my works which are central to the work. They tend to be doing mundane things but not all the time. I do prefer vivid colors and many of my pictures are set against beautiful blue skies or water.


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EWW: Alan, this is a two-part question.

1. What do you see as the major challenges today for Digital Artists in terms of their talent and skills?  

Alan: Although I work in a digital medium, the type of work I do skirts the bounds of traditional artistry. Many digital artists, however, produce works that are clearly beautiful, but far from traditional paintings.

I think the major challenge of digital artists is simply to be accepted as a legitimate art form using the tools that we have available to us at this time in history.

2. What do you see as the major challenges today for Digital Artists in terms of marketing and promotion?

Alan:  I am a relative newcomer to the digital art scene, but I don’t see why a digital artist should have any more difficulty presenting his/her work than any other artist using more traditional methods. Certainly , there appears to be a myriad of shows, exhibitions, and gallery calls for digital art.

I think the major challenge for any artist, digital or not, is to simply get out there and present the work. 


EWW: How are you dealing with these challenges?

Alan:  I am dealing with these challenges just as I have dealt with similar challenges in business. You simply have to get out there, meet the right people, and hope that your work is accepted by places you would be proud to exhibit. My personality is to reject failure and just go on.  It’s not easy at times because I don’t like to be rejected. That’s life.  The main thing here is simply to believe in yourself and your work. If someone doesn’t like your stuff, I have a few choice words for them and then go on.



EWW:  How would you rank the major social media platforms today, in terms of their ability to help digital artists gain exposure and promote their work?

Alan:  The social programs are over-rated in my opinion. I believe that they may in fact  be antisocial. So you have umpteen-thousand friends. So everyone likes your work by clicking. So what. The answer is in direct personal contact. It will open up many more doors . That’s the way it is in my professional life and that’s the way it is in most human endeavors. It’s who you know and not in how many electronic ‘friends’ you have.


EWW:  Alan, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work, that you think would be important for others to know about?

Alan:  I don’t think that there is much more to know about me other than I am an audiologist by profession and I have always liked artwork as well.  I believe that the artwork should stand on its own as concerns my views of society and of the world I live in.  I believe that you should not chase trends, believe in your own talent, and share that talent with the world.  




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Comments (5)

  • Barbara Anderson


    I have had the pleasure of seeing the work of this artist, Alan Richards at a number of exhibits. I believe his creations are unique, original, imaginative, artistic, and simply great! I look forward to viewing more of these fine works of art.


    • admin


      Thanks Barbara. . . I am glad you enjoyed the interview.
      Ed Wedman, Exhibitions Without Walls


  • Gaia Orion


    I just came across this interview and really enjoyed reading about Alan’s thoughts and discovering his fascinating art. You know when you meet a good artist when his work stands out from the rest, touches you visually and also has strong messages that makes you think about life.


    • Alan M Richards


      Dear Gaia,

      Thank you for commenting on my artwork.



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